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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Both of the matchups this week were tough, but not tough in that the final decision was tough, but moreso because both of the films I'm not voting for impressed me and could've had my vote in a lot of other matchups. So I feel conflicted but ultimately I never really came close to changing what I expected my votes to be.

Showgirls is really a lot better than I remembered it, and I liked it before. But this time I felt like the pacing wasn't nearly as much of an issue as it seemed when I saw the movie last, and the Nomi character really jumped off the screen in a way that was pretty striking. I guess I never really paid enough attention to what type of a person she is and what makes her tick, and everything in the movie that subtly and not so subtly establishes what she's all about and what she represents. It's complete bullshit that Berkley's career was so tarnished by the reaction to this film because if anything she deserved awards recognition(yea that's right, I'm going that far)for how fearless and all-in she clearly was with Verhoeven's vision. There are also several big dance scenes that I guess ten years ago and before then in 1995 I had trouble appreciating(I was probably laser focused on the boobs) but now I'm in a different place and was able to see how impressive those were. If Robocop and Total Recall are masterpieces, Showgirls qualifies as a near masterpiece in my opinion.

Unfortunately for Verhoeven and his team, Peeping Tom is actually a masterpiece. I'd seen it several years ago but my memory is foggy and I'm thinking I probably watched it at the end of the night and fell asleep or something. I've also delved into Powell & Pressburger films in recent years, and so seeing Peeping Tom with that context in mind made it easier to appreciate the craft and technical skill in display. The parallels between Showgirls and Peeping Tom are interesting, this is another case of someone's career being basically ruined based on work that was unfairly derided and cast aside for no legitimate reason other than the failure of the audience to appreciate what they were seeing. It's not only tragic for Powell, it's tragic for me and anyone else in the past 60 years who enjoys Technicolor films because the man could put together dynamic visuals at a level rarely seen to this day. After Peeping Tom, I rewatched Black Narcissus the very next day because once I get this particular itch Powell(& Pressburger) is really one of the only ways to scratch it. And I haven't even mentioned Carl Boehm's lead performance which is the glue that holds the whole thing together. Peeping Tom basically has it all, I can't think of any area where it's not a 5/5.

Last night's films were similar because Julien Donkey Boy was much more affecting than I expected it to be. It's very loose narratively, and most scenes are purposely uncomfortable in some way, so for me it's probably a film that I'll always appreciate but maybe won't be jumping to rewatch any time soon. Part of why it was such a pleasant surprise for me is that I had no idea going in that Werner Herzog was in it, let alone that he'd have such a prominent role. Herzog's dynamic with the title character is extremely memorable and in general I think this is one of the more raw and realistic portrayals of mental illness and how abusive relationships at home can exacerbate that situation or even help create it. Most of the time this type of film pulls it's punches in at least some areas, but Korine refuses to do that and so the experience definitely isn't fun. And in the end I guess that's the real decider here because it's up against a director who is the epitome of the fun side of horror.

Mr. Sardonicus has a first act that probably could've gone off in ten different directions. Once Sardonicus himself takes center stage I fell in love pretty quickly though, Guy Rolfe steals every scene and makes you forget everyone else in the movie. Castle's reputation for gimmicks is on full display here, and you can't help but respect the nerve he had to insert himself into the movie so overtly. Although in this case I think it was unnecessary because the movie stands on it's own and didn't need extra help. The dialogue for Sardonicus is worth the price of admission on it's own and then you also get bizarre and memorable makeup work too. There's a classic foggy/spooky graveyard scene too, so really this is a movie that hits all of my favorite notes. It's probably more frivolous and disposable than Julien Donkey Boy but for my taste I'm just always going to lean towards this sort of thing because it's the type of horror my father got me into as a kid and I love discovering new gems that I missed during those years growing up.

So if it wasn't clearly my votes are for Peeping Tom and Mr. Sardonicus.

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 19:37 on Apr 27, 2021

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Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





I'm similarly torn this week. Each of the films is so different that it's really quite difficult to compare. I do wish I could throw my weight behind Showgirls, as it's a very me film, but it is a little longwinded, unfortunately, and it's also against the wonderful and tense Peeping Tom. It really doesn't stand much of a chance, I'm afraid.

Similarly, Julien vs. Mr. Sardonicus feels like an impossible choice. I wondered if I should be cheeky and reject Julien solely because it's a Dogme '95 film and therefore rejects "genre movie" status. It raises a bit of a paradox, if the film is successful within the director's own parameters, then it by definition does not qualify to be in this tournament. If you could somehow prove that it does belong here, then the director failed according to their own vision, and therefore it should be voted against. That's such a dull meandering rules-lawyery argument though, but I think it gets to the heart of my dilemma. On the one hand, with Sardonicus, we have a film that fully embraces genre conventions with a cheeky grimace and a sly wink, and then on the other, we have a film that is attempting to break free of all of those molds and present something beyond that which is simply described. And I don't want to drag this into a nauseating discussion of what horror is, but I think why we watch horror is an important question and one which inevitably must inform how we vote in situations like this. I'm not sure I have the answer, however, and I'd be interested in hearing more thoughts from others. Currently my head is leaning toward Julien, but my heart is leaning toward the goofy warm embrace of William Castle.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



William Castle was done so dirty last time, he deserves to win this whole thing.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

Someone you know is Gay
Someone you know is Bi
Someone you know is Trans
Someone you know is French
Maybe even someone you love

Grimey Drawer

TrixRabbi posted:

William Castle was done so dirty last time, he deserves to win this whole thing.

What did he lose to last time?

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Franchescanado posted:

What did he lose to last time?

He fell to the unstoppable Miike in a triple-threat with Bob Clark.

Takeshi Miike's Imprint - Winner
Vs.
Bob Clark Dead of Night AKA Deathdream - Loser
Vs.
William Castle's The Tingler - Loser

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



He really shoulda won that matchup too.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

Someone you know is Gay
Someone you know is Bi
Someone you know is Trans
Someone you know is French
Maybe even someone you love

Grimey Drawer

I voted Tingler in that match-up anyway.

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011





Franchescanado posted:

I voted Tingler in that match-up anyway.

A werewolf of taste, I see.

Imprint was Miike's "Masters of Horror" episode, right? If so, that was terrible; I don't know how that would have managed to win, even with Deathdream potentially poaching a couple of votes from Castle.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





TrixRabbi posted:

He really shoulda won that matchup too.

Yea miikes bug movie should have won.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I was a proud and bitter Tingler voter. Its not even like Daydream did him in. Imprint had a majority.



But like... that's the same vote Gordon took down Frankenstein. And Honda's Half Human drew with Parasite. The tournament's personality was formed that week. Upsets of critical favorites and legends, favors to the Gordons and Miikes, and me being all salty.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 22:03 on Apr 27, 2021

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I voted Tingler as well. I never quite understood the thread's overwhelming affection for Miike, I voted against him a few times.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





STAC Goat posted:

I was a proud and bitter Tingler voter. Its not even like Daydream did him in. Imprint had a majority.



But like... that's the same vote Gordon took down Frankenstein. And Honda's Half Human drew with Parasite. The tournament's personality was formed that week. Upsets of critical favorites and legends, favors to the Gordons and Miikes, and me being all salty.

I think I effort-posted in favour of both Miike and Gordon that week. My Pit and the Pendulum post was perhaps my most passionate plea of the whole tournament.

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

As you may have gathered from my previous posts, I'm voting for The Pit and the Pendulum, and I suspect that I'm in the minority. With P&P, Stuart Gordon has crafted a loving tribute to Gothic horror, which is not only beautiful, but also terrifically performed by the entire cast, with startling practical effects, balancing extremely dark themes with light humour, and most importantly is a profoundly feminist film about reclaiming our bodies from patriarchical systems. So let's begin, won't we?

At its core, Gordon's The Pit and the Pendulum is a romance about multiple converging and overlapping love triangles. We have the most obvious relationship between the young couple, Maria and Antonio. This relationship is complicated by the intervention of Lance Henrikson's Gothic horror staple, the mad monk Torquemada, who sees within Maria the spirit of the Virgin Mary and abuses his power as a member of inquisition to obtain her body. Lastly, and perhaps most easy to miss, is Henrikson's lover in puritanical zeal, Mendoza, played passionately by Mark Margolis.

When we first see Mendoza and Torquemada together in private, Torquemada playfully penetrates Mendoza's fresh stigmata scar. Mendoza winces in both pain and pleasure, as Torquemada coos seductively. Later we see the couple in a metaphorical act of lovemaking, as Mendoza whips Torquemada into a state of ecstatic frenzy. Before the moment of climax, Torquemada sees a vision of Maria as the Virgin Mary. Suddenly the proceedings stop, and Mendoza is spurned.

In the following scene, Mendoza attempts to exact revenge upon Maria, by advancing her torture beyond the bounds of the agreed schedule. In turn, this only acts to push Torquemada and Maria closer still. With Mendoza now spiraling out of control, he begins to see his struggle mirrored in the torment of Maria, and drawing from her strength is finally able to see Torquemada for the abusive, cruel lover that he is, freeing himself and Antonio in the process.

What is Maria's strength, though? It would be easy to reduce her character to a doe-eyed innocent, or an excuse to push nudity into the film. Absolutely some filmmakers objectify women and reduce them merely to T&A, but that's not what's happening here. I don't want to become too sidetracked, but Maria's nudity is emblematic of the dehumanizing misogyny she experiences, and eventually overcomes. The Church sees her as nothing but a body to be abused, stripped, tortured, probed, and raped. The story of Maria, and the strength of Maria, is in her ability to maintain her sense of self throughout these multiple indignities, and to not allow herself to be reduced to the simplistic terms in which she is understood by the misogynistic church.

Maria's mentor in this journey is Esmerelda, played by the ever wonderful Frances Bay. Maria and Esmerelda stand at opposite ends of the classic Triple Goddes, of Mother, Maiden, Crone. Maria is young and innocent, while Esmerelda is worldly but emotionally weathered by her experiences. It is within their synthesis that both discover strength from the other. There's a pivotal scene in which Esmerelda attempts to teach Maria to emotionally retreat from her pain whilst being assaulted, however Maria rejects this lesson, choosing instead to reconnect with her body, and in turn reclaim it from the ever grasping hands of the Inquisition. It is within this choice to not meekly surrender herself but instead to fight, despite the unfathomable pain, that sets off the chain of reactions which turn Mendoza against Torquemada, as he too stands up and reclaims control of his body from the probing fingers of the church.

Maria's journey as a hero is atypical in that she does not embody some swashbuckling power fantasy. In fact, Gordon places those tropes in the hands of Antonio, and has his fail miserably on several occasions. Maria saves the day instead by maintaining her selfhood, navigating a world that is openly hostile to her, and inspiring empathy and solidarity in those around her. She's the kind of hero I'd love to see more often in film.

All of this is without mentioning the beautiful sets and consuming. The visceral, inventive, and haunting gore. The incredibly deep cast of Lance Henriksen, Mark Margolis, Jeffrey Combs, Oliver Reed, Frances Bay, and Tom motherfucking Towles, who we last saw in the absolutely robbed Home Sick. It's just, for me, a perfect film, and an absolute joy to experience.

On the other side of the round stands Frankenstein, which of course is a classic, but a flawed one. This would be a far different choice for me if Pit were standing against Bride of Frankenstein. Frankenstein on the other hand doesn't quite hit those same high notes, it doesn't have the same emotional depth, it isn't as engaging, and while you could say it has the greater influence, that's not something I personally trouble myself with. Influence says a lot more, for me at least, about where the status quo of horror is and has been. I'd much rather be off in the weeds with the other weirdos.

Debbie Does Dagon fucked around with this message at 22:40 on Apr 27, 2021

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




Basebf555 posted:

I voted Tingler as well. I never quite understood the thread's overwhelming affection for Miike, I voted against him a few times.

Because Miike is great

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Debbie Does Dagon posted:

I think I effort-posted in favour of both Miike and Gordon that week. My Pit and the Pendulum post was perhaps my most passionate plea of the whole tournament.

That feels like the week where our polar opposites relationship over sex and sadism stuff was born. It really does feel like the week of votes that shaped things. That Gordon and Miike are right at the heart of it and classic "legends" like Whale's Frankenstein and Castle's Tingler went down really showcases it. Plus a bones of a Best Picture barely getting a draw with a Honda deep cut that Burk pushed hard for. That's our tournament in a nutshell. Plus... you know... this rear end in a top hat...

STAC Goat posted:

I ain't gonna lie. I'm a little bitter ya'll voted against The Tingler and are now gonna eliminate John Carpenter. I need a minute.

I also think its completely rigged and arbitrary to change up a movie after its been picked. And I like Salem's Lot. But also I've seen Salem's Lot a bunch so like, I don't care if you want to add a different shorter movie. This week's a lot of movie especially when my compulsion makes me watch the first 2 Nightmares... and maybe to New Nightmare.

No... I can't talk about that. I'm hurting too much. I need time.

Here we are. 8 months later, Castle on the block, Carpenter at bat. The more things change...

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 23:15 on Apr 27, 2021

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

I can never vote against effort Miike doing historical Japan, I just dig his style too much. The Tingler was dope though, I absolutely adored the audience participation gimmick.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Wednesday again. That means you're almost out of time, but not entirely. You can still vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST Apr 30th (or when I wake up). That's like... 33 and a half hours? Or something? I dunno. Its enough time for me to hopefully watch the two movies I haven't. So hopefully time for you to watch what you want to as well. And then vote. Don't forget to vote. Voting is cool.

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Debbie Does Dagon posted:

Similarly, Julien vs. Mr. Sardonicus feels like an impossible choice. I wondered if I should be cheeky and reject Julien solely because it's a Dogme '95 film and therefore rejects "genre movie" status. It raises a bit of a paradox, if the film is successful within the director's own parameters, then it by definition does not qualify to be in this tournament. If you could somehow prove that it does belong here, then the director failed according to their own vision, and therefore it should be voted against.

If it helps you decide, from what I understand Korine was trying to rules-lawyer Dogme 95 with Julien. It was accepted as Dogme but only because they appreciated him trying to gently caress with them.

Rules he "broke" include crediting the director (it doesn't say directed by, it just puts the words "Harmony Korine" on screen so the credit is implied), non diagetic music (there's diagetic music in a scene but it persists as the scene is intercut) and something about prop usage in the final sequence that doesn't really make sense to me.

So, by accepting it as a genre film, we're actually continuing Korine's vision.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





You have to use a real infant's corpse, or it's not authentic

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Oh right, that's it. It's a nurse training doll and they're in a hospital so it meets the requirement of "all props must be found at the filming location" but since it's not actually a dead baby it breaks the rules. Thanks, Lars & pals!

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I really liked Showgirls, but I just can't bring myself to call it horror. So I'm voting for Peeping Tom, which is also a great movie.

I'm likely to abstain from the second vote. Not sure I can bring myself to watch Julien Donkey Boy before tomorrow.

Yesterdays Piss
Nov 8, 2009




I feel like I'm in the same basket for Showgirls and Julien Donkey-Boy, both of which I preferred (slightly and vastly, respectively) to the other films they were matched up against. I guess I understand the arguments framing Julien Donkey-Boy as a horror movie, but I personally experienced it as more of a tragicomedy. So, I find myself in the weird position of having to vote for the two films I liked the least.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Yeah, I'm not going to vote for a better movie when it's clearly not horror to me. Showgirls isn't the better movie in the first place, and while I suppose Julien is the more interesting movie, Mr. Sardonicus was more fun to me. I love dumb gimmicks and William Castle delivers!

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I finally got around to Sardonicus and really enjoyed it. It felt like maybe a horror anthology episode that got stretched out to a feature film, and I admit I kept imagining Vincent Price in the lead role. But I enjoyed it for the most part and Castle's intros are a lot of fun. I think its really cute that 60 years later people watching it can wonder if there's two endings because like... of course not, right? The logistics of filming two endings, having two reels, and having projectionists do a head count is just silly. But its a testament to Castle that people can still buy into his gimmicks after so long and kind of the key to old horror. Can you still suck people into the illogical danger of the situation when they know better? Castle seemed good at it and I definitely need to check more of his stuff out.

I dunno if I'm gonna get to Julien Donkey-Boy. I'm debating the merits of staying up to watch it, but truthfully from the sounds of what everyone else is saying I just am unlikely to break the tide and be the one to go for this movie so far outside my comfort zone as the horror winner. But I still intend to give it a watch. Just maybe not tonight. I'll see.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I find Showgirls only moderately entertaining, but more importantly there's very little that I consider effective horror in it. It's really just the one scene, and it comes too late, and not only that seems more like it's meant to hammer home the message about another character, without really being about the character it's happening to. I will allow that for all that it's pretty well shot. I think Verhoeven always puts in a lot of effort, but I don't know that it always works well. But even if I liked it more than I did, Michael Powell is just worlds ahead and Peeping Tom, while not 100% perfect, is awfully good, ahead of its time, and an easy pick for me.

I won't get to both of the others, so no vote there.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





I have completely flip-flopped and I'm voting Striptease and Julien. I think they're the more interesting films, and whether they qualify as horror or not is for me a less interesting question. They're in the tournament, and I'll judge them simply on the basis of their merits, and not worry about categorization.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.





And we have another upset. Not many in the first round but weíre picking them up here late, and Verhoeven becomes the second #1 seed to fall after Miike last week. And while teams have largely dominated the first round Agents Provocateur join Daddy Issues as the only two teams to receive automatic seeds and get eliminated in the first round. Although in this case its a team picking up the win as Tarnop had to lose someone but his highly regarded Predation team picks up its second win of the tournament. On the other side Castle successfully improves on his last year first round elimination and moves into the second, sending Franís Team Rule Breaker home. That also tarnishes Franís perfect 1st round record after he went 3-0 until now. With the two ďpurer horrorĒ entries advancing this week that sets up a second round matchup of 8 seed Castle vs 16 seed Tarnopís Predation as with no 1 or 2 seed left in the Doubles Conference things have got a lot less predictable.

Two #1 seeds have come up and theyíve both gone down. Can we make it 3 in a row?



1. John Carpenterís The Thing vs. 16. (STAC Goat's Block Party) Oz Rodriguezís Vampires vs the Bronx


I ainít even mad because this is a fun rear end Goat double feature. My Block Party team got past Steven Spielbergís War of the Worlds and Tarnopís Lost and Found teamís Butterfly Kisses in the prelims on the strength of Ernest Dickersonís Bones but their reward is facing off against my absolute favorite of all time. Carpenter made it through the first round last year defeating Jack Arnoldís Revenge of the Creature but then feel to Ridley Scottís classic Alien in the second round. Coming out of the gates this year he didnít get one of those soft draws some of the other big names got. He got the pick of the litter with The Thing. That might hurt him down the line but heís all guns blazing this round. I think Vampires vs the Bronx is a fun rear end film and a rare bit of representation from a voice and place that felt more like home to me than drat near any horror film Iíve sceneÖ But I mean, címon. Its basically fighting to not get shutout. But Iím at peace with that because Iíd never really forgive myself if I knocked out Carpenter and I actually think this is a really great double feature with a newer film a lot probably havenít scene being a fun and light lead in to the classic. Sometimes the journey is enough.

The Thing
Vampires vs the Bronx is on Netflix in the US.



8. Ishiro Hondaís Varan vs. 9. (STAC Goatís As Seen On V/H/S) Ti Westís The Roost


Honda had a #1 seed last year and represented it well going over William Lustigís , Bong Joon-Hoís , and George Romeroís before finally falling in the Elite 8 as another victim of Takeshi Miike. But is Miike falling first round this year and 3 straight weeks of upsets a sign? Honda draws Varan, a film about a prehistoric reptile wrecking havoc on Tokyo. If it ainít broke. His opponent is Ti West who was one and done last year falling in the first round to David Lynchís Lost Highway after drawing the unfortunate Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. He gets a second go this year and while he doesnít get one of his more critically favored films he does get one that seems more of his own representative work. Its also the THIRD Larry Fessenden film of the first round, making him kind of the low key star of this tournament. So does West ride some of that moment his partner Adam Wingard has with Godzilla vs Kong and take down Hondaís monster? Or does the King of Kaiju start his second run with yet another memorable monster? And after Silver Bullet advanced and I Sell The Dead was eliminated what will be the result in the Fessenden Tiebreaker?

Redraw Alert: Way back when we started I said that we might redraw films if there was an especially unaccessible film or something. Thereís been a few debated draws but none we thought really merited it or that seemed fair. Until now. The original Honda draw was actually Varan the Unbelievable, which is actually an American recut of Hondaís film that dramatically butchers the film and allegedly includes only a fraction of Hondaís footage. So after consultation with Deb and our resident Honda expert Burkion I decided to award Honda his OG Varan. It just seemed fairer. But from what Burk tells me the American version is a trip, and its only 70 minutes and available on Prime and TubiTV. So I might just watch it anyway.

Varan is on the Internet Archive.
The Roost is on Youtube.



Thatís our new week, and the second to last of the first round. Iím really excited about these matchups as weíve got two legends and some really interesting looking deep cuts. This looks like a rare Goat week so I hope it delivers for everyone else as much as I hope it will for me.

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST May 7th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week!
- 1. Dario Argento vs. 16. TrixRabbiís Andrzej Żuławski & Other Pole
- 8. STAC Goatís Team ďLadies NightĒ vs. 9. STAC Goatís The Silent Founders

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Week 18 Bracketology Streams!
Only on the CineD Discord

All times are in EST and may not reflect reality.

Saturday, May 1st



1900 Vampires vs. The Bronx
2035 The Thing

Monday, May 3rd



1900 Varan
2035 The Roost

Content Warnings

Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)
Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some suggestive references.

The Thing (1982)
Contains strong violence and gory horror

Varan (1958)
No rating info - it's a Honda kaiju flick, it'll be fine.

The Roost (2005)
Contains strong bloody horror

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Last week Gasper Noe became the king of my stats with the most pts for any director. This week Predation becomes King team of the stats racking up the most pts of any team so far and 2 of the top 5 Directors and Movies. Block Party is unlikely to make a dent in that this week but in 2 weeks we get to Round 2 and other teams start to rack them up. But Predation is building a hell of a lead with their play in round and 2 strong wins. Its gotten 81% of its total possible votes so far. By comparison Team Vulgaer's only gotten 61%.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Apr 30, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I am shamelessly bumping this because I feel like it got lost in shuffle today.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I mean feel like next roundís already decided before this one even begins but Iím excited to watch Varan which Iíve never seen.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I'm relieved that Carpenter didn't get a bad dice roll, I don't care if he loses steam later on I just didn't want to see him go out early again. Although he still has to win one more to get further than last time.

Looking forward to more Honda, he's always good fun.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Vampires vs. The Bronx was so much more fun this second time around, I think I might have actually enjoyed the group watch experience more than with The Thing. I'm probably just saying that because I've seen The Thing so many times, I know it like the back of my hand, and I can zone out and not feel like I'm missing anything, but really that's just a reflection of how much of a perfect film it is. I'm going to chew this one over, and probably fall on the side of The Thing, but I think a good effort post might swing me.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I love Vampires vs The Bronx. I'm super pumped people enjoyed it because I made this team entirely to get that movie streamed and exposed to people. On paper its probably nothing super special or revolutionary. Its the same kind of Lost Boys/Goonies "kids on bikes" horror we've seen and that stuff like Stranger Things taps into for nostalgia. So if this movie was set in a different place with a different cast I think it could very easily be dismissed as nostalgia and derivative. But its setting and cast give it something unique and shapes its voice and energy. There's a million elements from the moms dressing the kids down in the streets to Promo's bodega to turning to Blade for research to the Adobo gag to Method's priest that just all felt so real and true to its world that just wouldn't exist in those other films.

And on one level, yeah, that's partially about race. Its not a film about race. Its got its obvious gentrification thing but that's only partially a race thing. But you don't see a lot of horror films made up almost entirely of not just POC but such a diverse mix of Dominican and Cuban and Puerto Rican and Haitan and Black. And that's truly what that area is like and how it feels and just rarely see that kind of setting in horror. But aside from race or ethnicity you also rarely see urban settings in horror. Kids get lost in the woods, they ride around cul de sacs and go to malls and find abandoned houses in dilapidated Texas. When I was in college I had a mix of suburban and urban students and one day the suburban people were all talking about the ghost stories and folklore and stupid poo poo they had in their hometowns. And us urban kids were like "you didn't have that, right? Nah, we had dealers and dark alleys." And I think that's a thing often missing from horror that this film taps into. Those dark alleys and underground lots that people get chased into are very real to me. Urban films tap into a whole different set of fears and anxieties and locations than 99% of horror. And I think VvstBX nails that, while also kind of going faux gothic for the final act.

I don't think its a revolutionary film in any technical aspect, but I think its a fun and energetic film from a voice and perspective we rarely see. I also think its a good film. Its carried more by that energy and characters than any plotting or pacing or monster stuff, but I think its carried well and fully.

But The Thing is a loving masterpiece and when I drew these films 3 months ago I wasn't even sad. I was happy because I knew people would show up to watch one of the absolute classics and get a really excellent double feature with a film they probably didn't notice or dismissed before. But I know my team is going down. I already have the movie selected for my May Return of the Fallen Challenge.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Aside from the fact that obviously yes I'm voting for The Thing, I do feel like there were a few tweaks that could've been made to Vampires vs. The Bronx to elevate it an instant classic. First, it takes a long time just establishing the neighborhood and the characters. And that's great, it's a big part of what makes the movie good, but it means that this really needed to be like 100 minutes instead of 85. The last act would've benefited from an extra 15 minutes to really revel in some good vampire action but all we really get is a fairly short confrontation and an abrupt ending.

Second, and this isn't totally unrelated to the first point, is that the budget just clearly wasn't there to do proper goopy horror of the type that I feel would've been a perfect fit for this movie. Like, if you even just make the small change of having the vampires melt into puddles of goo, that alone would've made a big difference. For me this is a movie where the kids should've been drenched in vampire guts by the time the credits rolled and that just didn't come close to happening, so I come away from it a bit disappointed.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Having just streamed Varan vs The Roost, all I can say is...

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



8. Ishiro Hondaís Varan vs. 9. (STAC Goatís As Seen On V/H/S) Ti Westís The Roost

Ok, minor effort post for a not good film.

Varan is bad. Its a cheap and lazy knockoff of Godzilla that ditches nearly everything from the original. Like if it wasn't Honda making this I'd comment that someone watched Godzilla and missed the point entirely. Instead of a story of the horrors of warfare and consequences of WMDs its a bunch of people throwing a million weapons at him and high fiving over it. Instead of Godzilla causing massive devastation Varan's just kind of chilling. Like he eats a few people who cross his path but he's totaly isolated and even fenced off until people start shooting him and drive him out of his home and then look steer him to the mainland by shooting at him for an hour. I'd almost think it was satire but it doesn't feel like it at all. Its just bad. Also like the only think not making Varan a dollar store Godzilla is that he flies. Except he doesn't fly. He just walks and swims a lot. Its lame.

The Roost is also bad. Its cheap and amateurish, but like... its not a guy who did something great just doing a lame knockoff its an actual amateur trying to make something. I admit, I connected with this. Ti West is about my age, comes from about the same place. When he and his crew were making this I was not far away trying to make something very much like this. So I can relate and appreciate it on that level. West's use of light and shadows to try and build tension and compensate for the budget and limitations. Him trying to give his thin characters some depth. The fun B creature feature/horror host pastiche thing he tries to lean in on and make something fun with. It doesn't really work. Its a lot of fails, but it feels like a lot of learning. People who don't know what they're doing learning what they're doing. There's shots in there that now as a film viewer I can look at and say are bad but then as a wannabe filmmaker I know I would have been excited to pull off.

So I mean... its probably not a motivation that can work for everyone but it works for me. I appreciated and enjoyed West's film more and just am usually gonna go for the amateur doing their best with a labor of love over a pro just being kind of lazy and doing a job to its minimum. So I'm voting West.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


John Carpenterís The Thing vs. 16. (STAC Goat's Block Party) Oz Rodriguezís Vampires vs the Bronx

I'll also be voting for The Thing here, but I also want to agree with basically everything Basebf555 said about Vampires vs the Bronx.

I love the randomness of the matchups we get sometimes. Based on everyone's impressions of Varan and The Roost so far (I haven't watched them yet) Vampires vs the Bronx would have beaten either of them. I think it really occupies a unique spot in the movies I've seen so far in Bracketology.

Actually, looking at last week's matchups I'd say there's a real rock-paper-scissor situation with Vampires vs the Bronx, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Mr. Sardonicus if they had been matched.

Vampires vs the Bronx > Mr. Sardonicus
Mr. Sardonicus > Julien Donkey-Boy
Julien Donkey-Boy > Vampires vs the Bronx

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Between life and the May Challenge, I won't have time this week to rewatch Vampires vs the Bronx or The Thing, but they're both pretty fresh in my mind. I think Vampires vs the Bronx would have stood a chance against a lot of movies in the tournament (hell, I'd vote for it over either of the movies in the other match up) but unfortunately it is against one of my favorite movies of all time in The Thing, and it will lose despite being a lot of fun.

I watched The Roost and Varan and posted my thoughts in the Challenge thread, I don't think either film is particularly great but I sure got more out of The Roost. It has my vote.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Varan

Well, letís say some good things about it: The music isnít bad. I like Varanís spikes. They shoot a lot of tiny missiles at Varan, and some look like they actually hit. He looks very cute the one time he flies, and he has a good breaststroke too. Other than that, not much to say. Is it satire? Maybe? A lot of nuance could be lost in translation/subtitling. I almost want to give the benefit of the doubt to the person who made Godzilla. But just because something is stupid and superficial doesnít make it a satire of the thing its depicting. Ah well.

The Roost

Like this shot? Think itís neat? Well youíll be seeing it and the several other good shots in this movie reused a lot. Very economical, but also very amateurish. And of course, itís an amateur movie. Not a good one either. A lot of ideas that donít work, a lot of tries and fails. The wraparound is cute (though I found Tom Noonanís acting horrid), but it actively works against the characters in the movie Ė theyíre developed to a degree that we are supposed to care about them, but Tom makes us want to hope for their demise, and ultimately I neither care for them nor wish them ill. But thereís potential Ė Ti West is playing around with light and shadow, and heís doing it quite effectively. Thereís also the final found footage segment with the silly lion?? attack and the sick credits song, I love it!

Iím going to go for the honest effort vs the lazy cash in.

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I think I'm gonna run out of time this week and may not get a chance to see The Roost, but I'm considering just voting for Honda anyway because I'm really really not a Ti West fan. But I guess that's sort of dishonorable right? The people who actually did watch The Roost would probably feel like I'm cheating them out of a proper vote? So I guess I'll abstain from that one.

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