Monday, May 31, 2010

Stuff: The Jess List

In my review of I Sell the Dead, I mentioned that my wife generally hates horror films. When she doesn't find them boring, she finds them unpleasant. For her, watching horror is like sitting in a dentist's waiting room: uncomfortable, dull, occasionally punctuated by anxiety-inducing screams. During this explanation, I mentioned that there was a short list of flicks that passed the Jess Test. Though I meant this in an abstract sort of way, a couple of readers asked what films were on this list. So, I asked my wife to write up a list of genre treats that she actually does like. Not all of the works on the Jess List are, perhaps, horror-proper, but they're all what Jess talks about when she talks about horror.

Without further ado, I present to you the unedited, unabridged Jess List, straight from the woman herself:

Shaun of the Dead
The Frighteners
Jaws (but I hate the first shark scene)
I Sell the Dead
Bubba Ho-Tep
Hellboy 1 & 2
Army of Darkness
Land of the Dead
Universal Monsters: Creature of the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein (Wolfman is a little lame)
The Thing from Another Planet + remake The Thing (but I have to squint at some parts)
Kaiju movies (Godzilla et al)
Interview with the Vampire (the first R-rated movie I ever saw in high school)
Rear Window (favorite Hitchcock)
Topper (with Cary Grant as 1/2 of hedonistic ghostly couple)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Disney version; this totally scared me as a kid but is now delicious.)

Jess NOT list (my least favorites):
These are not necessarily bad art. The fact that they linger in memory and come up in conversation indicates that they are in fact especially powerful. But they haunt me in ways I find entirely unpleasant. I have lost nights of sleep to these films, which I begrudge.
The Ring
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Hitchcock's Frenzy
book: Monster Island by David Wellington (zombie novel, too scary to finish)

TV shows:
Buffy (just the first season; I checked out pretty much after Angel went bad)

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (practitioner of "the new weird")
American Gods & Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Johannes Cabal, Necromancer & Johannes Cabal, Detective

Sandman (mixed, sometimes nightmare inducing)
House of Mystery by (Fables creators) Bill Willingham & Mike Sturges
Hellboy & BPRD by Mike Mignola

DON'T STOMP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW! If you haven't entered ANTSS Killer Kaiju contest yet, you freakin' should! It's as easy as stomping on your favorite scale-model city.


zoe said...


Sasquatchan said...

She's not a Gaiman fan ? Well, you married her anyway ;)

(I would have a hard time putting those works in horror, but what have you..)

(And work stopped blocking your blog, again, for now .. )

CRwM said...

I should clarify, only the works clustered in that little "NOT" section are stuff she dislikes. The okay list starts up again with the TV shows and Buffy. So, in answer to Sassy's question, Jess does like Gaiman. Big time, in fact.