Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things remembered: AMC's "Monsterfest"

There was a time, many years ago when I considered the cable channel AMC, which stands for American Movie Classics, a favorite place to watch movies. Films were shown uncut, often in their original aspect ratio and always commercial free. Those days are obviously long gone. As Halloween(October 31st) approaches I have begun scouring Turner Classic Movie's program schedule to see what horror movies they'll broadcast in October. TCM's horror movie line up is, as always, fairly impressive during October and this year is no different. AMC? Well, there was a time long ago, during their two weeks of "Monsterfest" when horror movie fans like myself could count on some classic Hammer and Universal horror films as well as a handful of Toho sci-fi and Godzilla movies. I can remember staying up all night, during the late 1990's and early 2000's, to watch old Hammer horror films and Toho movies like Rodan(1956) and Frankenstein Conquers The World(1966).

AMC changed the name of its annual October horror movie marathon, many years ago, to Fearfest. AMC's "Fearfest" is fearful only in that its lack of classic horror movies is truly scary. To be sure AMC will throw in a few classic horror movies but mostly its "Fearfest" will be comprised of repeat showings of the fourth and fifth Halloween films. For those of you who consider yourselves fans of classic horror I'd recommend sticking to TCM, and Chiller(a surprisingly decent horror film cable channel) when checking out horror movies on cable this October.

One of my favorite "Monsterfests" on AMC was back in 1999, hosted by Roger Corman and which featured quite a number of Toho kaiju films: