This week's theme was a tough one for me. We're talking movies set in a mental institution. Of course, the easiest route to go was pick the best and most famous of them all, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest then find two others to fill the need for three pictures. It's worthy of every drop of ink spilled and key stroked in praise of it. However, you should know me by now. When two roads diverge in a blog, I try to take the one less traveled by, and that makes all the difference.
How dare I paraphrase the great Robert Frost knowing that in just a few moments I'm going to drop some nihilistic crap on you?
What do I mean?
Well, we're exploring one of my guilty pleasures for this week's picks: slasher flicks. These are certainly not the best movies to take place in a mental institution, for sure. Some might think they're the worst, but I don't. I wouldn't call these hidden, by any stretch. So, I guess we can call these favorites. Screw it, let's just get to it.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsWhen the kids of the Elm Street kids can't stop having nightmares, they get sent to a psyche ward where Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) goes after them, one by one. This was the first movie in the franchise to venture off of Elm Street. It's also the first to give us the wise-cracking while he kills you version of its iconic killer. If you're a fan of the franchise, then you know this is one of the better entries into the canon. Along with Freddy's change in personality, the movie also introduced some pretty cool concepts. Oh, this one last tidbit is a personal one. I'm not even sure why I remember this, to be honest, but watching this movie in theaters way back in 1987 was the first time I had heard the phrase 'sleep deprivation.' Incredibly random thing to throw in, I know, but that's what I got.
Friday the 13th: A New BeginningSo yeah, we're going from a part 3 to a part 5. Deal with it. This installment of the Friday the 13th series finds young Tommy (John Shepherd), who had just killed the iconic Jason at the end of the prior movie, The Final Chapter, being admitted to a mental institution for troubled teens. Of course, it's located deep in the woods, silly. Why yes, the kids at this institution start turning up dead, one by one. How'd you guess? Okay, I won't pretend this is some form of high quality cinema. I will say that it's one of the better pictures in the franchise.
Halloween (2007)Lots of people hate on Rob Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's horror classic. Ignore everything I say from this point forward, but I think this one is just about as good. Unlike the original, it spends lots of time in the place where that movie only started from and spoke of, the mental institution Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) escaped from. The actual remake part of the film, Myers following around and killing the teens of Haddonfield, is actually the weakest part. Right up through that escape, however, director Rob Zombie gives us the best story-telling of his career and some of the best in an American horror flick in quite some time (in '07, that is). I promise I'm not drunk or high. Anyhoo, a large chunk of this involves us watching Myers pass a lot of years being counseled by Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).
Okay, tell me I'm the one who should be committed.