It’s October again, which means (other than it being the best month of the year) the Shudder Hotline is back! Every Friday this month from 3-4pm ET (12-3pm PT) horror fans can call the hotline number and speak directly with Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman for personalized movie recommendations.
It’s a truly unique service unlike anything offered by every other streaming service. So we called again this week with another unique challenge: something funny, something gory, something meta, and something vintage!
Something Funny – Der Bunker (2015)
Written and Directed by Nikias Chryssos
Sam warned me that this wasn’t your typical horror comedy, but that it had funny scenes which would appeal to my warped sense of humor. But nothing could have prepared me for this movie.
Featuring a young college student trying to rent out a place to stay, the movie features an incredibly dysfunctional family. The parents insist that the student tutor their son, who looks to be 30 but they insist is 8.
Between teaching their son national capitals and dealing with their bizarre corporal punishment and very Oedipal tendencies, the tutor becomes as uncomfortable as the audience, hence the humor.
It’s the kind of movie that makes you laugh just to break the tension of how awkward and absurd certain scenes are. Throughout the viewing, I found myself asking what the hell did Sam recommend, and now I’m glad he did because I’ll never forget this movie!
Something Gory – Dream Home (2010)
Directed by Ho-Cheung Pang, Story by Ho-Cheung Pang, Screenplay by Ho-Cheung Pang, Derek Tsang, and Chi-Man Wan
What would you do for your dream home? This Hong Kong slasher takes the dream of home ownership and runs into nightmare territory with gruesome kills.
A woman is willing to do anything to get her dream home, even killing people in the building to drive down property values.
In addition to be a grotesque slasher with brutal kills that border on genuinely upsetting, it’s a bleal commentary on the viciousness of the housing market itself.
Referencing the 2008 market crash, it almost personifies that event in the form of a remorseless killer. Something that is still not as evil as the greed of banks.
Something Meta – Tenebrae (1982)
Written and Directed by Dario Argento
Foe this category, we defined Meta as something that the director was trying to comment on in reference to his own career. And that’s very much what Dario Argento does here.
Blending mystery, gore, and a bit of humor, this movie is the perfect representation of giallo from a writer/director who’s the perfect representation of that subgenre. Plus it features a great performance from the late John Saxon.
Something Vintage – The Great Gabbo (1929)
Directed by James Cruze and Erich von Stroheim, Dialogue by Hugh Herbert, Based on a Story by Ben Hecht
Seeing as how Chucky got me into horror, I’m a huge fan of creepy dolls/puppets. And I was really pleased with this as the archetype for that subgenre.
While Gabbo is certainly tame by today’s standards, he does come off as creepy and you can see where he would inspire and entire generation of Chuckys and Slappys.
We’ll be back next week with one more set of awesome recommendations from Shudder Curator Sam Zimmerman! Until then, enjoy your October, stay safe, and watch tons of horror movies!
Der Bunker, Dream Home, Tenebrae, and The Great Gabbo are all streaming on Shudder