Halloween Franchise: Ranked

 

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I am a huge slasher hound when it comes to specific genres in horror. They play out like comic movies in a way to me and there are countless great one timers as well as full-fledged series and franchises. Whether they be goofy, poorly written or flat out make no sense logic or continuity-wise, they are always fun films to me. My personal favorites have always been the Friday the 13th films they were the first ones I watched as a kid and have always stuck with me. However, today I am going to rank every film in another franchise, a loopier and more confusing one at that. Halloween is perhaps a hell of a lot more historical for not creating but defining the slasher formula to what we know it as now but as a whole, its collection of films offer so many different ideas that the story has so many branching timelines it can get very confusing. However, I think that’s what makes it so interesting. The fact that we get a lot of different ways the story of Michael Myers is told is what makes it fun albeit very cheesy at times. So, lets delve into a messy yet compelling list of what my favorite, and least favorite, films in the Halloween franchise are.

11. Halloween: Resurrection

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Well, the last place was not very surprising. The gimmick of the live cameras in a haunted house already feels very dated and the casting of Tyra Banks and Busta rhymes doesn’t help either. Couple that with a badly written story, terrible pacing and some of the most memorable lines for the wrong reason in the franchise and that makes this film one that deserves to burn in a lake of fire.

10. Halloween (2007)

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This movie I really wanted to like when I first saw it. I loved House of 1000 Corpses and Devils Rejects so I figured I would have been a huge fan here. However, the realization is that Halloween’s potency lies within the fact that compared to a lot more slasher films of its day, it is a bit more tame with more atmosphere and this remake feels like a film made for pure grindhouse pleasures. The dialogue is laughable and while this Myers is brutal and a true force, the rest of the film around him doesn’t leave me as compelled and feels too trashy to be a faithful remake.

9. Halloween: H20

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I know I will get some hate for this one, but truth be told, I was never a huge fan of this movie. While it is nice to see some characters return, a lot of the supporting cast I am not a fan of with Laurie’s son and his friends as well as Myers. He looks goofy in this movie and the mask problem they had did no justice. I just don’t feel the magic I feel with a lot of the other sequels it just feels like its whole mood kind of follows the scream template.

08. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

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The last film for the Thorn trilogy sees the cult finally coming to realization and that Dr. Wynn, a minor character from the original, is responsible for Michael becoming evil. Yes, its bad, yes, its cheesy, but its honestly, I think the last fully tolerable Halloween film before the current resurgence. This was Donald Pleasance’s swan song if you will and while his exit is terrible, he puts on a good final performance. However, the sloppy writing and even two cuts of the film still can’t save it all the way though.

07. Halloween II (2009)

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With Zombies remake getting a sequel, it gave him a lot more room to play with and gave this one a lot more merit for doing its own thing. No longer a remake, this simply takes those characters and does something completely different with them. Loomis is portrayed more negatively by Mcdowell who really made it work and a lot of the dream sequences really give the Halloween season feeling. A step up and more original film.

06. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

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This sequel gets a ton of hate, but I have always enjoyed it for what it was. I know I am in the minority, but I really liked the mask here as well it had a lot of a creep factor to it. I also thought there were some good Ideas peppered throughout and some tense scenes. However, yes some of the writing needed some tightening as well as some of the hokey cinematography and score choices at times for what was an alright sequel in my eyes.

05. Halloween 2018

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This film was very anticipated for me and I think lived up way past its expectations. It definitely felt like a film for the fans of the franchise and kind of took the storyline of H20 and made it a lot more fun and made it feel a lot like a continuation of the original. It isn’t perfect but I honestly think it is one of the better sequels of any of the big slashers.

04. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

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Arguably you can leave this film off the list but honestly this is film is quite underrated that any time I watch this franchise back to back, I always include it. It technically isn’t a sequel since it has literally nothing to do with Myers, but it really is well made and is a movie made to watch during Halloween time. The plot is bonkers including killer Halloween masks but trust me it is worth the ride. Also, it’s got Tom Atkins in it which is never a bad thing.

03: Halloween (1978)

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The classic that started it all. A top suspense film that pretty much personifies the entire holiday its based around. There aren’t enough good things to say about this movie, but it never was my favorite. For me it was always the good starting point for the franchise with some issues but still a ton of class.

02. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

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Myers returned after nearly a decade out of the spotlight with this terrific sequel. The opening title alone is perfect and perhaps that atmosphere makes this one feel the most like it is actually occurring on Halloween. The chase scenes are great, the score is terrific, and the cast is very tight and likeable. Overall a welcomed and very fun sequel.

01: Halloween II (1981)

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The first sequel has always been mandatory viewing every October for myself following very faithfully with the original and a more demonic Myers. I also absolutely love the score with this film as it is more synth heavy and more dread filled. The hospital setting I enjoy quite a bit and the finale is riveting and originally was meant to be the end of the franchise. It definitely is one of the most watched horror films in my collection.

Black Sabbath: Every album ranked

 

 

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Black Sabbath will always be known for being the “first ever Heavy Metal band”. Now whether that is true or not, it is certain that Sabbath are incredibly influential and their status cannot be ignored. For having a staggering 19 albums, I was always interested to see what differed between all of them and see if there was any that perhaps didn’t receive the respect I feel they deserved. This is pretty much when I decided to rank every Sabbath release based on my thoughts. Not popularity, sales charts or any of that. This is based on how I have felt about these albums when I listen to them and whether the content on each really hits me. So without further ado, here is every Black Sabbath album ranked in my opinion from last to first!

19.Never Say Die!

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Never Say Die! is the final Sabbath album of the 70’s and the last featuring the original lineup for a long long time. After listening to it again after awhile I see why I never really came back to this album. It feels like a very cloudy album that has a few good riffs and a good title track but the majority of the album is filler material that never really hits home.

18.13

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We fast forward to 2013 for (mostly) an original lineup reunion for the extremely anticipated 13. At first when I heard this album, I loved it and thought it was a terrific return to form but after a long period of not listening to this album, those thoughts have steered very much so. This album is pretty much as paint by numbers as possible especially with tracks like “End Of The Beginning” and “Loner”. The track “Damaged Soul” was pretty much the only song I felt was worth going back to mainly for the solo.

17.Technical Ecstasy

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Technical Ecstasy is definitely when Sabbath showed their more classic rock sound and spawned a few good tracks like “Rock N Roll Doctor” and “Dirty Women” but is bogged down by the potentially good but weak “Back Street Kids” and the Beatles sounding “It’s Alright”.

16.Cross Purposes

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Cross Purposes is one of the Darkest slabs of material in their whole discography. One of the last albums featuring Tony Martin, this album opens with a real ripper “I Witness” and other highlights include “Virtual Death” as well as others. Unfortunately the production is a bit stale compared to a few albums before.

15.Forbidden

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Ahh Forbidden, the album Sabbath fans love to hate. Honestly this album I could never understand why people hated it so much. While the material isn’t exactly as powerful sounding mostly throughout, there are some great cuts here like “Guilty as Hell”, “Get A Trip” and the insanely epic “Kiss Of Death”.

14.Paranoid

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Honestly who doesn’t know Paranoid? The album and the title track are so undeniably recognizable they have become etched in rock and metal history. However, this album for me is a classic case of being burned out. While I get a kick out of hearing live versions of “War Pigs” and “Fairies Wear Boots”, I am just utterly tired of the studio versions of these songs. I know some may call it utterly blasphemous to have this album lower than some others but after going through the next thirteen albums, I found things in those that I found really enjoyable more than “Paranoid” has become to me.

13.Seventh Star

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Even though this album is suppose to be Iommi’s solo output, it has the Sabbath name on it thus it is etched in the bands history. While the sound of this album steers way harder toward melodic 80’s Hard Rock, it has a lot of really catchy tunes and features none other than the man Glenn Hughes! Opening with the high energy “In For The Kill”, this album goes right for the throat and is a great time all around. From killer tunes like “Turn To Stone” and “Danger Zone”, this album is one of the definitions of misunderstood!

 

12.Black Sabbath

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The album that started it all truly. It was really a triumph in the small amount of the time the band had to record this album in how well it turned out for them. However, while songs “N.I.B” the title track and “The Wizard” are terrific songs, this album always felt a bit disjointed to me for some reason. Compared to other records at the time it also doesn’t hit me as hard considering I heard most of this album via greatest hits albums so when I first heard the full release when I was younger, I never got that wow feeling I feel a lot of others got.

11.TYR

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TYR was the third album to feature Tony Martin on vocals and was a great addition to the more epic style the band had achieved on Eternal Idol and Headless Cross. The album definitely has more of a concept record feel to it which I believe Iommi was going for at the time as well. The opening track “Anno Mundi” is an epic six minute opener with keyboard riffs and vocal harmonies galore. “The Law Maker” is a glorious ripper of a song as well.. Other key tracks include “The Sabbath Stones” and “Valhalla” but unfortunately some tracks feel very filler as well.

10.Eternal Idol

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This album marked a new era for the band with Martin taking over vocal duties after lineup changes shifted once again. This was a perfect introduction to his inclusion with terrific cuts such as “The Shining”, “Born To Lose” and the epic “Glory Ride” which is one of my top Sabbath tunes of all time. The only songs that feel filler are “Ancient Warrior” and the title track.

9.VOL.4

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Sabbath go from weed induced to cocaine induced for Vol. 4. One of their most popular records, Vol. 4 takes the heaviness of Master of Reality and adds a bit more of a prog feel to it. The result is partially mixed with classics like “SnowBlind” “Tomorrows Dreams” and the crushing “Under The Sun”, there are still certainly a lot of fillers such as the needless “FX” and “St. Vitus Dance” which always felt undeveloped as well. This album certainly has always been a tad mixed personally but the good songs are REALLY good when they want to be.

8.Sabotage

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Ozzy has never sounded so damn angry than this album. The band really go for an aggressive approach here and for what I felt was the last terrific Ozzy era album. From the terrific opener “Hole In The Sky” to the proto speed metal feel of “Symptom Of The Universe” to the epic “Megalomaniac”, this album is terrifically written. The only song that felt totally out of place for me was “Am I Going Insane?” which kind of derails the album near the end before “The Writ” picks things back up.

7.Headless Cross

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Easily the Martin era’s crowning achievement, Headless Cross I feel has always deserved so much more credit than it has ever received. From the title track that could rival the epicness of “Heaven and Hell” to songs like “When Death Calls” which features Brian May of Queen, to the epic fist pumping “Devil And Daughter” to the really catchy “Kill In The Spirit World” and pretty much every song on. The band truly were on a fantastic streak with this undiscovered classic.

6.Dehumanizer

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Dehumanizer is one of the more interesting Black Sabbath albums as it reunited the “Mob Rules” lineup with Dio back at the helm and pretty much revitalized Sabbaths popularity overnight. It didn’t last long as after this album we received more Martin sung material but holy hell the album we received here was magnificent. While definitely more doom oriented than the first two more NWOBHM inspired Dio albums, this album still has the riffs and magic in spades. With crushing opener “Computer God” to “After All/ The Dead” to my favorite “TV Crimes” and even tracks later in the album such as “I” and “Buried Alive, this was a terrific reunion album.

5.Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

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This is where 70’s Sabbath really came into the more creative songwriting and what a monolith of an album this is. Some of my favorites include the eternal ground shaking title track to the heavy and dark “National Acrobat” to the swaggering “Sabra Cadabra” and the almost hypnotizing “Who Are You”. However, the whole album is a great listening experience.

4.Heaven And Hell

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The first album Dio recorded with Black Sabbath and showed a shift in sound to straight forward Heavy Metal. This is the part in this list where every album here is pretty much flawless so I will keep it short by saying this album is one of the greatest comebacks for any band period.

3.Mob Rules

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Sabbath go for round two in the early eighties and come out with an album arguably heavier than the last. The style is similar to the first album but the production feels a bit more crisp and the bass oh the bass on this album is devilishly good. Top notch!

2.Master Of Reality

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This is the essential Ozzy era album as it pretty much defined the sound for what would become “Stoner Metal”. This was the most solid collection of songs the band had and was in my opinion miles ahead from the first two albums in terms of what the band was capable of in such a short amount of time. Plus we got “Into The Void” one of the heaviest songs to ever grace the earth and for that alone this album deserves to be this high.

1.Born Again

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And number one goes to Born Again! A controversial pick for sure but for me this is the heaviest yet catchiest Sabbath ever got. Featuring the one time gig for my all time favorite vocalist Ian Gillan, he lets out some of his most ear shattering and impressive vocal performances here more than anywhere else. Opening with the classic “Trashed” going into the very dark “Disturbing The Priest” paired with the epic “Zero The Hero” and into the last half of the album featuring some prime cuts like “Digital Bitch” and “Hot Line”, this album hits you in the face and never lets go. The production also never really bothered me in fact it always enhanced it for me for how just different it sounds I suppose. Especially when the solo’s hit it feels like such an assault with the guitars being super distorted it sounds like Iommi going straight for the throat. All this combined has made this my favorite Sabbath release in recent times to go back to over and over and I always have a good time doing it!

Top 20 releases of 2018

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Welcome back! Well after months on a hiatus I am finally bringing back Glistening Metal and I figured I’d come back with my favorite twenty albums of this year. As with the past few years we have had some terrific releases and I have gone over this list over and over in my head mainly because every release presented is great in their own right, it was just the matter of which ones connected with me more. So without further ado, lets get into my top twenty releases of 2018.

20. Lizzy Borden- My Midnight Things

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19.Tank- Sturmpanzer

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18.Red Dragon Cartel- Patina

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17.Salems Lott-Mask Of Mortality

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16.Nazareth- Tattooed On My Brain

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15.Substratum-Permission To Rock

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14.Sacred Leather- Ultimate Force

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13.Ashbury- Eye of The Stygian Witches

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12.Satan-Cruel Magic

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11.Riot V- Armor Of Light

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10.Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats- Wasteland

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9.Visigoth- Conquerors Oath

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8.Uriah Heep-Living The Dream

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7.Haunt- Burst Into Flame

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6.LeathurBitch- S/T

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5.Saxon- Thunderbolt

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4.The Night Flight Orchestra- Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough

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3.Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons- The Age Of Absurdity

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2. Judas Priest- Firepower

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1.Carriage- Visions

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Anyone who has been following my site for awhile knows that when Carriage played at Legions of Metal 2017, that I knew there was something very special about this band. Lo and behold as soon as their debut album entitled “Visions” was released, I knew this was the album to top the year. From the chemistry of the band to the rock solid songwriting, these guys have arrived with a bang and are out for blood.

 

Top 20 albums of 2017

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2017 was a fantastic year for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music. Albums were released left and right this year and as much as I wanted to include every album I heard this year as they mostly had a good level of quality to them, I narrowed it down to twenty. At the bottom I give my short list of honorable mentions of albums you should still check out but here is my top twenty of 2017.

 

                                               1. Night Demon- Darkness Remains

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-What can I say that I haven’t already said about this album. This to me is as good as a traditional Heavy Metal album can be in 2017. The chemistry between Jarvis, Armand and Dusty cannot be understated and are a trio to be reckoned with.

                                                     2. Mythra- Still Burning

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An album nearly forty years in the making and it delivers on all fronts. With Vince Highs rough rock n roll vocals still in tact and the instrumentation being very tight and memorable, this is a modern day NWOBHM classic.

                                         3. Night Flight Orchestra- Amber Galactic

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This album was my biggest surprise of the year. This album takes the sound of 80’s FM radio AOR and makes a modern classic out of that sound. This was my ideal summertime album and doesn’t have one bad song on it.

                                                               4.Venom Inc- Ave

-For many the return of the real Venom. This album boasts two thirds of the original line up with Tony Dolan of the underrated “Prime Evil” line up. The album balances more modern heaviness with the more raw sound the band was known for at the start. An album that doesn’t disappoint on getting your old school Black Metal mix

                                                      5. Stallion- From The Dead

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Another modern day Traditional Heavy Metal album that has power and guts. Stallion took the sound from their first album and made it even better somehow. With more speed, progression and just an overall fun atmosphere, this is another album that should be in your stereo!

                                             6.Crystal Viper- Queen Of The Witches

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Another excellent Traditional Metal release this year with solid writing with heavy songs and more somber emotional takes as well. Also look for some very cool guest appearances as well!

                                                         7.Tytan- Justice Served!

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Another long awaited NWOBHM release is the sophomore effort by Tytan. A great fun album with a lot of high points that will leave fans of the band satisfied.

 

                                                                    8.Shokker-III

shokker-3Chicago’s own Shokkers first debut and its still a very hot release. The albums has a bit of old school and new school thrown in for a good fun experience. Fans of Y&T and that older Hard Rock style will appreciate this album.

 

                                                      9.Hexx- Wrath Of The Reaper

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Hexx’s long awaited reunion album sort to speak. Alot of great songs are presented here and a very raw and lively production make this a must listen metal album.

 

                                      10.Jack Starr’s Burning Starr-Stand Your Ground

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Jack Starrs Bunring Starr have returned with another fine release to add to their catalog of old school Power Metal. Featuring some nice surprises even with an old outtake of the legendary Rhett Forrester included in one of the songs.

 

TOP 11

11. DUEL- Witchbanger

12. Air Raid- Across The Line

13. Savage Master-Creature of the Flames

14. Tbunderstick- Something Wicked This Way Comes

15. Ignitor- Haunted By Rock N Roll

16. Road Rash- Thunder In Paradise

17. EVO- Warfare

18. Vulture- The Guillotine

19. Resistance- Metal Machine

20. Gravedigger- Healed By Metal

 

And finally, here are just some of my albums I couldnt fit on the list but definitely deserve to heard and recognized.

Satans Hallow- S/T

Sleazer- Fall Into Disgrace

Hellwell- Behind The Demon’s Eyes

Mothership- High Strangeness

 

And there are my top albums of the past year. It really was a great year for new artists and fresh releases from the old guard as well. Here’s to a just as good 2018!