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greatest_ever
The final "Previews" round gave us four completely freaky movies to add to the competition--Scanners, They Live, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Thing all made the cut, while The Lair of the White Worm narrowly missed contention in the "Wild Card" category.

Our contenders, in alphabetical order:
Aliens
An American Werewolf in London
April Fool’s Day
Basket Case
Children of the Corn
Child’s Play
Creepshow
The Dead Zone
The Evil Dead
Firestarter
The Fly
Friday the 13th
Fright Night
Gremlins
Hellraiser
The Hunger
The Howling
The Lost Boys
Near Dark
Night of the Demons
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Omen III
Pet Sematary
Poltergeist
Predator
Re-Animator
Return of the Living Dead
Scanners
The Shining
Sleepaway Camp
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Thing
The Toxic Avenger
The Warlock
They Live
Zombie Nightmare


The next round of competition, featuring our 36 winners, will begin soon--there'll be a brief hiatus while the greatest_ever research department tries to finish writing an article1 in the next few days. We'll be back online as soon as possible. In the meantime, keep the lights on...

1 Unfortunately unconnected with stage blood and hammy overacting, and therefore largely incompatible with the current contest.
 
 
greatest_ever
Our last round saw a group of favorites win with relative ease, as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, The Evil Dead, and Child's Play moved on to the next round.

Our final category consists of films with menacing death in the form of flying fish, puppets, clowns, and marshmallow--in other words, things that don't really make a whole lot of sense. Sure, there are a few legitimately scary ones in the bunch (John Carpenter's The Thing is down there at the bottom), but for the most part these are high-concept marvels of weird film-making. Embrace the possibility that Santa Claus or the wish-fulfillment gag from Fantasy Island can be terrifying and you'll have a great time with these films. Best of luck...

Wait, what?

Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Tagline: In Space No One Can Eat Ice Cream!
Starring: Actor/Comedian Christopher Titus as “Bob McReed” and David Piel as a doomed security guard whose final line, "What are you gonna do with them pies, boys?" still makes me giggle like an idiot every time I hear it.
Also starring: John “Dean Wormer” Vernon in an unforgettable extended cameo as “Police Chief Curtis Mooney.”

The Lair of the White Worm
Tagline: Based on the novel by Bram Stoker.1
Starring: Amanda Donohoe as “Lady Sylvia Marsh” and Hugh Grant as “Lord James D’Ampton.” Yes, it’s Upstairs, Downstairs with a body count.
Also starring: Catherine Oxenberg as “Eve Trent.” Presumably she’s the Duchess of something and they just forgot to put it in the credits.

1Yes, that’s it. If we ever have a “worst ever” contest, remind me to nominate that for worst tagline.

Piranha II: The Spawning
Tagline: The Terror Is Back....But This Time It Flies!1
Starring: Tricia O’Neil as “Anne Kimbrough” and Albert Sanders as “Leo Bell, D.D.S.” There aren’t enough dentists in horror films, in my opinion.
Also starring: The hardest workin’ man in B-movies, Lance Henriksen, as “Police Chief Steve Kimbrough.”

1 That’s right—realizing that the threat of Piranha is quickly defused by staying out of the water (a trick that the Brody clan didn’t learn in four Jaws movies, so give them some credit here), the writers proposed a new kind of terror in the sequel--flying piranha. You only wish you’d thought of this.

The Puppetmaster
Tagline: A box of little toys has just become a gang of little terrors. This is not child's play...1
Starring: Linda Cook as the voice of “Leech Woman” and her husband Ed as the voice of “Pinhead”—not the Hellraiser Pinhead, just a puppet with a little head.
Also starring: Tim Dornberg as the voice of “Tunneler.” Yep—a movie with puppets named after their function. It’s like the Smurfs, if the Smurfs were gore-soaked torturing freaks.

1Yes, cross-tagline smack talk. If this film meets Child’s Play in the next round, it is so on...

Scanners
Tagline: There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning.
Starring: Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Paul Ruth and Michael Ironside, B-Movie deity, as “Darryl Revok.”
Also starring: Jennifer O’Neil as...you know what? If Michael Ironside isn’t enough to convince, you, I don’t know why you’re even still reading this one. Move on to the one with the deadly Santa Claus killer, you philistine.

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Tagline: You've made it through Halloween—now try and survive Christmas!
Starring: Lilyan Chauvin as “Mother Superior” and Robert Brian Wilson as murderer-dressed-as-St.-Nick “Billy Chapman.”
Also starring: Our old friend Linnea Quigley again, this time as axe-bait “Denise.”

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Tagline: After he fulfills your deepest, lifelong dream...he'll tell you the price you have to pay.
Starring: Jason Robards (Jennifer Jason Leigh’s godfather and namesake) as “Charles Halloway” and Jonathan Pryce as “Mr. Dark.”
Also starring: B-movie doyenne Pam Grier as “The Dustwitch.”

The Stuff
Tagline: Are you eating it ...or is it eating you?
Starring: Garrett Morris as “‘Chocolate Chip’ Charlie Hobbs” and Danny Aiello as “Vickers.”
Also starring: Paul Sorvino as “Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears.” Shouldn’t some of these guys have had something better to do with their time than make this movie? It’s about Marshmallow Fluff on a murderous rampage. I mean, really.

They Live
Tagline: Who are they? And what do they want?
Starring: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper as “Nada” and our old friend Keith David as “Frank.”
Also starring: Jason Robards III (son of the better-known Jason Robards mentioned above) as “unnamed family man.”

The Thing
Tagline: Man is The Warmest Place to Hide.
Starring: The one and only Kurt Russell as “R. J. MacReady” and prolific character actor Keith David (yes, again) as “Mr. Childs.”
Also starring: Oatmeal enthusiast Wilford Brimley as “Dr. Blair.”


Keith David, Michael Ironside, Lance Henriksen, and Linnea Quigley need to make a movie together. There doesn't need to be a plot or anything--just them in comfy chairs for two hours, with an open bar, telling stories about their film careers. Look at their resumes on IMDb sometime and tell me I'm wrong. I would buy tickets to see that movie every day...

Oh, right. Voting. Sorry.

Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wilford Brimley, and Jason Robards (II and III) remind you that you can vote for as many films as you want. Since you get to see a picture of the "monsters" in the next round, I'd think you'd want plenty of these films in the running...but not everyone finds predatory marshmallow fluff as frightening as I do.

Poll #1355263 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Wait, what?
This poll is closed.

Puppets and Santa and clowns, oh my!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space
0(0.0%)
The Lair of the White Worm
0(0.0%)
Piranha II: The Spawning
0(0.0%)
Puppetmaster
0(0.0%)
Scanners
0(0.0%)
Silent Night, Deadly Night
0(0.0%)
Something Wicked This Way Comes
0(0.0%)
The Stuff
0(0.0%)
They Live
0(0.0%)
The Thing
0(0.0%)


See you on Friday!
 
 
greatest_ever
The "Aliens and Psycho Killers" round resulted in a pair of unsurprising favorites (Aliens and Predator) winning the top spots, while The Warlock and Omen III caught enough of their wave to make it through to the next round as well.

Our penultimate category of the first round is another one with a couple of the better-known horror films of the '80s competing, but that's only to be expected, since this is the round for things that go bump in the night and occasionally go stab, cudgel, garrote, and defenestrate in the night as well. These are the creatures that leave their cumbersome bodies behind and rise from the grave to wreak havoc and occasional drawn-out and complicated revenge against those who wronged them in life. Yes, they're insubstantial and difficult to capture on film, but that only adds to the terror. Get out your Ouija board and your PKE meters--it's the Ghosts round.1

1No, Ghostbusters isn't on the list--in the end, it just couldn't be justified as a horror film. That said, Egon Spengler is one of my personal heroes, and it always bothered me that Annie Potts ended up with Rick Moranis in the sequel. That's all. Enjoy the voting.

Ghosts! Ghooooosts!

The Changeling
Tagline: "How did you die, Joseph...? Did you die in this house...? Why do you remain...?"
Starring: George C. Scott as “John Russell” and scary-ass Jean Marsh (a.k.a. Queen Bavmorda of Willow) as “Joanna Russell.”
Also starring: Barry Marsh in a starring turn as “unnamed parapsychologist.” It has to be hard to play a role like that...

Child’s Play
Tagline: You'll wish it was only make-believe...
Starring: Chris “Humperdinck” Sarandon as “Mike Norris” and Brad “Wormtongue” Dourif as pre-puppet murderer “Charles Lee Ray.”
Also starring: Ed Gale in one of the odder roles of all time as the murderous doll Chucky’s stunt double.

The Entity
Tagline: There is no escape from something you cannot see...
Starring: Barbara Hershey as “Carla Moran” and actor-turned-conservative-talk-show-host Ron Silver as “Phil Sneiderman.”
Also starring: A pre-Max Headroom George Coe as “Dr. Weber.”

The Evil Dead
Tagline: Can They Be Stopped?
Starring: Bruce Campbell as “Ash Williams”...and several other people who were blessed to appear in a movie with Bruce Campbell.
Also starring: A very scary book that may or may not swallow your souls.

The Fog
Tagline: What you can't see won't hurt you... it'll kill you!
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis...again...as “Elizabeth Solley;” as a special treat, this time she’s joined by her mother Janet Leigh as “Kathy Williams.”
Also starring: Adrienne Barbeau as “Stevie Wayne.” This film may have had a villain you could defeat with a vacuum cleaner, but it also had undeniable star power.

From Beyond
Tagline: Humans are such easy prey...
Starring: Jeffrey Combs (of Re-Animator fame) as “Crawford Tillinghast” and Barbara Crampton as “Dr. Katherine McMichaels.”
Also starring: Ted Sorel as the fantastically-named “Dr. Edward Pretorius.”

House
Tagline: Ding dong, you're dead.
Starring: A meeting of late ‘80s Thursday night “Must See TV” with George Wendt as Harold Gorton and Richard Moll as “Big Ben.”
Also starring: Twin toddlers Mark and Erik Silver as little “Jimmy.”

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Tagline: If Nancy Doesn't Wake Up Screaming She Won't Wake Up At All...
Starring: B-movie royalty John Saxon as “Lt. Thompson” and Heather Langenkamp as his daughter “Nancy.”
Also starring: A young Johnny Depp as emo teen and amateur ceiling painter “Glen Lantz.”

Phantasm II
Tagline: Now, the horrifying truth is about to be revealed...and all it took was a little digging.
Starring: James LeGros as nuthouse inmate “Mike” and Samantha Phillips as lead-into-gold marvel “Alchemy.”
Also starring: Angus Scrimm as “The Tall Man.”

Poltergeist
Tagline: They're here...
Starring: A pre-Coach Craig T. Nelson as “Steve Freeling” and Jobeth Williams as “Diane Freeling.”
Also starring: The one and only Heather O’Rourke as Poltergeist-whisperer “Carol Anne Freeling.”

Okay? Vote for as many as you like, and remember--burial grounds make terrible building sites. Someone should really put that in every set of municipal ordinances or something...

Poll #1354081 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Ghooooosts!
This poll is closed.

Ray Parker Jr. would've messed his pants facing this lot...

The Changeling
0(0.0%)
Child's Play
0(0.0%)
The Entity
0(0.0%)
The Evil Dead
0(0.0%)
The Fog
0(0.0%)
From Beyond
0(0.0%)
House
0(0.0%)
A Nightmare on Elm Street
0(0.0%)
Phantasm II
0(0.0%)
Poltergeist
0(0.0%)


We'll have this up until Wednesday. See you then...
 
 
greatest_ever
Our last batch of mutant movies offered some of the worst films of the '80s, as evidenced by the success of "The Toxic Avenger" in moving on to the next round. "The Fly," "Gremlins," and "Basket Case" round out the top four, while none of the other competitors got more than a single vote. And rightly so, might I add.

Today's category is something of a grab bag. I could have called it "movies with surprisingly big names in them," or "reek well of sequels," or even "probably the toughest first-round group to pick a winner from." All of these accurately describe the group, but I eventually decided to point up the only connection between them that really matters and call it "Psycho Killers and Aliens."

Psycho Killers and Aliens

Aliens
Tagline: This time it’s war.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver as Ellen “Nine Lives” Ripley and Lance Henriksen as “Bishop,” the robotic construct with a heart of gold.
Also starring: There are a lot of great characters in this one, but I’ve got to give it to Bill “Game over, man” Paxton as “Pvt. Hudson.”

Critters
Tagline: A massive ball of furry creatures from another world eat their way through a small mid-western town...
Starring: A pre-ER Scott Grimes as “Brad Brown” and character actor M. Emmet Walsh as “Harv.”
Also starring: Billy Zane in a supporting role as critter-bait “Steve Elliot.”

Halloween II
Tagline: More Of The Night He Came Home...
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis as “Laurie Strode” and Donald Pleasance as “Dr. Sam Loomis.”
Also starring: A very young Dana Carvey as “WWAR Radio studio assistant.”

The Kiss
Tagline: Just one kiss... to pass the curse!
Starring: Joanna Pacula as “Felice” and Mimi Kuzyk as “Brenda.”
Also starring: Meredith Salenger as “Amy.” Yes, this is another quality horror film that doesn’t bother to give the women last names...

Omen III
Tagline: The power of evil is no longer in the hands of a child.
Starring: Sam Neill as the all-grown-up antichrist “Damien Thorn” and Barnaby Holm (son of Ian) as “Peter.”
Also starring: Mason Young as “The President of the United States.” Not nearly enough horror films feature the POTUS, I think.

Predator
Tagline: Nothing like it has ever been on earth before.
Starring: a Governor twofer: Arnold Schwarzenegger as “Dutch” and Jesse Ventura as “Blain.”
Also starring: Carl Weathers as the G-man “Dillon.” Weathers isn’t a governor (yet), but he is legitimately badass. He was Apollo Creed, the only fighter ever to beat Rocky at the end of the movie. Enough said.

Prom Night
Tagline: If you're not back by midnight... you won't be coming home.
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, in her second appearance in this bracket, as “Kim Hammond,” and Leslie Nielsen as her father Raymond.
Also starring: Jeff Wincott, older brother of character actor and living legend Michael Wincott, as “Drew Shinnick.”

Psycho II
Tagline: It's 22 years later, and Norman Bates is finally coming home.
Starring: Norman Bates, reprising his role of 22 years earlier as the original Momma’s boy “Norman Bates,” and everyone’s favorite cop-with-a-heart-of-gold Dennis Franz as “Warren Toomey.”
Also starring: Robert Loggia as “Dr. Bill Raymond.” This movie had a surprisingly high-quality cast for a crappy sequel...

The Stepfather
Tagline: Daddy's Home and He's Not Very Happy.
Starring: A pre-Lost Terry O’Qunn as the sociopathic stepfather and Anna Hagan as “Mrs. Leitner.”
Also starring: I don’t know if *starring* is the right term here, but Shelley Hack appears as “Susan Maine Blake.”

The Warlock
Tagline: Satan also has one son.
Starring: Julian Sands as the diabolical Warlock in question, with Richard E. Grant as “Giles Redferne,” the 17th century equivalent of Dog the Bounty Hunter, in hot pursuit.
Also starring: Lori Singer as diabetic1 femme fatale “Kassandra.”

1 Yes, it’s relevant to the plot.

So...Little green men or big axe-wielding maniacs? Remember, as ever, vote for as many as you want.

Poll #1352549 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Psycho Killers and Aliens
This poll is closed.

Take us to your leader...so we can kill him.

Aliens
3(37.5%)
Critters
0(0.0%)
Halloween II
0(0.0%)
The Kiss
0(0.0%)
Omen III
0(0.0%)
Predator
0(0.0%)
Prom Night
0(0.0%)
Psycho II
0(0.0%)
The Stepfather
0(0.0%)
The Warlock
0(0.0%)


This one will be up through the weekend. Watch the skies, people...
 
 
greatest_ever
Well, with the last group came our first real upset--Day of the Dead missed the cut by a single vote while its goofy doppelganger Return of the Living Dead snuck through to the next round. The other two heavyweights in the round (Hellraiser and Re-Animator) made it through with ease, suggesting a certain tendency toward slightly more "adult-themed" horror among the electorate...

Our next round features some of the most misshapen creatures of the decade. In a time that gave us Mask's Rocky Dennis and The Goonies' "Sloth," the oddjobs of DNA's workshop were front and center throughout the '80s. But the ten films gathered below eschew the friendly, misunderstood "Quasimodo" school of the Abnormally Abled for something far more sinister and occasionally somewhat gross. No "Truffle Shuffle" here, folks--these are the Killer Mutants.

Mutants (The Previews)

Basket Case
Tagline: The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad...
Starring: Kevin van Hentenryck as “Duane Bradley,” a man with a secret he keeps in a wicker basket by his side, and a reasonably convincing puppet as “Belial,” the secret in the basket.
Also starring: Terri Susan Smith as “Sharon.” Despite top billing in Basket Case, Ms. Smith never appeared in another film...which isn’t really a comment on the film, which I’ve actually seen and is surprisingly good given the premise (see “animatronic mutant in a basket” above).

The Blob
Tagline: Scream now, while there's still room to breathe.
Starring: Kevin Dillon as Brian Flagg and a pre-Saw Shawnee Smith as Meg Penny.
Also starring: Character actor Joe Seneca as Dr. Meddows.

C.H.U.D.
Tagline: You Won't Want To Know What It Means.1
Starring: Sam “that guy from the Tracie Ullman Show” McMurray as Officer Crespi and Daniel Stern as A. J. “The Reverend” Shepherd.
Also starring: A pre-Roseanne John Goodman in a brief spot as “Officer in Diner.”

1 But in case you do, it means “Cannibal Humanoid Underground Dwellers.”

The Fly
Tagline: Something went wrong in the lab today. Very wrong.
Starring: Jeff Goldblum as the Kafkaesque protagonist and Geena Davis as the inexplicably named “Veronica Quaife.”
Also starring: David Cronenberg, the director, who also cast himself as “the Gynecologist,” thus confirming virtually every creepy thing you’ve ever thought about David Cronenberg.

Ghoulies
Tagline: They'll get you in the end.1
Starring: Mariska Hargitay as “Donna” and Peter Liapis as “Jonathan Graves” (Liapis would reprise his role in Ghoulies IV nine years later).
Also starring: Ralph Seymour as “Toad Boy.” Yes, Toad Boy.

1 This tagline only really works in conjunction with the film’s posters, which featured a hideous green goblinoid creature (a Ghoulie) rising up out of a toilet.

Gremlins
Tagline: Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous. They’re Here!
Starring: Phoebe Cates as “Kate Beringer” and Corey Feldman as “Pete Fountaine.”
Also starring: Hoyt Axton as “Randall Peltzer,” inventor of the Bathroom Buddy.

Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre II)
Tagline: There's Roadkill All Over Texas...
Starring: R. A. Mihailoff as “Leatherface” and Alien-snack Tom Everett as “Alfredo.”
Also starring: Viggo Mortensen, in one of his more random pre-LotR roles, as “Tex.”

Pumpkinhead
Tagline: Cruel, devious, pure as venom. All hell's broken loose.
Starring: Lance Henriksen as “Ed Harley” and George ‘Buck’ Flower as “Mr. Wallace.”
Also starring: Tom Woodruff Jr. as “Pumpkinhead.” Woodruff would go on to play the “Predalien” in AvP: Requiem.

Swamp Thing
Tagline: Science transformed him into a monster. Love changed him even more!
Starring: Adrienne Barbeau as Alice Cable and Louis Jourdan as Dr. Anton Arcane (which has to be one of the great character names of all time).
Also starring: Dick Durock as the titular beast; Durock would go on to play the Swampy One in the 1990-1993 TV series by the same name.

The Toxic Avenger
Tagline: Melvin was a 90lb. weakling until nuclear waste transformed him into...the Toxic Avenger!
Starring: Mitch Cohen as Melvin “The Toxic Avenger” Cohen. Seriously, this entire film was some sort of weird wish-fulfillment for this guy.
Also starring: Marisa Tomei in a brief appearance as a girl in the health club where Melvin works. That’s right—Oscar Winner Marisa Tomei is in The Toxic Avenger. Your assignment for the rest of the day is to try to work that bit of trivia into at least one conversation.


Time to decide, and remember to vote for all those you approve for further competition...

Poll #1351358 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Mutants
This poll is closed.

Okay, if you had to be beaten to death with your own arm, who would you want wielding it?

Basket Case
0(0.0%)
The Blob
0(0.0%)
C.H.U.D.
0(0.0%)
The Fly
0(0.0%)
Ghoulies
0(0.0%)
Gremlins
1(20.0%)
Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre II)
0(0.0%)
Pumpkinhead
0(0.0%)
Swamp Thing
0(0.0%)
The Toxic Avenger
0(0.0%)


This one will be up until Friday. The logical next step in evolution, or a hideous beast that will destroy us all? You decide...
 
 
 
greatest_ever
After a light weekend of voting (due in large part to a computer problem at greatest_ever HQ that kept the poll from going up until late Friday night), the latest batch of winners (Friday the 13th, April Fool's Day, Night of the Demons, and Sleepaway Camp) move on without much momentum behind them. Friday the 13th, of course, also has the albatross of the newly-released franchise reboot around its hockey-mask-supporting neck. Can it survive the next round? We'll see...

Today's competition, an answer of sorts to last week's "Wereolves and Vampires" category, offers up two more great movie monsters of the 1980s: Zombies and Demons. Sure, the zombie-movie thing goes back a long way (to at least George Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead, though a case can be made that it goes back much further than that), but the '80s saw an surge in the population of the walking dead unmatched until [insert your own George Bush voter joke here]. Demons, on the other hand, were relatively new on the block, but arguably one of the most loved and recognizable figures of horror-film culture came from their ranks with the arrival of Pinhead the Cenobite in Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Cult status a quarter-century ago, however, is no guarantee of success in the greatest_ever arena. Get your snack of warm brains and immortal souls ready, and let's see how the contenders fare...

Zombies and Demons (the Previews)

Day of the Dead1
Tagline: Prepare yourself for the darkest day of horror the world has ever known!
Starring: Lori Cardille, daughter of Pittsburgh T.V. personality ‘Chilly Billy’ Cardille, as “Sarah” and veteran actor Sherman Howard as “Bub.”
Also starring: Don Brockett as “Chief Zombie.” Who knew they had one?

1 I know--it's unfortunate, but this is the only one of the trilogy released in the 1980s. What can I do?

Demons
Tagline: They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and the cities will be your tombs.
Starring: A lot of European actors (the film was originally made in Italian and dubbed into English). Among them, the standout is Urbano Barberini, who went on to play a Bond Villain in Casino Royale.
Also starring: Karl Zinney, Urbano’s brother in law. I get the distinct impression this film was made on a limited budget.1

1 Yet oddly, I have seen this one—the film was the subject of two songs by European metal bands in the ‘80s, which was enough of an endorsement for my friends and me to track down a copy (not so easy in 1986) and watch it. Frankly, the songs were better.

Hellraiser
Tagline: It will tear your soul apart.
Starring: Simon Bamford as the not-at-all-frighteningly-named “Butterball Cenobite” and Andrew Robinson as “Larry”; Robinson also appeared in movies in the Pumpkinhead, Puppetmaster, and Child’s Play franchises, making him some sort of unheralded ‘80s horror flick god.
Also starring: Doug Bradley, whose performance as the Cenobite Pinhead made the movie semi-legendary and who went on to reprise the role in seven sequels.

Night of the Creeps
Tagline: If you scream...you’re dead.
Starring: Jason Lively as Christopher Romero and Jill Whitlow as Cindy Cronenberg. In case those names are too subtle for you, there are also three detectives in the film named Cameron, Landis, and Raimi...
Also starring: The sort-of-kind-of-famous character actor David Paymer as an unnamed “young scientist.”

Rawhead Rex
Tagline: He's Pure Evil. Pure Power. Pure Terror.
Starring: David Dukes as the equally alliterative “Howard Hallenbeck” and Niall Toibin as the honorable Reverend Coot. There’s a weird pseudo-Dukes of Hazard theme developing here, but I’m too tired to work it out.
Also starring: The remarkably-named Cora Venus Lunny playing the equally remarkable “Minty Hallenbeck.” I honestly can’t decide which name I like better.

Re-Animator
Tagline: H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of horror...
Starring: David Gale as “Dr. Carl Hill” and Barbara Crampton as “Megan Halsey”; the two share one of the most bizarre and disturbing scenes in exploitation film history. If you haven’t seen it, just take my word for it.
Also starring: Jeffrey Combs as reanimating mad scientist “Herbert West” (Jeffrey would go on to play a handful of Star Trek characters, including, as a fan website breathlessly tells us, “five different clones of the same character!!!”

Redneck Zombies1
Tagline: They're Tobacco Chewin', Gut Chompin', Cannibal Kinfolk from Hell!
Starring: Steve Sooy as “Mental Patient #1” and Stan Morrow as “Dr. Kildare.” Yes, Dr. Kildare.
Also starring: Bucky Santini as, and I hope this was meant as a sly reference and not just thrown in because the TV was on when the writer was working on the script, “Ferd Mertz.”

1 Included as an example of just how bad things got in ‘80s films—this thing was actually given a wide release and gained cult status. How bad is it? The “working title” of the film was “Redneck County Rape,” and was envisioned as “Night of the Living Dead meets Deliverance.” Yeah. That bad.

The Return of the Living Dead
Tagline: They're Back From The Grave and Ready To Party!
Starring: A pre-Tour of Duty and Juwanna Mann as “Spider” and the ever-present Linnea Quigley as punk-with-a-death-fetish “Trash.”
Also starring: Veteran character actor James Karen as “Frank” in a surprisingly touching role1 as a night watchman who slowly succumbs to the zombie plague but refuses to become a monster.

1 For a zombie movie, I mean. It’s not Sophie’s Choice we’re talking about here.

The Serpent and the Rainbow
Tagline: Don't bury me...I'm not dead!
Starring: a relative heavyweight in this category starpower-wise, TSETR features Bill Pullman as “Dennis Alan” and Paul Winfield as the anagrammatic “Lucien Celine.”
Also starring: A pre-“Captain Jim Brass of CSI” Paul Guilfoyle as “Andrew Cassedy.”

Zombie Nightmare
Tagline: The Wasted Ain't Wasted!
Starring: Adam West as the enigmatic police chief “Captain Tom Churchman” and heavy metal group Thor frontman Jon Mikl Thor as “Tony Washington,” a good-hearted lad who becomes the nightmarish zombie mentioned in the title.
Also starring: Tia Carrere as “Amy.” When MST3K did this episode, they eventually decided that the only way to deal with Carrere on the screen was to tell her to shut up repeatedly.

I stand in awe of the quality schlock before us today. Best of luck with your judging, and remember that you can vote for as many--or as few--as you like.

Poll #1350155 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Zombies and Demons
This poll is closed.

Voooootes...waaarm voooootes...

Day of the Dead
0(0.0%)
Demons
0(0.0%)
Hellraiser
0(0.0%)
Night of the Creeps
0(0.0%)
Rawhead Rex
0(0.0%)
Re-Animator
1(16.7%)
Redneck Zombies
0(0.0%)
Return of the Living Dead
0(0.0%)
The Serpent and the Rainbow
0(0.0%)
Zombie Nightmare
0(0.0%)


This one will be up until Wednesday. See you then...
 
 
greatest_ever
Some unsurprising results in the Vampires and Werewolves previews--An American Werewolf in London, The Hunger, and The Lost Boys all made it through with ease, while Near Dark snuck in under the wire. The runners-up will enter the hopper for wild-card spots, but it already doesn't look too good for them.

For now, we're on to another category that could have been a contest all by itself--teen slasher films. The drive-in films of the 1950s and 1960s and the exploitation films of the 1970s produced some strange offspring, but this genre was so prevalent in the '80s that the names of many of the major figures of the films are still household names almost 30 years after their debuts--Freddy, Michael Myers, Chucky, and Jason. The first three are all competing in other categories for this competition, but Jason's original Friday the 13th will come down from the Slasher Flick Mount Rushmore to mingle with some of the lesser lights from the genre. I'll warn you that some of the worst films in the competition are in this group--but a few of them are bad enough to be fantastic. I'll leave it to you to try and figure out which ones those are...

Kill-the-Coeds: The Previews

April Fool’s Day
Tagline: Don’t let the joke be on you...
Starring: Pat Barlow as Clara and Jay Baker as Harvey.
Also starring: Deborah Foreman as Muffy.1

1I'm trying to decide whether it's a sign of a quality slasher flick when the writers don’t bother to give the characters last names. What do you think?

Cheerleader Camp (released in Britain as “Bloody Pom-Poms”)
Tagline: Give me a K - Give me an I - Give me an L - Give me an L...
Starring: Betsy Russell (who would demonstrate her horror-flick longevity by resurfacing in the Saw films as “Jill”) as Alison Wentworth, the cheerleader who may or may not be murdering her rivals; and Teri Weigel, ‘80s Playboy Playmate and ubiquitous star of late-night HBO fare, as Pam Bently.
Also starring: Leif Garrett, in one of his not-infrequent comeback attempts, as Alison’s boyfriend Brent Hoover.

Friday the 13th
Tagline: On Friday the 13th, they began to die horribly, one...by one.
Starring: A very, very young Kevin Bacon as Jack and Betsy Palmer, darling of horror film conventions, as Mrs. Voorhees.
Also starring: Ari Lehman, a.k.a. Ari ben Moses, as the first (and, in many fans’ view, still the best) Jason Voorhees. That’s right—Jason’s a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn. Who knew?

The House on Sorority Row
Tagline: Welcome home...to the sorority of your nightmares.
Starring: Pre-soap-operas Eileen Davidson as “Vicki” and Kate McNeil (who’s apparently been a one-shot performer on just about every serial drama on modern television) as “Katherine ‘Katey’ Rose.” You can tell she’s an important character here because of the last name...
Also starring: Robin Meloy as “Jeanie.” I give her the plug here because, according to IMDB, Robin never appeared in anything else...ever. I hope she’s well, wherever she is.

Night of the Demons
Tagline: Angela is having a party. Jason and Freddy are too scared to come...but you'll have a hell of a time.
Starring: Slasher-flick queen Linnea Quigley as “Suzanne” and Amelia Kincade (who also has the distinction of having played a prostitute on The Golden Girls as “Angela Franklin.” Amelia would return in her star role for the somehow les s-successful Nights of the Demons II and III.
Also starring: Jill Terashita, who would also appear as an ill-fated camper in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, as “Frannie.”

Slaughter High1
Tagline: Take a Trip Through the Halls of Horror!
Starring: Donna Yaeger as “Stella” and Caroline Munro (gamely, if not entirely convincingly, portraying an American high-schooler despite being in a British actress in her mid-30s) as “Carol Manning.”
Also starring: Simon Scuddamore in his big-screen debut as killer “Marty Rantzen”; Scuddamore is well-known in slasher-fanboy circles (and how jealous are you of not being invited to those parties?) for having committed suicide shortly after the release of the film.

1Here’s a bit of genuine trivia (i.e., totally useless information): this film was filmed under the title “April Fool’s Day,” and was given a hasty rechristening when the above-listed film under that name beat it to the theaters in the spring of 1986.

Sleepaway Camp 1
Tagline: ...you won’t be coming home!
Starring: Felissa Rose as Angela, a little girl with an impressively big...uh...secret, and Mike Kellin, a Hollywood veteran who probably deserved better than this for his final role, as child-molestation-ignoring camp owner “Mel.”
Also starring: Robert Earl Jones, the only man who could use Darth Vader’s “I am your father” line on James Earl Jones without looking like a dork, as “Ben.”

1I have to offer a brief comment here. This is the series about which I most regret having to use the first film for the contest. The film isn’t bad as campy camp slashers go, and has a legit “twist ending” from the days before M. Night Shyamalan made the term meaningless. But Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers re-imagined the franchise brilliantly, bringing back Angela as a camp counselor whose strict but quirky brand of puritanical morality leads to her killing off all the sinful campers and counselors in a parody of the slasher genre that still works on its own merits. And they replaced Felissa Rose with Pamela Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen’s sister, who brings a brilliant sort of oddball charm to Angela and an emotional vulnerability to a role more often inhabited in this sort of film by a heavy-breathing bloodstained man in a mask. Among the campers is Renee Estevez, sister of Emilio and Charlie, as virtuous camper Molly Nagle. Then they topped themselves in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland by adding Traci Griffith, sister of Melanie, to the cast as a camper so moral that Pamela/Angela can’t figure out a reason to kill her. Just excellent stuff.
Okay, that’s all I wanted to say.


The Slumber Party Massacre
Tagline: Close your eyes for a second... and sleep forever.
Starring: Michelle Michaels as “Trish Devereaux” and Michael Villella as murderer “Russ Thorn.”
Also starring: Debra Deliso, future voice of Raszagal, the Protoss Matriarch in the StarCraft video game, as “Kim Clarke.”

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama 1
Tagline: In a bowling alley from Hell, there's only one way to score...
Starring: Linnea Quigley again, this time as bad-ass bowler “Spider,” and Quigley’s real-life friend (and co-star in several slasher flicks) Michelle Bauer as Lisa.
Also starring: A rubber puppet as “Uncle Impie,” a demonic figure living in a league trophy in the bowling alley.
Yes, really. Where do you keep your imp?

1 I know, I know. Trust me--this is as far down the "crappy film" food chain as we're going.2
2 Maybe.

Sorority House Massacre
Tagline: Who'll survive the final exam?
Starring: Angela O’Neill as “Beth” and John C. Russell as “Bobby.” Angela went on to become a property master working for art departments on other films, which possibly still counts as the most successful Hollywood career to come out of this cast.
Also starring: Wendy Martel as “Linda.” Martel’s IMDB bio was written by her daughter (or possibly sister-in-law), and includes the information that several cast members of Sorority House Massacre attended her wedding in 1990. Isn’t that nice?


At some point, one is forced to wonder why anyone would still join a sorority or agree to attend a summer camp by 1989...
All right--get your oversized machetes and axes ready. It's time to cull the herd. Remember, you can choose as many films as you deem worthy.

Poll #1348987 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Kill the Coeds
This poll is closed.

Is it wrong to root for the killers? Only you can decide...

April Fool's Day
0(0.0%)
Cheerleader Camp
0(0.0%)
Friday the 13th
2(50.0%)
The House on Sorority Row
0(0.0%)
Night of the Demons
0(0.0%)
Slaughter High
0(0.0%)
Sleepaway Camp
0(0.0%)
The Slumber Party Massacre
0(0.0%)
Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama
0(0.0%)
Sorority House Massacre
0(0.0%)


Okay--we'll have this one up all weekend. Vote before Monday morning, and until then don't go into the woods alone...
 
 
greatest_ever
Monday's opening round got off to a surprising start, with The Shining proving to be the most popular Stephen King movie of the '80s by a wide margin. Children of the Corn, The Dead Zone, and Pet Sematary move on automatically as well, while Creepshow and Firestarter will have to sweat it out in Wild Card purgatory for a while.

The next set of films all deal with one or both of the two most popular classic horror monsters in the 1980s--vampires and werewolves. This is one of those categories where so many films were available that some artificial culling of the herd proved necessary, while a few others (like King's werewolf vs. kid-in-a-wheelchair Silver Bullet in the last round) will show up in other categories. The ten in the greatest_ever arena today are nevertheless a good sampling of what was available to goth and heavy metal kids looking for eternal youth, superhuman body hair growth, or just some fashion tips.

Vampires and Werewolves: The Previews

An American Werewolf in London
Tagline: John Landis, the director of Animal House, brings you a different kind of animal.
Starring: Griffin Dunne as Jack Goodman and David Naughton as David Kessler, a man with a serious body-hair problem.
Also starring: Franz Oz in a double-bagger, appearing as Mr. Collins and Miss Piggy, the only time I’m aware of that Oz actually co-starred in a feature film that also featured a muppet.

Fright Night
Tagline: There are some very good reasons to be afraid...of the dark.
Starring: Chris “Prince Humperdinck” Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige and Roddy “damn dirty ape” McDowall as Peter Vincent.
Also starring: A pre-Married with Children Amanda Bearse as Amy Peterson.

The Howling
Tagline: Imagine your worst fear a reality.1
Starring: A post-Avengers Patrick Macnee as Dr. George Waggner and UHF’s Kevin McCarthy as Fred Francis.
Also starring: The late great Slim Pickens in a minor role as townsperson Sam Newfield.

1 I swear, I didn’t leave a word out—that’s the actual tag line.

The Hunger
Tagline: Nothing human loves forever.
Starring: David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as too-cool-for-mortality Goth vampires John and Miriam.
Also starring: Susan Sarandon as Dr. Sarah Roberts.

Lifeforce
Tagline: In outer space they unleashed a force more evil than the world had ever imagined!
Starring: Steven Railsback as Col. Tom Carlsen and Mathilda May as an exhibitionist space vampire.
Also starring: Patrick Stewart in a strange turn as a doctor possessed by the aforementioned space vampire.

The Lost Boys
Tagline: Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire.
Starring: Corey Haim as new-kid-in-town Sam Emerson and Corey Feldman as half-assed vampire hunter Edgar Frog. That’s right—it’s a two-Corey-er.
Also starring: That guy from 24. Also, Alex Winter, who you probably know better as the non-Keanu half of Bill and Ted.

The Monster Squad
Tagline: The end of the world starts at midnight.
Starring: Character actor Tom Noonan as Frankenstein and former Canadian Olympic alternate Duncan Regehr as Dracula.
Also starring: Michael Faustino, brother of “Bud Bundy” David Faustino, as Eugene. Michael officially announced his retirement from acting in 1996 at the ripe age of 17, thus disappointing dozens of fans and frustrating hopes of a Monster Squad reunion.

Near Dark
Tagline: Killing you would be easy. They’d rather terrify you...forever.
Starring: Prince of the b-movies Lance Henriksen as vampire leader Jesse Hooker and his Aliens co-star Bill “Game Over, Man” Paxton as hotheaded vamp Severen.
Also starring: Jenette "Pvt. Vasquez" Goldstein as vampiress Diamondback, completing one of the oddest hat tricks in Hollywood history ("Hey, let's get three of the supporting actors from that Aliens movie--that did pretty well, right?").

Vamp
Tagline: The first kiss is the deepest.
Starring: Grace Jones as queen vampire Katrina and Gedde “Long Duk Dong” Watanabe as Duncan.1
Also starring: Dedee “Michelle’s sister” Pfeiffer as someone named Amaretto.

1Grace Jones and Gedde Watanabe made a movie together? How did I not know about this?

Wolfen
Tagline: It will tear the scream from your throat!
Starring: This was like the Hamlet of 1980s werewolf movies—among the stars are Albert Finney as detective Dewey Wilson and Edward James Olmos as Eddie Holt.1
Also starring: Gregory Hines in his big screen debut as “Whittington,” Albert Finney’s wisecracking city coroner friend.

1 Seriously, did you ever think you'd see a movie with these two in it that also had nymphomaniac werewolves?

All right, pick your poisons--remember, you can cast as many votes as you want in this round, so choose all the films you'd like to see in the full plot-description and talent competitions...

Poll #1347473 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: Vampires and Werewolves
This poll is closed.

Teeth in your neck or howls in the night?

An American Werewolf in London
0(0.0%)
Fright Night
0(0.0%)
The Howling
0(0.0%)
The Hunger
1(10.0%)
Lifeforce
0(0.0%)
The Lost Boys
1(10.0%)
The Monster Squad
0(0.0%)
Near Dark
0(0.0%)
Vamp
0(0.0%)
Wolfen
0(0.0%)


We'll have this up and running until Friday morning. Until then, keep your garlic and silver bullets handy...
 
 
greatest_ever
Welcome back to the greatest_ever arena...and welcome to the first ever audience-requested competition! Thanks to kristenlou for the suggestion--and the unrelenting terror that will be yours for the next several weeks as we sift through a massive catalogue of competitors to determine our next champion. In order to introduce the contest, allow me to spin you a tale of yesteryear...

Once, not so very long ago, the world was a simpler place. Communism, Tylenol, and J.R. Ewing were bad; America, greed, and Matthew Broderick were good. Ronald Reagan was defending the world from the Red Menace and jelly bean haters, Cabbage Patch Kids were plentiful, and Saturday Morning Cartoons ruled the airwaves. Yes, it was an idyllic time. But those of us alive in those halcyon days of old knew that the world was less perfect than it seemed. Another world lurked in the dark places of our homes, our shopping malls, our campgrounds, and our college campuses. A world of mutants in the sewers, ghosts in the basement, and werewolves just about everywhere. A world where various social and ethnic stereotypes could die in a variety of showy and horrible ways without the local police taking notice until it was too late. A world where blondes didn't have more fun at all, and in fact were more than likely to be disemboweled within minutes of taking off their shirts. A world of blood and revenge and Roberrt Englund. This competition will strike a torch and enter that darkling world with brave chin jutting forward, disposable ethnic and/or slow-running friends at its side, and a rallying cry of "Hello? This isn't funny, guys...hello?"

Welcome to the competition for the greatest '80s Horror Film...ever. Get your popcorn ready.

A few ground rules for this one--first of all, I've had to reduce the field of play slightly, since there were quite literally hundreds of horror films released in the fecund '80s. Therefore, the following rules have been used to determine the competitors:

1. Only films with a wide American or international release between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1989 are viable.
2. Only one film from each series can compete. No Ghoulies I-VII creating their own voting bloc.
3. In the case of film series, I've arbitrarily chosen the earliest film of the bunch to have been released in the '80s. This means we won't get to see great schlocky sequels like Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Gremlins II, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, or (my personal favorite) Sleepaway Camp II, but we will have to deal with Halloween II and Omen III since their predecessors were '70s films. Life is full of little disappointments. Maybe we'll do a "greatest_ever movie sequel" contest someday.
4. No straight-on comedies. Transylvania 6-5000, Teen Wolf, and My Best Friend is a Vampire are out. On the other hand, funny films that are genuinely horror-y regardless of schlock level get in--a few of them do, anyway.
5. I've artificially limited the entries for some categories--otherwise we could spend a month just discussing the "coeds being hacked apart with occasional nudity" or "Tromaville" subgenres.

Even with all these rules and regulations in place, and having pared down the list considerably, we've got a crowd of competitors: 80 films competing to be the best. In order to get through these in reasonable order, we're starting off with previews--all you get for each category is the film's title, tagline, and featured actors. You can choose as many as you want--the top four vote-getters will move on automatically, and there'll be a group of slots reserved for the top vote-getters among the non-winners, so spread the love like stage blood on a rusty hacksaw.

*****

Our opening bracket is reserved for the films of the master of modern horror, Stephen King. Say what you will about his prolixity, his odd notions of what constitutes terror, and his tendency to repeat ideas (seriously, read Cell and The Stand and get back to me), no other individual has done as much to scare us about what our dogs, cars, clowns, phones, appliances, and children might be planning for us. So let's give him his due--greatest_ever style.

STEPHEN KING MOVIES: The Previews

Children of the Corn
Tagline: An adult nightmare.
Starring: Linda Hamilton (a.k.a. Sarah Connor) as Vicky and Peter Horton (the guy from Thirtysomething who wasn’t in Revenge of the Nerds) as the improbably-named Burton Stanton.
Also starring: Julie Maddalena, future voice actress for hundreds of English-dubbed anime, as lovable tow-headed psycho Rachel.

Christine
Tagline: How do you kill something that can’t possibly be alive?
Starring: Alexandra Paul (currently starring in Mad Men) as Leigh Cabot and Harry Dean Stanton (one of the alien-snacks in Alien) as Rudolf Junkins.
Also starring: a pre-Travolta’ed Kelly Preston in a minor role as “Roseanne.”

Creepshow
Tagline: The most fun you’ll ever have...being SCARED!
Starring: A pre-Cheers Ted Danson as philanderer and drowning victim Harry Wentworth and Adrienne Barbeau as shrewish wife Wilma Northrup (along with a whole cast full of other people you probably know).
Also starring: Stephen King, the man himself, as Jordy Verrill in one of his few non-cameo roles.

Cujo
Tagline: “Now there’s a new name for terror...”
Starring: Dee Wallace (the mom from E.T.) as Donna Trenton and Danny Pintauro (the little suburban brat who was cowed by Alyssa Milano for about eight years on Who’s the Boss) as Tad Trenton.
Also starring: Ed Lauter (from Long Island) as Joe Camber.

The Dead Zone
Tagline: In his mind, he has the power to see the future. In his hands, he has the power to change it.
Starring: Christopher Walken in a career-making turn as Johnny Smith (his reading of Poe’s “The Raven” at the start of the film is enough reason to rent it) and Tom Skerritt as Sheriff George Bannerman.
Also starring: Martin Sheen as Senator Greg Stillson, who at one point uses a baby to shield himself from an assassin’s bullet.

Firestarter
Tagline: “Will she have the power...to survive?”
Starring: Drew Barrymore (of the Hollywood Barrymores) as Charlene “Charlie” McGee and Heather Locklear (you know, Marla Maples’ cousin1) as Victoria Tomlinson McGee.
Also starring: Art Carney, who apparently wandered onto the set on his way to a Honeymooners reunion and decided to do a cameo.

1 This is totally true—and not at all relevant unless you’re actually old enough to have been aware of what and who Donald Trump was doing in about 1988.

Maximum Overdrive
Tagline: Who made who?
Starring: Breakfast Clubber Emilio Estevez as Bill Robinson and a pre-Simpsons Yeardley Smith as Connie.
Also starring: Character actor Pat Hingle as “Hendershot.”

Pet Sematary
Tagline: Sometimes dead is better.
Starring: A pre-ST:TNG Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed and the inimitable Fred Gwynne as knowing neighbor Jud Crandall.
Also starring: a then two-year-old Miko Hughes as adorable zombie Gage Creed.

The Shining
Tagline: A masterpiece of modern horror.1
Starring: Jack Nicholson as novelist and axe-wielder Jack Torrance and Shelley Duvall as his wife Wendy.
Also starring: a young Danny Lloyd as “Redrum”-scrawling tyke Danny.

1 Yeah, I was surprised too. Apparently “Here’s Johnny!” was just a catchphrase, or maybe there was a copyright thing with Ed McMahon. I don’t know—but I’m a little sad about it.

Silver Bullet
Tagline: It started in May in a small town and every month after that whenever the moon is full...It came back.
Starring: Gary Busey as “Uncle Red” and 80s icon (and proof that the ‘80s had relatively forgiving standards of iconography) Corey Haim as wheelchair-bound werewolf-hunter Marty Coslaw.
Also starring: A pre-Lost Terry O’Quinn in one of his many ‘80s horror film roles, this time appearing as Sheriff Joe Haller.


Got all that? Good. Vote away--and remember, for the opening round you can vote for as many films as you like. Enjoy...

Poll #1346273 The greatest_ever '80s Horror Film, round I: The Stephen King Oeuvre
This poll is closed.

It's good to be the King...

Children of the Corn
1(6.7%)
Christine
1(6.7%)
Creepshow
0(0.0%)
Cujo
0(0.0%)
The Dead Zone
0(0.0%)
Firestarter
0(0.0%)
Maximum Overdrive
0(0.0%)
Pet Sematary
0(0.0%)
The Shining
3(20.0%)
Silver Bullet
0(0.0%)


This one will be up and running until Wednesday. See you then...oh, and feel free to suggest films you want to make sure are in the competition in the comments section.
 
 
greatest_ever
30 January 2009 @ 08:42 am
With a crisp bite to the air and an ominous bump in the night, our results have come in--with a decisive victory for the first-place finisher, which takes a straight majority of the vote. Our results:

First Place: October
Second Place: May
Third Place: September


We can therefore officially declare October to be the greatest month...ever.

Accepting the award on behalf of October is Jack Skellington,1 October's favorite son.



October
The greatest_ever Month


Thanks as always to the voters!
We'll be back soon with another installment of the greatest_ever...


1 Jack appears here as drawn by Sara Kristina Albrecht, who I'm hoping won't mind the free publicity she's getting from me nicking this.