Film | by Shane “Hnetkaesque” Hnetka
It’s hard to believe but John Carpenter’s Halloween turned 40 this month. Forty! While it owes a debt to earlier 1970s horror movies like Black Christmas and several giallo films, Halloween had a ferocious originality that kickstarted the 1980s slasher craze. Carpenter created a terrifying and unforgettable villain. Also, the world never looked at William Shatner’s face quite the same way again.
The Trouble With Lists
The hardest part about writing 31 Days of Horror: 10 Years of Fear is making my best-of list. No matter what movies I pick for the daily October blog column, I’m never happy.
I have too many favourites — too many films that I love. And just when I think I’ve gotten an acceptable list, I realize I’ve forgotten something.
In fact, it occurs to me now that I’ve missed adding any films with Dracula, The Mummy or one of my favourite Universal monsters, the Wolf Man. There are also a lot of recent movies I would’ve loved to add.
Who decided this stupid month only gets 31 days? Fifty would’ve been much better.
Looks like I’m going to have to add sort of a wrap-up/“this is awesome too” list. It’s a scary job, but somebody has to do it.
The Oxford English Dictionary has added 1,400 new words. Over 100 are film-related. New terms include “Altmanesque” (after director Robert Altman), “Bergmanesque” (after Ingmar Bergman), “Spielbergian” (for Steven Spielberg) and “Tarantinoesque” (after who else but Quentin Tarantino).
And that’s not all. There’s also “Bressonian” (Robert Bresson), “Buñuelian” (Luis Buñuel), “Capraesque” (Frank Capra), “Eisensteinian” (Sergei Eisenstein), “Fordian” (John Ford), “Godardian” (Jean-Luc Godard), “Hawksian” (Howard Hawks), “Herzogian” (Werner Herzog), “Keatonesque” (Buster Keaton), “Kubrickian” (Stanley Kubrick), “Langian” (Fritz Lang), “Lynchian” (David Lynch), “Scorsesean” (Martin Scorsese), “Sirkian” (Douglas Sirk), “Tarkovskian” (Andrei Tarkovsky) and Wellesian (Orson Welles).
Plus there’s film words and terms like “Academy ratio”, “cut”, “DoP”, “gorefest”, “Hays”, “idiocracy”, “scream queen” and “shaky cam”, to name just a few.
It’s cool that so many great filmmakers and their styles can now be used to describe other filmmakers’ films. And it’s pretty sweet that kaiju and giallo are officially in the dictionary, and that the mere word “Hammer” can be used to describe classic horror film studio Hammer Films.
All they need now is a word that describes using lists to fill out a word count. Something named after someone with a memorable last name would be good.
I don’t have any ideas yet, but I’m sure something will come to me.
Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. His annual October blogging rampage “31 Days Of Horror” wraps up Nov. 1 on our blog.