Monster Madness. I love it so. It’s a pretty recent Halloween tradition of mine (it’s now in its fifth year), but ever since the first incarnation of it I’ve looked forward to it every October.
James Rolfe, also known as the Angry Video Game Nerd and purveyor of Cinemassacre.com, should really be called the Angry Horror Film Nerd. Although I guess the anger is only applied to video games. But he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the horror genre so much so that he is qualified to produce a month-long series on the history of horror which became the first Monster Madness. Since then he’s devoted Octobers to a whole mess of Godzilla movies, a set of slightly less essential but still significant horror films, and some obscure cult films. I highly recommend going back and checking out the whole series, particularly 2007 and 2009. They are short, funny, easily-digestible reflections on classic horror.
This year, I waited with baited breath to find out what the theme of 2011’s Monster Madness would be. I could think of so many beloved horror films that didn’t happen to intersect with his previous themes and begged to be discussed. I worried that he’d go with something I had little interest in, like Godzilla in 2009. But it looks like this year’s theme is going to be sequels, which is kind of perfect. Horror films are notorious about them.
In the promo James reveals that he will be covering 4 different series, one per week, but he’s not saying which ones. Only that they span the time period between the 1930’s and the 1980’s. This is exciting but slightly troubling. If he happens to pick a series I have no interest in, a whole week’s worth of Monster Madness videos will be “Meh” as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand there are a number of horror series I would love to see discussed in detail. Here a few off the top of my head:
- Frankenstein (both Universal and Hammer)
- Dracula (Universal and Hammer)
- George Romero’s Living Dead series
- Friday the 13th
- Nightmare on Elm Street
Half of those are from the 80’s, but I suspect he’ll only cover one of them. I’d put my money on Friday the 13th but would prefer to see Nightmare on Elm Street. I think the Living Dead series is almost a given because there are 6 of them, spanning 5 decades. The 30’s sounds promising as long as he covers a classic monster series, but I’m worried about the 50’s. I never educated myself too much on 50’s horror and don’t care for the sci-fi slant most pictures had from that age.
Anyway, I’m getting self-indulgent now. Just watch his videos. They are wonderful distillations of Halloween spirit. If by some astonishing coincidence James Rolfe stumbles upon this blog, I’d like him to know that his Monster Madness videos contributed greatly to my horror movie education. One of them inspired last year’s Bad Horror Movie night, with Basket Case.
Here’s the promo for 2011: