**Please note that there may be spoilers throughout the blog**
I remember falling in love with 3D when I was a kid, My dad took me to see Jaws 3D and it was a terrifying experience for me. The image floating arm of the skeleton coming at me from the bottom of the ocean stuck with me for a long time and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Unfortunately, the return of 3D didn't last very long in the 80's and since I was so young then and living in northern Ontario, I didn't get to have the same experience again for a very long time.
It's funny to think that horror films would be on the cutting edge on technology during the 1950's with all the B-movies that were being pumped out at the time but "House of Wax" with Vincent Price was the first colour 3D film available and it was also the first to have stereophonic sound. All the studios were trying to do it back then, from low budget films like Robot Monster to the cinematic thrillers from even the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Everybody at that time wanted there films popping out at people. Unfortunately, like the hula hoop, this craze only lasted a couple years and after 1954 only a handful of titles were produced.
Until the 80's when there seemed to be a resurgence in the film industry after a western, "Coming at Ya" seemed to spark new interest. Full Moon's head honcho, Charles Band released, "Parasite" and a year later "Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Sin" and other horror franchises, like Jaws and Amityville came shortly after. Although, it seemed to last longer than before, audiences again grew tired of the 3D schtick.
However, it didn't completely disappear with IMAX and a few theme parks producing 3D films and shorts throughout the 90's. It wasn't until 2003, when 3D burst back on the scene but this time for not just horror and sci-fi flicks. James Cameron used the technique for his underwater documentary, "Ghosts of the Abyss", and Robert Rodriguez used it for his Spy Kids franchise and his Advenutres of Sharkboy and Lava Girl film aiming at a younger generation of film goers. After that, 3D seemed to finally gone mainstream and the studios realized that there was a market, especially in animated features and action films for this technology. Today, most blockbuster films have an 3D option at the theatre which allows the audience to choose whether they want to access the 3D world or enjoy the film in 2D.
Here are 5 Eye Popping 3D Horror Movies:
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D - It's 1973 and after a quick montage of the original film with Sally escaping a spinning Leatherface, the one police officer in Newt, Texas comes to arrest the Sawyer family. However, the locals led by Burt Hartman are tired of this kind of shit and take over the investigation. The angry mob ends up setting fire to the Sawyer house and killing everybody inside except for a baby girl or so they think. The baby girl is kidnapped by a member of the angry mob and taken to be raised away for the Sawyer family and Newt, Texas.
40 years later, the baby, Heather, has grown up to be in her twenties and works has a butcher at the local grocery store. She also likes to bring home bones and make pictures with them, I guess everyone needs a hobby. Just before her and her friends leave for a vacation, she gets a mysterious letter that her real grandmother has passed away. When she confronts her parents and she is told that she is adopted, so she runs away vowing never to speak with them again. Her and her friends head out for there party vacation but plan to stop in Newt, Texas to collect the inheritance Heather has been left. On the way, they pick up a hitchhiker and now it's more the merrier.
When they arrive at the address, they are met at the gate by the Sawyer family lawyer, Farnsworth and Heather is told that she now owns a mansion and everything in it. He tells her specifically to READ the paper work because it is very important and he tells her to call him if she needs any help. Heather and her friends are totally stoked! They go check out the house and can't believe Heather's luck. Ignoring Farnsworth, specific instructions to read the letter, Heather and the gang decide to go into town to get some supplies but the hitchhiker says he'll just hang around the new house and wait for them to get back.
While the gang is in town, the hitchhiker decides to rob is brand new best friends. Surprise! Unfortunately, he finds one thing he wasn't expecting behind a heavily locked door, It's Leatherface! And the hithiker is hacked to pieces. Now that Leatherface is free will Heather be able to share the house with him and become the ultimate odd couple or has Heather luck finally run out?
I liked the beginning with the original footage montage and then it really went downhill from there. This film is such a mess that I don't actually know where to begin and this film makes the remakes of Friday the 13 and Nightmare on Elm Street look good. There were 6 people credited to writing this nonsense and apparently none of then could do math because there are 40 years between 2013 and 1973, not 20 something. **BIGSPOILER** And what bugs me the most is that they try to turn Leatherface into the good guy? What the fuck? I like Leatherface because he's evil! He cuts people up, makes furniture out of them and eats them. That's fucking evil, leave it at that. In the TCM world, you can have other bad characters, with selfish motives and awful actions but Leatherface should always be the evilest mother fucker in the room.**BIGSPOILER** I wanted to punch the TV hearing ridiculous lines, like "Do your thing cuz!" Really? I could go on and on, but I wasted enough space on this film. I wish they would leave the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise alone for a while or at least hire someone who understand the idea and write the decent script. Someone should take a chainsaw to this film.
4. Parasite (1982) - It is the future! It's 1992 and it looks like some atomic shit has gone down because the towns are barren and people are using silver for currency instead of cash. Dr. Paul Dean wakes up in his car after dreaming that he created an evil parasite and the government put that parasite into his stomach. Unfortunately, his dream is real and he's got an evil parasite in his stomach that is itching to get out. On his travels, he helps a girl in distress in a slow motion fight to the death, only to find out the girl just likes it rough and runs off with her boyfriend. Dean keeps on moving and gets a room at a local boarding house to work on his experiments to remove this parasite.
Unbeknownst to Dean or maybe knownst, he is being chased down by a Merchant, an evil government/corporate flunky to retrieve the parasites from Dean and will stop at nothing to get them back. Yes, parasites because Dean has an extra parasite with him to test shit on to cure himself. While he's at the local waterhole, a gang of hipster atomic douchebags try and rob him and one of them opens the cannister and is attacked by the parasite. They beat up Dean, he would have probably won if the fight was in slow motion, but luckily local lemon grower, Patricia Welles saves him and bandages him up and makes him... well. Now Paul Dean has to grow some sausages to get back his other parasite and stop the evil merchant from destroying more of the world!
If you have seen any Full Moon films, then you'll know what to expect. Charles Band does an alright job with his first of many low budget apocalyptic thrillers. There are some interesting 3D pop outs but nothing to really write home about. The special effects are okay and the parasite doesn't really get as much screen time as it should. This is Demi Moore's second headlining role in a "Major" motion picture and you can tell. There isn't too much going on for about half the movie but it does pick up near the end. Again, if you like Full Moon productions than you'd probably enjoy this, if not it may not be your cup of tea.
3. Amityville 3-D (1983) - After debunking a pair of elderly con artists in the Amityville house for his tabloid rag, Revealed; John Baxter decides that he should buy the house. This is a big surprise for his photographer, Melanie; who doesn't know why he'd want to live in that creepy old house after all the grizzly murders that took place but it seems to be an even bigger surprise to John's wife, Nancy, who he has recently divorced maybe he hadn't told her yet. Move on lady!
Anyway, when John finally moves in, he finds his real estate agent dead upstairs but things like that apparently happen all the time in John's world, so John doesn't worry to much about it. He tries to convince his daughter, Susan to move in with him or at least pick a room. Which she does and all is good on the home front but in the work world, Melanie still has a bad feeling about this house. One evening waiting for John to return home from work to work more on a story, she is attacked by the house! John finally arrives home from work, after being held hostage by a crazy elevator, to find Melanie completely shaken and she runs out of the house, swearing never to return! Will John ever realize that the house contains an evil spirit or will he have to prove once and for all that there is no such things as ghosts?
This is an okay film that has some moments, like there is a good car fire scene and the ending is interesting. That's if you like car fire scenes. What made me laugh is that Lori Loughlin (Rad, Full House), who plays the daughter, Susan has the same hairstyle now as she did back then. Also, Meg Ryan (Joe Versus the Volcano, You Got Mail) plays second banana to Loughlin has her best friend and I think this may be the most convincing role Ryan has ever played. This was the only 3D picture that Orion made and the effects were pretty simple. The film starts turning into Poltergeist about three quarters of the way into it which isn't that surprising seeing how successful that film was. There isn't a lot of blood shed and the story drags a bit. Not the best Amityville but still fun on a rainy afternoon.
2. Friday the 13th Part III (1982) - After surviving the attack by Paul and Ginny, Jason Voorhees decides it's time to move on and leaves camp Crystal Lake. However, he needs some new duds and steals some clothes from a wash line and murders the people in their home. He then moves on to Higgins Haven for a fresh start and some new teens. Go where the action is.
Lucky for him, a group of friends are heading up to Higgins Haven right now. There is a couple of hippies, Chili and Chuck, a goofy dude, Shelly and his very unimpressed first date,Vera, a young couple, Andy and Debbie and then Chris, who has come up to sort things out with herself and her older boyfriend, Rick. They arrive at the cabin and are excited about checking everything out. Unfortunately, a body turns up right away and it's Shelly! Everyone freaks out but it turns out he's only joking and then everybody hates him. You suck Shelly! Debbie decides to go to the store and when the car is leaving it turns out Vera is going instead and Shelly tags along. At the store, they run into a viscous 80's motorcycle gang, well not gang but trio of ruffians. The ruffians give Shelly and Vera a hard time but they make it out of the store. Sadly, while they're backing out, Shelly runs over their bikes. The leader of the trio, Ali confronts them and smashes the car up but Shelly has been pushed to far and tries to run over Ali! He and Vera escape unharmed and championed for his brave need.
Everybody is impressed with Shelly's heroics except for Rick because it was his car that got smashed. The day is almost over so they all decide to split up and do they're own thing . Rick and Chris leave the grounds to go camping and the rest of the gang hang out. However, Ali and his friends have come for revenge and decide to burn down these suckas barn. After siphoning gas out of the gangs van, they head over to the barn to burn it down. However, Jason is living in the barn and he ain't taking that shit. Soooooo, they get strategically murdered and Ali gets the beat down of his life.
Eventually, night comes and people start going missing and during Chris's camping trip with Rick, she explains that she was attack by a horribly deformed man, so she thought she would come back and come to terms with it. Anyhoo, will this group of friends make it through the night or will Jason slap chop these bitches into oblivian?
Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2, Warlock, House) returned to direct the third installment of the Friday the 13th series. This again was to be the last film, fortunately it did well enough to garner another sequel. During a lighting check, 3D Effects supervisor, Martin Jay Sadoff threw a Detroit Red Wings goalie mask on Richard Brooker (Dragonslayer)(RIP) and Miner loved it, creating the iconic look for Jason throughout the rest of the franchise. The 3D aspect of the film is enjoyable, they used the Arrivision, which is a "Over & Under" camera that was the same thing they used in Jaws 3D. This sequel has some great scenes and a decent body count. Fun film and one of my favourites in the series.
1. House of Wax (1953) - Henry Jarrod is an incredible wax sculptor, unfortunately his museum isn't pulling in enough people because he doesn't want to create sensational exhibits His partner Matthew Burke thinks it's time to shut it down and put his money towards a more profitable business, like shower rods. Jarrod tells him that another investor, Mr. Wallace is coming to see him that night and will most likely buy Burke out. When Mr. Wallace arrives Burke scurries up into an upstairs office and Jarrod shows Mr. Wallace, his beautiful creations. Mr. Wallace is impressed but he cannot make any deals until he comes back in 3 months. Jarrod is excited and sees Mr. Wallace out. However, Burke doesn't like the idea of waiting 3 months and starts fighting with Jarrod. Burke sets Jarrod's wax sculptures on fire and burns the museum down with Jarrod in it.
Sometime later, Burke is at a cafe with his girlfriend, Cathy and he tells her that he's finally received the 25 thousand dollars from the insurance company for the fire. Cathy convinces him that they should go to Niagara Falls for a vacation and get married. Burke heads back to the office to collect the rest of his money from his safe and he is attacked by a man with horrible burns on his hands and face. The assailant quickly wraps a rope around Burke's neck and hangs him in the elevator shaft.
Easy come, easy go for Cathy because she's got a date the next night and her friend and neighbour, Sue Allen helps her get ready. Later that night, Sue goes up to see how Cathy's date was and finds her dead in bed! You know what I mean, deceased! The murderer, a horribly burned man then chases Sue Allen through the streets to her boyfriend's house. She explains to Scott, her boyfriend what happened and they call the police. The police investigate and a few days later, both Burke's and Cathy's bodies go missing from the morgue. The police as usual are baffled.
Co-incidentally, Henry Jarrod resurfaces and has a meeting with Mr. Wallace's to ask for help in rebuilding his wax museum. Mr. Wallace asks how he could create such glorious sculptures with his mangled hands and Jarrod explains that even though his hands are burned, he has taught his assistants how to create his works of art. They open the museum but this time, Jarrod focuses on the horrors of life instead of the beauty and even has real life crimes section including Burke's hanging. When Scott and Sue come to the museum, Sue can't believe how much the Joan of Arc statue looks like Cathy. It's unreal! Has Jarrod gone to far in creating life like images out of wax or has his mad genius only just begun? And who could the hideously burned man killing people be? Hmmm?
Vincent Price is pure genius in this role and I really love this film. This, of course, being the first colour 3D film with Sterophonic sound, so it was really the leader in what the industry would be bringing. It's funny to see the Yo Yo man doing tricks and thinking that this is cutting edge, but it was back then. Also, what's great about this film is the story. Price's character is a gentle man with an eye for beauty but after the fire he seems to have left the beauty behind and has gone mad for the horrors of the world. There isn't any blood shed to be seen but there are some tasteful moments of suspense and terror that are just as enjoyable. A classic film that is a must see for any horror aficionado.
So, now that 3D is situated in people's homes and an option for most films, what's next for cinema technology? Is holographic technology on it's way, I've read that they already brought back a deceased rap artist at Coachella using it. Will we be ducking Jason's holographic machete, dodging imaginary bullets in our living room or have ghostly figures haunting our own homes in the next few years? Who's to say but I know that horror films will probably do it first.