Leaping zombies! Chas. Balun ("Blood Hound," Orange County Life, Jan. 16) of Westminster has got to be the most authoritative horror movie critic this side of the legendary Texan Joe Bob Briggs, who like Balun began his career as a horror movie analyst in 1982.
While Joe Bob had his "vomit meter," which measured such things as dead bodies, blood spilled and limbs severed, Balun analyzes movies from a more serious, professional perspective, taking such things as artistic merit, carnage and ability to frighten into consideration.
In fact, he got into the horror movie review business because most professional critics shunted such movies aside, not taking them seriously, and Balun, being an ardent fan of this genre of movie, objected to this stepbrother type of treatment.
In a stylish, witty, sometimes humorous fashion, Balun meticulously differentiates between the well-made and the abominable horror flicks. For example, he describes "Day of the Dead" as "a thinking man's zombie film" while "The Howling" is the "funniest, sexiest, hippest werewolf film of them all."