Monday, August 14, 2017

Sick Day, Bloody Sick Day

Last week I had the pleasure of my second summer cold of the season, and while lying around coughing uncontrollably I thought about good sick day movies.

For me, a good sick day film has to be relatively low on gore and surrealism. Even mild fevers mess with my head, I don’t need the film to add to it. So I tend towards older films that are creepy or fun in a spooky way. Even better if it’s something I’ve seen a billion times, so I won’t miss out if I drift in and out while sitting on what I have dubbed the Couch of Doom, due to its seemingly mystical ability to cause sleepiness even when one is perfectly healthy and alert.

So as my immune system waged a war so forceful that I hoped my respiratory system would remain in tact, I came up with three solid pre-1970’s films starring horror icons to help me pass the time.

White Zombie (1932) starring Bela Legosi
What’s a guy to do when the woman he wants is engaged to another man? Why, take away her willpower and make her a zombie love slave, of course! The would-be lover Beaumont turns to witch doctor Legendre (played by Legosi), who uses his zombies to… run a mill? Sure, why not. The film is actually refreshing as a zombie movie. After the modern onslaught of undead created by biological means-- which I love, don’t get me wrong-- I appreciate something supernatural. Let’s bring back a voodoo-zombie based manufacturing economy!

House on Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price
It’s not a real party until you have 5 strangers competing for $10,000 in a spooky old mansion rented out by a married couple who despise and try to kill each other. Honestly, you could pick any Vincent Price film at random and they would all be perfect sick day films. But I find House on Haunted Hill particularly fun.

Horror Hotel (1960) starring Christopher Lee
Young college student Venetia decides to use her winter break to research witchcraft in New England. Been there, girl! Her professor, played by Christopher Lee, suggests she visit a village called Whitewood and stay at the Raven’s Inn. Just don’t mind that coven of undead witches seeking young flesh for their master. You might even experience some deja vu from Lee’s line “Fear, superstition, and jealousy” since it was sampled in Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.”

And with that, we come full circle. I feel better already. Leave your favorite sick day films in the comments, horror or otherwise!

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