26 Feb THE KVH 2016 OH!SCAR AWARDS
With the Oscars coming up, I thought it would be fun to think about some great films, performances and special FX in the world of horror cinema, so welcome to the KVH Oh!Scar Awards, where the trophy will be one big gaping flesh wound with fresh stitches on it!
Please feel free to debate me, or debate amongst yourselves, about any glaring discrepancies you might see here. I want to make this fun, so I want you to chime in and make comments as you feel they have to be made. And let’s just put aside my obvious bias toward the greats in horror, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. I’m not even going to talk about any of that stuff because it’s plainly obvious and it should all be in the Untouchables Hall of Fame, and they should ALL get awards for Best Actor, Picture and so on. I think those are obvious choices for me, and readers will recognize that, so I’m going to try and talk about some films that maybe I haven’t talked about so much.
The FIRST Oh!Scar Award I want to give is for Best Picture to Re-Animator for it’s pure outrageousness, dedication to the form of HP Lovecraft – even though the tale is not entirely accurate, it still kept the spirit of Lovecraft, and come on! The special FX! Jeeesus Christ! The pure insanity, the pushing of the envelope, the scene with Barbara Crampton on the table and Dr Hill, laughing and grinning at the torment, come ON! That is one of the cinematic peaks of my horror movie viewing history! Is there anyone out there who disagrees? The pure audacity of director Stuart Gordon for first envisioning the scene, for getting it in the script and for getting the actors to sign off on it – y’know, thinking about, he should get an Oh!Scar for Best Director while we’re at it!
My Best Overall Performance In A Movie Oh!Scar goes to Jack Nicholson in The Shining, one of the most brilliant portrayals of a character in a horror-movie. In terms of pure, undercut, covert evilness, I have to say Robert De Niro’s portrayal of the minister in Cape Fear was also outrageously great (so I’ll give him an Oh!Scar too!). Let’s face it; what you don’t know is scary. What you don’t know about strangers is fuckin’ scary! And I think these two characters exploit that everyday fear, which is why these two characters deserve Oh!Scars.
Let’s head to Best Special FX next. I think John Carpenter’s The Thing (special FX Rob Bottin) and John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London (special FX Rick Baker) are tied for the Best Special FX Oh!Scar. It’s all fucking analog and it’s all incredible. I gear that the make-up and FX industry is starting to shift back to a more organic approach, and that would be more than welcomed and a great decision being made. I would say that Greg Nicotero’s work, and subsequent success, with The Walking Dead has had a major influence on this rumored renaissance, and by the way, his work on Evil Dead 2 is just wonderful! I love the Henrietta monster, he and his crew just nailed it. So Oh!Scars for Bottin, Baker and Nicotero it is!
What is the Best Horror Script? Hmmm…those Sam Raimi films have the best dialogue. I can’t really nail a best script, but I sure can give an Oh!Scar to Sam Raimi for consistently great dialogue and writing generally. I also think Robert Rodriguez writes some great stuff, his films always have great dialogue, so an Oh!Scar for him too.
And just because, I want to give an Oh!Scar to the vampire doc What We Do In The Shadows for Best Documentary, even though it was a mockumentary vampire movie. It was one of my favorite films of last year, has some really great, funny scenes, and I’ve watched it three times!!!
Best Actress? Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby! As sweet as she was, boy, she really showed she could be creepy in that one! Quite a change from Harold & Maude (another one of my favorite films – I really hated to see that Jaguar get destroyed at the end), so she gets that Oh!Scar for sure. And how can anyone forget Karen Black in Trilogy of Terror, which is incredible! She gets an Oh!Scar too…by the way, I just learned that Burnt Offerings, the Karen Black film she did with Oliver Reed, was shot in Oakland, CA! I want to give an honorable mention to the only real scream queen in my book, which is Joan Crawford. She played in a lot of great horror films, but the best horror film she was not in is Mommie Dearest which has my favorite best ‘Joan Crawford’ in it.
Let’s also give a nod to Best Modern Horror films, with two that I really liked being The Conjuring and Insidious, both directed by James Wan. Both are very well done kinda spooky/kinda supernatural horror movies that show a lot of promise for the future. So an Oh!Scar to James Wan, and let’s also give one each to writers Leigh Whannell (Insidious) and Chad & Cary W.Hayes (The Conjuring).
Finally, I would hold my Oh!Scars Ceremony at the Masonic Lodge at The Regency in San Francisco, which is in the building where we had the first Fear FestEvil, so it’s a pretty fitting place in my book. There’s just a few of my favorites, now let’s see yours! Write in please and I’ll give some feedback in a few!