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March 24, 2011

FMWL's March Midnight Madness Tournament - Round One (Part One of Four)

It's been teased and it's been announced, but now IT IS HERE.  All 64 films that have been listed as Midnight Movie of the Week at FMWL have been entered in to ONE big bracket...and impartial voters (and occasionally me) will decide which ones will move on until one film stands alone as the 2010-2011 MIDNIGHT MOVIE OF THE YEAR!  (If you missed the set-up and the rules, here's where it resides.)
With four regions of sixteen films to get through, the first round has been a bit of an undertaking.  Thus, I will present one region at a time, and posts throughout the week will cover the rest of the round. Big thanks to the following fine folks for joining the selection committee (aka, for being the voters) this round. 
(I will also share what I would have picked, but my vote will only count as a tiebreaker if the committee can't determine a winner.)
By the way, since many have not seen all the films, I told each member of the selection committee to make their choices based on whatever means they saw fit.  Admit it, you do the same thing with your NCAA basketball bracket!

And we go!  The first region is......
#1 Seed - MMOTW #49: Predator vs. #16 Seed - MMOTW #30: C.H.U.D
What The Mike says: Man, I was soooo crushed when I realized that IMDB ratings would make C.H.U.D. a 16 seed, and was even more bummed when it ended up against Predator.  I love those goofy creatures in that serious movie...but Predator is perhaps the ultimate Dude movie.  I'll pick that one...ANYTIME.
What The Selection Committee says:
  • "As much as I like my Canibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers and the fact that it was filmed in NYC, you can't beat Arnold Schwartzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura hunting down the Predator. PREDATOR rules." - Fred [The Wolf]
  • "Arnold is the end all deciding factor in any mach up. Always. Plus, I don’t see anyone voting against him again. No longer being the governor only means he can get to da choppa and come kick-in the teeth of all that oppose him. And rightfully so."  - Matt House
  • "Let's see... Predator has aliens, but C.H.U.D. has C.H.U.D.s.  On this one I'm going with C.H.U.D. for the win as any movie that has such a strong Home Alone pedigree, as it stars both Peter McCallister AND Marv, and also has CHUDs, which is just funner to say, deserves it." - Emily C
  • "The Predator is looking strong matched up against the C.H.U.D, but I still contend that Arnie’s fang faced foes often sound like they’re smoking a bong. I think that’s what going to happen here as the Predators were high as a kite throwing around Smart Disks and playing hacky sack, and C.H.U.D. came out of nowhere (technically underground) to steal this match-up away."- T.L. Bugg
The Vote: Predator 10, C.H.U.D. 2 - PREDATOR moves on!
What The Mike says: Night Creatures is a fun Hammer flick, but it might be one of my least favorite MMOTWs.  Sure, that's like calling something one of Oprah's least favorite canned hams (c'mon, y'all know she loves 'em), but it just doesn't stand up to Richard Franklin's Hitch homage with a healthy dose of STACY FREAKIN' KEACH.
What the Selection Committee says:
  • "Night Creatures: “Their oath was... TERROR! Their cry... BLOOD!”  Road Games: “One game kills time - The other kills people!”  A brilliant use of capitals, exclamation marks and ellipses means Night Creatures wins this one. Admittedly I haven’t seen either, but Night Creatures sounds fantastic while Road Games sounds pretty standard." - Liam (BTW - Liam, wanting to be as impartial as possible to films he hadn't seen, had the awesome idea of picking winners based on their tagline.  Charlie Sheen and I call that WINNING.)
  • "Road Games - I have a soft spot for Australian films from the 80s." - R.D. Penning
  • "I haven't seen Night Creatures, but it does star Peter Cushing, Oliver Reed, and has pirates!!  Road Games though, while it lacks pirates, takes place in Australia (one of the coolest places ever), has Jamie Lee Curtis, and is an homage to Hitchcock.  I pick Road Games." - Emily C
The Vote: Night Creatures 4, Roadgames 5 - ROADGAMES moves on!
What The Mike says: I gotta go with Carnival of Souls here.  It's simply one of the most beautiful and haunting classic horrors I know of.
What the Selection Committee says: 
  • "Carnival of Souls: This one hurts me, since Cat’s Eye is, in my opinion, a highly underrated anthology that features the scariest portrayal of a child-killing goblin of all time. Even so, that black and white slice of public domain greatness remains a truly haunting, original, and influential film that simply can’t lose." - Emily
  • "CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a classic, but I got a lot of love for Drew Barrymore, that little troll, and CAT'S EYE. Plus, the cat looked exactly like my very first pet, so CAT'S EYE wins this one for me." - Fred [The Wolf]
  • "I’m going to go with the film that I’m pretty certain started the whole “twist” ending in supernatural stories and not hold the fact that it probably was the inspiration behind M Knight Shamalamdingdongs career. It’s a tough call but Carnival gets the nod over a prepubescent coked up Drew Barrymore in a Stephen King Anthology. (I still love Quitter’s Inc, though.)" - Mike S.
The Vote: Carnival of Souls 9, Stephen King's Cat's Eye 3 - CARNIVAL OF SOULS moves on!
#4 Seed - MMOTW #28: Pretty Poison vs. #13 Seed: MMOTW #55: The Illustrated Man
What The Mike says:  Pretty Poison is so much fun.  The Illustrated Man...well, it's odd.  I always pick the charmer, so I'm going with the #4 seed here.
What The Selection Committee says:
  • "Bradbury has a good outside game with The Illustrated Man, but Tuesday Weld told me that I should pick Pretty Poison so that’s what I’m gonna do."  - TL Bugg
  • "Pretty Poison: “She's such a sweet girl. He's such a nice boy. They'll scare the hell out of you.” The Illustrated Man: “Don't dare stare at the illustrated man.”  I quite like the rhyme used in the tagline for The Illustrated Man, which beats Pretty Poison’s rather lacklustre generic sounding idea. I want to know why I shouldn’t stare at the illustrated man!" - Liam
The Vote: Pretty Poison 5, The Illustrated Man 4 - PRETTY POISON moves on!

What The Mike says: When I first shared the bracket with the selection committee, a few voters' first response was something like "I sure hope no one picks Fire in the Sky over They Live!"  I can't argue with them, as They Live always cheers me up.
What the Selection Committee says:
  • "Alien abduction with no anal probe or one of the best back alley brawls on film starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (also with no anal probe)?  THEY LIVE." - B.Stank
  • "They Live: Both films are primarily known for one scene, and let’s face it: a 20 minute fistfight over accessories beats a creepy abduction in Willy Wonka’s space factory" - Emily
  • "Hmmm, aliens vs. aliens for this battle.  In They Live, they are sneaky and prey on the consumerist nature of human beings, and in Fire in the Sky they just like to abduct humans and perform experiments on them... since Fire in the Sky is reputably based on a true story, and because they are the type of alien that I'd have had nightmares about as a kid, and because the abduction scene is just so darn freaky, I choose Fire in the Sky." - Emily C
  • "Roddy Piper just crushes it in this film. It’s a travesty he never became a bigger action star after this. This film gave us one of the all time best one liners of any movie ever. The OBEY tee shirt was my first Fright Rags purchase. This one is going to go far in The Dance."- Mike S.
The Vote: They Live 10, Fire in the Sky 1 - THEY LIVE moves on!
What The Mike says: I love Raw Meat....but Massacre is the right word for this matchup.  Now let's celebrate both movies over chili!
What the Selection Committee says:
  •    "The #3 seed is my #3 all-time favorite horror film, therefore my pick is a no brainer." - Matt
  • "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: “Who will survive and what will be left of them?”
    Raw Meat: “Beneath Modern London Lives a Tribe of Once Humans. Neither Men Nor Women...They Are the Raw Meat Of The Human Race!”
    Now this one is a close call. The tagline to Raw Meat sounds utterly fascinating, and it’s definitely going on the ‘To Watch’ list. But The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is so iconic, and that tagline is so memorable, it just has to win." - Liam
The Vote: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 12, Raw Meat 0 - TCM moves on!

What The Mike says: I'm pretty torn on this matchup.  Mr. Bronson and his melons (HEY!  Eyes up, ladies!) are always a blast, but Ginger's pubescent snap (HEY! Eyes up, fellas!) is quite enticing.  I think I'm leaning toward the '70s cool of Majestyk, particularly because it reminds me of former Packers quarterback Don Majikowski.  Yup.
What the Selection Committee says:
  • "As Fred [The Wolf], I can't go against my werewolf sisters. GINGER SNAPS it is." - Fred [The Wolf]
  • "Watermelon farmer vs. werewolves... interesting matchup here.  I have not had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Majestyk as of yet, but Ginger Snaps is one of my favorite werewolf films, and is an awesome coming-into-the-curse-of-womanhood story as well which I'm pretty sure no amount of watermelons could beat in my book, so it's Ginger Snaps for the win." - Emily C
  • "A young girl discovering womanhood or Charles “motherfucking” Bronson?  As original an idea as GINGER SNAPS is, what kind of a man would I be?!" Winner: Mr. Majestyk - B.Stank
The Vote: Ginger Snaps 8, Mr. Majestyk 2 - GINGER SNAPS moves on!
#2 Seed - MMOTW #8: Dead of Night vs. #15 Seed - MMOTW #50: Blue Steel What The Mike says: I'm gonna tell y'all this right now....Dead of Night is the most underrated movie in this whole tournament.  It's pretty much the king of all horror anthologies.  Yes, ahead of Creepshow.  I just love it.  I love Ron Silver and JLC as well, but not like I love Dead of Night.
What the Selection Committee says:
  • "Dead of Night - Just because Blue Steel is just plain bad." - R.D. Penning
  • "BLUE STEEL, only because I feel Jamie Lee Curtis needs to go a second round in a film that's a whole lot better than ROAD GAMES." - Fred [The Wolf]
  • "While it lacks the rawness that came with Le Tigre and Ferrari, Blue Steel is a pose that is quite simply unforgettable." - Matt
The Vote: Dead of Night 5, Blue Steel 4 - DEAD OF NIGHT moves on!
With the number two seed surviving a scare thanks to some silent voters (Thank you, Misters Sol, Monster, and Geof!) we're left with only one minor upset in the Frankenstein Regional!  Will the rest of the bracket follow suit, or are we all doomed???  Come back next time for the results of our next region!

SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS - The Frankenstein Regional
#1 Seed -Predator vs. #9 Seed -Roadgames
#5 Seed - Carnival of Souls vs. #4 Seed - Pretty Poison
#6 Seed - They Live vs. #3 Seed - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
#7 Seed - Ginger Snaps vs. #2 Seed - Dead of Night


Jose Cruz said...

Doh! Didn't realize we could have little commentaries on our picks! I'll just have to remember for next time. I gotta say though, I find being the silent, shadowy entity rather appealing.

Awesome job, Mike! This is shaping up to be quite the tournament!

Fred [The Wolf] said...

THEY LIVE vs. TCM? Wow, that's gonna be a nasty battle.

And I can't believe ROAD GAMES won! That film is so dull. I guess the power of JLC's horror films compels the voters.

The Mike said...

Thanks Mr. Joe! No worry on the comments, I felt really bad whittling down all the great stuff people sent me to the few I used. Should be easier as we go forward and the number of matchups go down.

Fred, I must admit that I had planned to use my tiebreaker vote on Roadgames, but thankfully a late voter put it over the top anyway. I may be biased by my love of all-things Rear Window-ish, but I've always had a blast with that one.

And TCM vs. They Live is pretty gigantic! It scares me. Thanks for helping out!

Liam Underwood said...

The next round here is looking like it's going to be pretty intense! Great idea for the tournament though, it's been interesting to read everyone's opinions.