There's good news and bad news on the horror front.
Movie critics across the land have felt a sense of relief this year, knowing they would not have to sit through "Friday the 13th, Part 9," "Halloween 6" or "A Nightmare on Elm Street 6."And the good news is Jason Vorhees and Michael Meyers appear to have bitten the dust - permanently this time. The masked killers of the "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween" movies, respectively, will probably not surface again since the most recent entries in their redundant series did so poorly at the box office.
Yes, it took box office returns to do what all kinds of cinematic executions in the final moments of their films could not.
The bad news is Freddy Krueger will be back in '91 with "A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: Freddy's Dead," despite low revenues for "Part 5." The fifth sequel to "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is scheduled for release next summer and producers claim the title is truth in advertising, that this will indeed be the last in the series.
Sure. Just like "Friday the 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter."
If killer kiddie dolls are more your cup of Postum than hulking, scar-faced butchers, you'll be happy to know your participation this weekend will determine whether Chucky returns in more sequels. Should "Child's Play 2" beat out the competition, you can count on it.
Coming right up for blood buffs:
"Psycho IV," which has Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) sharing the story of his growing-up years with a radio talk show host, premiered as a made-for-cable Showtime Saturday night.
Roger Corman's "Frankenstein Unbound," with John Hurt and Raul Julia, now playing in major urban centers, will open locally in the next few weeks. The same is the case for the anthology horror film "Grim Prairie Tales," starring James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif. (Dourif is also in the current "Graveyard Shift" and "Child's Play 2.")
Stephen King's two-part TV movie "It" will air Nov. 18 and 20. And King's "Misery," with James Caan and Kathy Bates, hits theaters Nov. 30 - just in time for Christmas. (Ho, ho, ho.)
Those who like their horror blended with science fiction may look forward to Nov. 21 when "Predator 2" opens, with Danny Glover filling in for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And those who prefer comedy-horror will get two in December - "Edward Scissorhands," from Tim Burton ("Beetlejuice," "Batman"), and Dan Aykroyd's directing debut, "Valkenvania," starring Chevy Chase, Demi Moore and John Candy.
- AND IF YOU'RE in a more "family" frame of mind, you might be interested to know that animation continues to make inroads in the movie scene.
Next week, Disney's animated feature "The Rescuers Down Under," a sequel to "The Rescuers," opens, and playing with it is a new Mickey Mouse featurette, "The Prince and the Pauper."
Disney's competition will be another animated feature, "The Nutcracker Prince," opening Nov. 21.
"Box Office Bunny," a new five-minute Bugs Bunny short - the first in 26 years - is in the can and was supposed to be released in conjunction with Bugs' 50th anniversary this year. But Warner Bros., waiting for the right movie to release it with, hasn't announced a release date.
Though the sequel to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is on the boards, don't look for it to materialize for a couple of years at least - but another Roger Rabbit short cartoon, "Hare in My Soup," is scheduled for theaters next summer, playing with an as-yet unannounced Disney film.
And 20th Century Fox will start attaching new "Fox Toons," featuring brand-new characters, to some of its family-oriented features as early as next summer. They will be made by Marvel Productions, which also does Saturday morning favorites "Spider-Man" and "Jim Henson's Muppet Babies."
Meanwhile, a Tom and Jerry cartoon feature is in the works and should be released in the summer of 1992. But Tom and Jerry fans may shudder at the news that the film will have the violent cat-and-mouse team as buddies instead of adversaries. What's more, the heretofore silent characters will talk!
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Linda Blair, star of "Repossessed," an off-the-wall spoof of "The Exorcist," in which Blair starred 17 years ago at the age of 12 (to UPI's Vernon Scott):
"Let me just say that `Repossessed' is the biggest picture I've done for a long time. I feel that my 30s are going to be a lot better for my career than my 20s have been."
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK II: Whoopi Goldberg, co-starring in the monster hit "Ghost," responding to a query from the Museum of Broadcasting in New York about which TV entertainers and programs helped shape her vision of comedy:
"The television series that influenced my comedy include `The Abbott & Costello Show,' `The Ernie Kovacs Show' and `The Twilight Zone.' "