Archive for the Scott’s Horror Corner Category

The Case for Dr. Loomis (Scott’s Horror Corner!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , , on November 15, 2012 by splatterpictures

I hesitate to be a guest on this site and do much more than review because if I give my opinion on wrestlers vs. horror figures, that can only be entertaining but I don’t think I can fool anyone into thinking I’m an expert on horror like Wes. That said, I’m a brash American and I’m going to give my opinion on horror! To be specific, I wanted to talk about probably my favourite character in horror and that’s Dr. Loomis from the Halloween movies.

I have a hunch that I’m not alone in this, as certainly I’ve seen him quoted a lot by horror fans I know and while perusing the Comic Book Shoppe, for example, I saw a little diorama/toy set of Michael Myers and his counter was not a random victim but rather, Dr. Loomis. I’d say it’s rare, at the very least in the slasher genre, to have a secondary character who is popular and not just because of kitschy one liners or the way they died. As Halloween movies got more ridiculous, Donald Pleasance was as good as ever. I don’t really want to get into the new Halloween movies much because that’s certainly its own rant, but it says something when I actually dislike a Malcolm McDowell performance. Pleasance was just perfect in the Loomis role.

So, I thought it would be fun to look in to what made Samuel Loomis such a great character.

The Lines: I watched the original Halloween on VHS in the middle of the day at about the age of 9, I’m not sure why I was allowed to do this, but in spite of it being broad daylight it scared the hell out of me. Loomis only made things worse. It’s one thing to be scared, it’s another when someone justifies it to you. You SHOULD be scared.

Through the movie, Pleasance conveys the looming evil better than any cheap scares could. Not that Halloween didn’t have cheap scares. But it was Pleasance’s fatherly delivery, authoritative but with that hint of worry he added, that scared me. Of course, perhaps his best line was his simple answer to Laurie Strode’s question “Was it the boogeyman?”

“As a matter of fact, it was.”


Unwavering Dedication: The empathetic nature of Loomis’ character stems mostly from the fact that he has taken all of Myers’ evil onto himself. He has made it his own personal mission to assure he does no more harm to the world around him. As Wes has often put it to me, he was in the “Ahab Archetype”, single-mindedly chasing this ‘evil’ thing. Of course, Moby Dick didn’t have nearly as many sequels, but Loomis survived as the bright point of the later Halloween films. He stuck around through 3 generations of Strode’s all the while, shooting Michael and beating him to (near) death with wooden planks. Jason was first round KO’ing all of his victims, so it says something when a man has that much longevity, which brings us to….


Durability: Loomis was looking old in Halloween. We’ve all had tough Grandpa’s, but Loomis was the toughest. He didn’t know martial arts, he wasn’t a weight lifter in fact he was sporting a cane and still chasing Michael around. And he took his beatings! Head smashed against windows, thrown out of windows. (Spoiler alert, though if you haven’t watched this movie in the past 31 years you probably chose to skip it) Loomis even went so far as to blow himself up with Michael in a room full of gas at the end of Halloween II. It was supposed to wrap up the series and if you watch it, you’ll see that explosion would’ve wrapped anybody’s lives up pretty nicely. Of course, you can’t let a good story get in the way of money, so it turns out they only kind of blew up.

The good doctor made it all the way to the sixth movie before being offed. Pleasance himself passed roughly six months before the film was released. It was a fairly disappointing (and off screen) end to such a wonderful character. My personal favorite scene of his was in the fourth movie, The Return of Michael Myers. The plot was not quite too wacky yet, Michael was just going after yet another Strode family member, this time his young niece Jamie. At the end of the movie, Myers is shot repeatedly by a police force until he falls down a well; the well is then blown up. Don’t worry though, in the end he was alright. For the time being, it seemed to all be over.

I tend to judge the success of a person based on whether I can find a YouTube video set to the Johnny Cash cover of ‘Hurt’ and sure enough, Loomis has one. I do think it’s a shame that he never got a proper write off. I guess the very essence of a successful horror franchise is to keep going until the entire cast is gone, or nowadays, until it gets ‘re-imagined’. Personally, I couldn’t imagine Loomis being done any better than Donald Pleasance. Pun intended. Cue “Nobody Does It Better” playing over a montage of Sam beating Michael to death with a 2X4.

Santo vs. The Daughter of Frankenstein (special guest review!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags on November 8, 2012 by splatterpictures

If you had to ask me one of my own pet peeves about horror movies, I’d probably have to say that I rarely if ever enjoy the main protagonist. Assuming we aren’t classifying Jason or Freddy as the good guy, of course. Most notably in slasher movies, your main character is usually bland and interchangeable if not downright obnoxious. Don’t worry though, Mexico has your remedy. What if, instead of some pimply faced teen, you had a masked luchador staring down your maniacal killer? This is the basis of Santo vs. The Daughter of Frankenstein.

El Santo is maybe the most famous guy in Mexico ever. Think like, George Clooney and Barack Obama, except with more high-flying offense. In these Santo vs. movies he is sort of a Pro Wrestler by day Super Secret Agent by night. And of course, lover of women. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you probably know the story of Dr. Frankenstein. Well, his daughter does too and she sticks with it for the most part. She has an army of red-sweater-ed henchmen who drag dead bodies into her underground lair to stitch together a monster. Also, everybody is hundreds of years old. Yeah, in addition to wanting to create new life in untraditional ways, she also wants to live forever. So, she distributes this serum to all her centuries-old minions in exchange for their loyalty. This is a lady with a lot going on! And honestly, who wouldn’t want to live forever in an underground lair with a maniacal woman who forces her bidding upon you?

In the meantime, we see Santo having a 2/3 falls match for the number one contendership for the World Middleweight title. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a semi-horror movie. How long would you say we should show footage from this match? Maybe one or two minutes? How about 15? It’s possible it just felt like that. Such is the magic of Santo. His girlfriend is pretty excited anyway, and is certainly in no danger whatsoever.

Dr. Frankenstein is no thousand year old fool, she knows you can’t just do crazy headscissors and not have super blood. She tested some blood from Santo she got at a wrestling match and it turns out he’s got some serious diesel coursing through his veins. Enough to make her life-extending serum potent possibly forever. Luckily, apparently underground in their lair the girlfriend of Santo and her whereabouts are pretty common knowledge. The red shirt brigade kidnap her with little trouble and leave a note for the Saint.

Santa never got his letter.

Santo and his girlfriend’s Mom find the note and Santo agrees that taking an old woman on a kidnapping rescue seems like an ok idea. Meanwhile, Dr. Frankenstein is dishing out life-serum to some new

recruits. We get to enjoy a montage of pained old Mexican men! If you care much for the acting process this is a good scene to watch, since this is where it dies. Soon after, we get our first victim as she refuses to give the serum to some guy for leaving his dishes in the sink or something.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Frankenstein movie if there wasn’t a monster. This one is apparently a human with ape blood, that old classic. He breaks his bonds so he can wander this luxurious palace, making sure to recoil in terror at a torch in the hall. He decides to break down the door that holds Santo’s girlfriend captive. She escapes while a red shirt holds the monster at bay with the torch. Meanwhile, Santo is hitting on her mom in the woods.


The Doctor and her pals give chase, Santo is waiting on a tree stump which he promptly leaps onto them from. Santo beats up around 12 men before finally the Doctor turns a gun on his girlfriend, forcing his capture. Once he’s set up in chains, the doc wants to test out her new toy. That means, Frankenstein Fight! In the end, Santo beats him to death with his own shackles! A metaphor for life, we all have to beat Frankenstein’s monster, in spite of the bonds that leave us shackled daily…or something. The doctor says “Screw it” and hypnotizes Santo’s girlfriend to gouge out his eyes. Why not?

They send her into a room where Santo is tied down and the guards wisely step outside and shut the door behind them. Moments later, Santo breaks in to the laboratory where the Doc is at work and we get a second Frankenstein Fight! Two in 10 minutes? This movie spoils me. Anyway, Santo hits him with a chair to the face and they escape.

In what I would consider a smooth move, Santo decides to leave his girlfriend in a graveyard while he looks for help. This graveyard, coincidentally, houses a false grave leading to Doc’s lab. The monster stealthily sneaks up on the girlfriend, no small feat considering that before this time he couldn’t go a second without groaning. Santo kicks Frankie backwards where he’s impaled on a really sharp grave marker. Santo sends his girlfriend and her mother off with a stranger as he goes back to put a stop to the Doctor.

A flying cross-body off of a grave onto Frankenstein’s Monster? Yes Please

When he goes back to the graveyard, Frankie is bleeding profusely but still alive. Santo takes off his fine cashmere shirt and wraps his wound. What a gentlemen. Santo falls victim to some booby-trapped corpses that spout gas from their eyes. That old trick! Anyway, the injured monster returns to make the save! So we’ve been swerved and now we’ve got a Santo/Monster tag team!

…Also, I’m gonna need that back. Dry-Cleaned.

The stranger that Santo sent the girls off with promptly turns them over to the red shirt brigade. Now Doc is ready to harvest their eyes for a new monster. Tonight in the laboratory! Santo/Monster vs. Doctor Frankenstein/Her assistant. Santo handily dispatches the assistant, and the Monster locks on his deadly choke hold, but receives a vial of horrible burning acid to his face. He stumbles backwards and hits the self-destruct button for the lair and all I can think is that it’s a shame this palatial suite will be gone forever. Santo, nice guy that he is, yells for Frankie to follow him. That’s right, he yells for a monster brought to life from nothing who has a horrible wound where he was impaled on a stake and who just seconds ago had horrible acid poured over his face to follow. Frankie is, unfortunately, too busy holding his burned face and assumedly now non-functional eyes to follow and he’s killed in the explosion.

With no real segue, we go straight to the arena where Santo captures the Middleweight Title and they all live happily ever after, except for all the dead people. In the end, it turns out that mankind is the real monster.

Just kidding. It’s this guy.