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twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.




6. 1965. Planet of the Vampires
Available on Amazon, DIRECTV, Epix

In the far off retro future of 1965, two ships (the Argos and Galliot) are sent to investigate a mysterious and spooky planet. As they approach, their communications are disrupted, most of the crew is knocked out by massive G forces, and they are both forced to land. Once the crew of the Argos begins to regain consciousness, they go bonkers and attack other. Eventually, the violence subsides and the spookiness begins.



Many folks have noted that Planet of the Vampires must have influenced both Alien and Prometheus. I can see that. Itís also worth noting the obvious influence on Bryan Singerís X-Men. Itís definitely a visually striking film.



Aside from the visuals ó costumes, set design, props ó Planet of the Vampires doesnít have a lot going for it. Itís weird. Itís hammy. Itís actually kind of boring. I didnít really care what happened to these stylish space doofuses. I just wanted something interesting to happen and I only got my wish a handful of times. It's definitely one of those videos at the rental place that tricked you with its awesome box art, only to disappoint you when you get home to watch it.



I would give it 1/2

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dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








5. The Curse of Frankenstein [1957] - Dir: Terence Fisher

Well this was a welcome early afternoon romp. Cool atmosphere, characters I got invested in and some sweet set design and pretty fun moments. I'm on board the Hammer train and have many more to go, but this was a neat one and I'm looking forward to checking out more of the Frankenstein pictures going forward. I need more mad scientist in their cool looking laboratories nowadays. There's a strong lack of experimenting and gobbledigook about science and stuff. More of that now with the budgets and cool effects and stuff.



4 Skulls out of 5



6. Insidious: The Last Key [2018] - Dir: Adam Robitel

I didnt think it could really get any worse for the Insidious franchise. I thought the third one was just a bump in the road. Boy was I wrong! Again more characters that need saving that I dont really care about. A very sad and tragic backstory for our heroine and the events of the first movie are all the fault of our Dream Warrior leaving a door open while she was dealing with her own family trauma, thus causing that whole family turmoil of the first one and getting herself killed by the ghost that was coming after her all along. Now that I'm done with the Insidious franchise (because I dont imagine I'll be watching the inevitable fifth film that is in some sort of production, at least not until another one of these thread events) I cant say I recommend anything past the second movie. First two flicks are good and well done, but three and four suck hard and should be avoided at all costs. If you need to know more about Elise's background just read the synopsis on Wikipedia for 3/4 and keep it moving.



1 Skull out of 5

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018






Pumpkinhead

Finally, a movie where you know what time of day it is! I'm so tired of watching movies and not knowing if it's day or night. That is not a problem in Punkinhead. When it's day the sun blasts down on the earth, obliterating shadows and pouring through windows in solid yellow rectangular prisms of light. When it's dusk, oh boy you better believe it's the duskiest dusk you ever fuckin saw. And when it's night, everything is lit by the pure white spotlight of the moon reflecting off the fog.

The titular Pumpkinhead is the main draw, and it's pretty great. Best Pumpkinhead I know of, that's for drat sure. And it manages an impressive variety of kills for a monster whose only move is lifting people up

Lance Henriksen is here, and the movie gives him the bulk of the emotional stuff which he shoulders quite well. Also Buck Flowers, always a delight. And there are some other actors appearing on screen as well.

One odd thing about the movie, thematically, is that there's no forgiveness. I kinda thought that would be part of Lance Henriksen stopping the Pumpkinhead he unleashed, he would forgive the teens. And he even got the one that did it, even if he himself didn't know it was that teen specifically that killed his boy. He just realizes that spree murder is wrong after experiencing the first murder through the psychic link. Which does leave the movie a little empty feeling. I'm not saying it needed a moral or anything. But there's no real character arc or transformation or anything. All you get is the Pumpkinhead. Which, in fairness, isn't small potatoes. That's a quality Pumpkinhead.

So check out Pumpkinhead if you want to see a Pumpkinhead. Or if you want to see Lance Henriksen give birth, that's in the movie too.

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

#1 JUICY BOY



Buglord

1) Crawl (2019)


This movie is very fun in a video gamey sort of way. But if you start pulling at ANY SINGLE THREAD, the entire thing just falls apart.
.5

2) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)


What a fun movie. Sure, it's a little heavy handed with it's McCarthyism message. But it's DRIPPING with 50s swagger, excellent acting, quick pacing, and wonderful music. A really fun way to spend 80 minutes.


3) Vampyr (1932)


I'm always fascinated by the evolution of the mythology in vampire movies. This one leans heavily into the religious aspect, which I think other contemporary interpretations do too, and which is largely lost from modern depictions. Or at least, it's romanticized instead of used as a Christian cautionary tale. While I feel like the plot was a little meandering, the movie is GORGEOUS and kept my interest the whole way through. This is absolutely a master class in lighting and shadows. Also, there's something incredibly Lynchian and dream-logic-y about the whole thing. It's very very surreal at parts. Great movie.



4) I Walked With A Zombie (1943)


Technically and stylistically, this movie was perfectly fine. But, I think I'm just burnt out on pre-Romero "Colonialism" zombies. This film is a glorified love story using Caribbean Voodoo as a set piece, and by extension, using Caribbean people as set pieces. Meh.

.5

Total: 4
1. Crawl (2019) / 2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) / 3. Vampyr (1932) / 4. I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

M_Sinistrari
Sep 5, 2008

Do you like scary movies?






3) Train to Busan presents: Penninsula - Shudder - 2020

Train to Busan's one of my favorite zombie films, so it's a given I'd be sitting through the sequel. As a zombie film, this one's fine enough, but as a TTB sequel, ehhh....it could be better.

Set four years after the first movie, a group of Korean refugees in Hong Kong are tasked by a crime boss to go back to Korea to bring back a truck filled with millions of dollars that had been left behind. We know this isn't going to go Ocean's 11 smooth.

I don't know if it's the sheer volume of zombie films I've sat through, or my age or some combination of both, but I had some nitpicks on this one. First off, I liked the zombie look. It did seem plausible enough for four years wear and tear on zombies. The survivors in the city...they came across more like Land of the Dead's decades than four years of zombie shitshow. I don't know if it's a me thing or what, but I am beyond tired of the Mad Max-esque settings that come with any zombie movie that's not narrowed down to initial outbreak. Especially in this movie where it's established only Korea's affected by the zombies and the rest of the world's fine. I find it hard if not impossible to believe that Korea would be left to its own devices for years when you consider the risk of spread to somewhere like China.

At this point I'm thinking if there's going to be a zombie apocalypse film where people actually team up for the common good's going to happen, I'm going to have to write the thing myself.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.




3 (5). Sleep Tight (2011)
Directed by Jaume Balaguerů, Written by Alberto Marini
Watched on hoopla, available on Shudder, AMC+, Tubi, and Vudu.


Return of the Fallen 1/13
Team: Jaume Balaguerů & Paco Plaza; Eliminated in Seeding Round


Give me a second to catch my breath.

This is a slow, methodical, slow, deliberate, slow burn. Its not loaded with gore or violence or jump scares or anything of that type. Its final girl has no idea at all she's in a horror film and never feels any tension or fear. Its such a strange, different kind of film in many small ways. Really a very intriguing premise. A cat and mouse game where the mouse never really knows they're playing and the cat seems more put out to be doing it. Like some twisted Tom and Jerry or something. Except Tom's really, really hosed up.

It takes a lot of confidence to tell a story focused on a character like Cesar. To make the predator the protagonist of the film and the victim the antagonist. Cesar is sad and pathetic and entirely put upon the entire film, but he's also deeply, deeply evil. That's not hidden. There's trick or twist here. You get the basic picture very early into the film. But the entire movie plays with that, revealing how hosed up Cesar is and how evil his actions have been piece by piece and always breaking that up by showing him just struggle. Almost daring you to feel bad a little bit for this guy. You shouldn't. You don't. But because of the way Balaguerů constructs the story of his struggles and failures and danger you almost instinctively want to. Like some kind of elaborate experiment in the power of the storytelling structure and our learned patterns with it.

Everything is built like the characters are in reverse. Clara is blissful nearly the entire film, completely unaware of how much she's torturing Cesar. Its borderline darkly hilarious. And one of the tensest scenes of the film is Cesar evading her. But at the same time the film isn't trying to get you to sympathize with him. Cesar is unquestionably monstrous and he's in no way likable or fun. Even when he's being affable its not only known to us that its fake but everyone around him seems like they can kind of sense that he's trying a little too hard. Its really well acted by Luis Tosar in that regard. He's able to move between his different modes fluidly in a performance almost similar to Anthony Perkins' legendary one in Psycho. That twisted character that hides his real face under a mask that seems friendly and isn't entirely fake... but isn't real either. Like some kind of unnerving uncanny valley approximation of what he thinks we want to see.

Its slow and takes work so it won't be for everyone. And there's never some big turn in that regard. But man, if you like a dark character study and methodical cat and mouse game this is very unique, very well done, and very satisfying. In a twisted sense.




- (6). Dark Shadows (2012)
Directed by Tim Burton, written by Seth Grahame-Smith & John August, Based on Dark Shadows by Dan Curtis
Watched on HBO Max, available on DirecTV.


Return of the Fallen 2/13
Team: Team Skellington; Eliminated in Seeding Round


Dark Shadows feels like a movie without a point, or a project without a movie. "Remake Dark Shadows." Ok... and? We've got a great cast, we've got a visual style, we've got something somewhat reminiscent of the original, or what I remember of it (there's 1225 episodes of the show, its just a LOT of stuff). But there's not much meat or what feels like a finished product here. It just feels like a bunch of pieces set up... and then meandering about for awhile... and then a big finish. It also doesn't really seem to quite know if it wants to camp parody or a melodramatic soap opera. It leans more towards the camp but I don't know if that's a deliberate choice or just because its not really sure what else to do because there's not really a plot. Like Eva Green's in here being just naturally amazing and theoretically there's a love triangle with that other lady but she's kind of just around and doesn't really seem to do anything. Like the pieces are set up... there's a montage... some gags and vague plot thingies... then... uh... she gets kidnapped and jumps off a cliff. Which is weird.

Also... like... didn't Barnabus just murder Helena Bonham Carter for manipulating him so she could become a vampire? But Victoria just manipulated him so she could become a vampire. And that's a good thing now? I think Barnabus is kind of a hypocrite. Also, you know, a mass murderer. Which is kind of glossed over. Like... Eva Green's not wrong when she calls that out. I mean she's a bad guy too but Barnabus just made another vampire. That's gonna be twice as many dead people going forward.

And what was with Eva Green's accent? She just felt kind of weirdly wasted. ChloŽ Grace Moretz too. Again, good pieces, no real idea what to do with them until the finale. And the finale's just kind of a generic CGI fight.

Also I'm not really one of the people who is sick of Johnny Depp doing his Johnny Depp thing but here I really wasn't feeling it. And it basically largely consists of him being mildly bemused by strange things from the future. Like there's not really jokes about them. He just kind of discovers stuff and goes mildly reacts. And that's most of what he does when he's not murdering lots of innocent people and kind of having sex with every woman he meets he isn't related to.

I dunno. I wanted to like it. But well... I didn't.


🌻🎈Spook-A-Doodle Half-Way-To-Halloween í21: Return of the Fallen & King Spring🎈🌻
King Spring: 2/13
Return of the Fallen: 2/13
Fran Challenges: ??/??

Watched - New (Total)
1. Riding the Bullet (2004); 2. Catís Eye (1985); - (3). Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020); - (4). The Thing (1982); 3 (5). Sleep Tight (2011); - (6). Dark Shadows (2012);

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.




7. 1966. Daimajin
Available on YouTube

I was originally planning to watch Queen of Blood, but after Planet of the Vampires I really didn't want to watch another space vampire movie.

Like Dawn of the Dead, Daimajin drops you right into the action, not bothering with any exposition. Itís great! In a mountain near a town somewhere in Japan, a majin (devil) is stirring. The townsfolk spring into action, performing a ritual to appease the majin. Meanwhile, an ambitious noble takes advantage of the distraction to stage a coup. The lordís children escape, setting up our demon statue revenge story.



It takes a while for the giant demon statue to show up, but even without him, the framing story is a competent period drama. Thatís not to say that the second act doesnít drag a bit. This is a kaiju move at heart and in my experience thatís to be expected. The setup is all worth it with when Daimajin finally stomps all over the evil warlord and his presumably evil henchmen.



My only real quibble has more to do with the subtitles than the movie itself. Characters use the terms God, Mountain God, Majin, and Daimajin interchangeably and it took me a little while to figure out they were all talking about the same thing.

It's a very respectable 1/2

Iron Crowned
May 6, 2003


1) Blackula (1972,TV, The Grio)

I had never seen Blackula, so when I spotted that it was going to be on TV Saturday morning, I did a speedrun of my grocery shopping to get back in time for it. Unfortunately I missed the first few minutes so I don't know why he was cursed by Dracula himself, but I don't think that exactly hurt my enjoyment of the film.

I'm not really sure what to say about Blackula. It's decent, but there's not a lot that stands out to me. One of the more interesting elements is that Blackula encounters someone he believes is his reincarnated wife, and wants her to have freewill, rather than use hypnosis or turning her against her will.

Most of the film involves Blackula romancing his wife, wile a police detective attempts to convince the people around him that vampires are real and there's one in town.

Of course she does get turned, after a cop shoots at him and mortally wounds her. This didn't get to be the bigger plot point that I would hope it would be, as she's staked by the cops shortly after, making him commit suicide by walking out into the sun.

3/5

2) Scream Blackula Scream (1973,TV, The Grio)

Blackula's back, with the help of Voodoo.

This one is a little more fun in my opinion, even if there is a bit of a rehash with the cops getting in on the search. The addition of voodoo, was interesting, but not really utilized beyond a McGuffin.

This one did have a lot more fun with the climax where there is a house full of vampires just completely demolishing the police.

4/5

3) The Stepfather(1987, Shudder)

There was much discussion of this in the Horror Thread, and I definitely agree that it's a gory Lifetime Original Movie. Definitely enjoyable, and something I'd like to see more of.

I did grow up in Bellevue, WA, where the titular Stepfather's first family was from, so it was interesting to see a b-roll of the Bellevue Public Library sign, followed by an interior that was more like a local visitor's bureau, considering that the library at that time was decent sized, and I believe two stories (a new one was built in the early 90's and that building became Bellevue City Hall)

4/5

4) Winterbeast(1992, Blu-Ray)

Included in Vinegar Syndrome's newest boxed set "Homegrown Horrors Volume 1," this is a very low budget movie and it shows. Definitely not really a "good movie" per se, because it doesn't make a lot of sense, but there are some interesting scenes involving abandoned cabins, and some good enough composite work, with some fun stop motion monsters and a boss fight.

Maybe not something to watch on the regular, but it would make good background noise for a party, or perhaps something to project behind a band.

3/5

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




Iron Crowned posted:

1) Blackula (1972,TV, The Grio)

I had never seen Blackula, so when I spotted that it was going to be on TV Saturday morning, I did a speedrun of my grocery shopping to get back in time for it. Unfortunately I missed the first few minutes so I don't know why he was cursed by Dracula himself, but I don't think that exactly hurt my enjoyment of the film.

Itís actually a pretty cool scene. In the 18th century Prince Mamuwalde goes as a diplomat to Transylvania to petition Count Dracula to join him to protest and suppress the African slave trade. Unfortunately, Dracula is a giant racist rear end in a top hat who turns him and ďcurses himĒ with the name Blacula. Just Dracula being a dick for no reason. But I appreciate that they actually set up the name and why Mamuwalde has that intellectual, refined, royal kinda way about him. Wasnít expecting that film to actually try to historically contextualize the plot but thatís the thing with Blacula- itís much better than its reputation


https://youtu.be/4uVC-cDpdpg

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.




8. 1967. Viy
Available on Shudder, Tubi

In Viy, a bumbling seminarian gets tangled up with a witch. When she dies, he ends up having to spend three nights praying over her body.

Viy has the look, feel, and sound of an early Disney live-action adventure, like Toby Tyler or That Darn Cat. It even has some nice, old-school blue (or maybe green or yellow) screen special effects.



There really isn't a lot of action, but it's pretty short, so you get to the finale pretty quickly. Then you get to see where 90% of the budget went. Overall, Viy is fun, charming, and way too silly to actually be scary. Itís definitely worth watching though. Depending on who you ask, it may also be the first horror movie to be produced in the Soviet Union, which makes it an interesting piece of movie history.



I'd give this one 1/2


Time Travel Challenge: 8/31

Watched: 1. Jigoku (1960), 2. The Curse of the Doll People (1961), 3. The Burning Court (1962), 4. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), 5. The Long Hair of Death (1964), 6. Planet of the Vampires (1965), 7. Daimajin (1966), 8. Viy (1967)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


The Curse of Frankenstein

I've seen this movie a bunch of times so this is more of a review of the recent blu ray release than the movie itself. I picked it up last month and it's been tough waiting for May because the reactions to this release were very positive and I knew it was going to high quality.

Now having finally watched it, I can definitely say that it's the best looking Hammer film I currently own and it has to be one of, if not the best on the market. Unfortunately when it comes to Hammer, the majority of what we've seen have been somewhat random box sets often released by Mill Creek and while a lot of them are perfectly fine, there aren't a lot of standouts in terms of the quality of the restoration. This release of Curse of Frankenstein(https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Curse-of-Frankenstein-Blu-ray/146200/) is the template for the care that I'd love to see given to every Hammer film. You have not one, not two, but three different aspect ratios, and from what I've read they're all excellent in their own way. Apparently a lot of people grew up with this film on television in 1:33:1, and so as a special feature a version of the film in that ratio is included. For this first viewing I watched it in 1:85:1, and it's hard to imagine seeing it projected in 1957 would've been much better than this.

The big draw of Hammer in 1957(and 1959 when they did Horror of Dracula) was that for the first time these classic monsters were getting the full color treatment. And so you can see how little bursts of color were used in almost every scene, and color was utilized to give the setting and the characters a more fantastical quality. There's a reason why every Frankenstein adaptation seems to reference the lab from this film in one way or another, in some ways this version of Frankenstein became just as iconic and important as Whale's. The clarity and definition on the blu ray are excellent too, if maybe a little inconsistent just due to the source itself being a bit fuzzy at times. But there are scenes where I absolutely noticed extra detail, including the big reveal scene of the creature and Christopher Lee's makeup.

As far as I know, The Curse of Frankenstein isn't already included in any of the existing Hammer box sets, so this is a perfect opportunity for adding a keystone piece to your Hammer collection. But even if I had to double dip for this, I'd still be extremely happy with it because most other Hammer blu rays don't look nearly this good(Shout Factory has put out a few that are close).



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

#1 JUICY BOY



Buglord

5) Kwaidan (1964)


This movie is, admittedly, an investment. I'd been putting off watching it for YEARS, because of its 3-hour run time. That's 2-3 other movies I could watch! However, Kwaidan really is like a fine aged spirit (heh) that you have to sit and savor slowly as the flavors expand and change. I'm certain that if I had a better understanding of Japanese history and folklore, I would have absorbed a whole lot more of the stories, but as it stands it was still an incredible experience to let the whole thing wash over me. The timing is slightly odd, the music is sparse and uncomfortable, the acting is stiff and otherworldly, as is the makeup, as is the composition. There's just so much OFF about this movie, and it all absolutely works in favor of the film. If I didn't know what year this was made, I would almost not be able to guess a decade. It's so timeless and so unique. 100% worth experiencing.

The second story, "The Woman of the Snow" is one of the most engrossing, heartbreaking folklore stories I've ever seen. That alone would have made this a 5/5 for me, but the other stories hold up just as well.



Total: 5
1. Crawl (2019) / 2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) / 3. Vampyr (1932) / 4. I Walked With A Zombie (1943) / 5. Kwaidan (1964)

No. 1 Juicy Boi fucked around with this message at 22:16 on May 3, 2021

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





1. Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971) dir. Aldo Lado
A very cool giallo thriller. Perhaps a little slow at times, but brimming with tense moments and a good amount of political/social intrigue.

This doesn't mimic the colorful giallos by Argento and Bava, instead it's filmed in a more sterile approach, but like Argento, Bava, Fulci, feels dream like. There's a strong sense of oppression looking over the film, the way buildings tower over characters and how the web of deceit and corruption affect the underclass. The gimmick itself plays into the themes of the movie quite well, and once it clicks I enjoyed the movie that much more.

The finale is amazing and is built up wonderfully throughout the film.
A hidden giallo gem in my opinion.

4/5

E.G.G.S.
Apr 15, 2006



4. Suspiria (2018)
Drops the bright lurid colours of the original for a freezing dull and drab palette. They go all in on the dance scenes, the original the dance scenes just looked like people doing what I think ballet is around a room, these people look like theyíve devoted their lives to me not really paying attention to them in the background during a stage musical. We have gone from Giallo nonsense to look how political my movie can be having witches laugh at small penises. Thereís an extra hour of story here and Iím still treading water over the witchy dance school. The finale is incredible.

/5

Fran Challenge 7. Mother's Day

E.G.G.S. fucked around with this message at 13:48 on May 12, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #2: The Legend of Hell House



Yeah OK Tom. Or is it Yom?

"How did it end?"
"If it had ended, we would not be here."

The Legend of Hell House is the story of four people who are tasked with either proving or disproving the concept of life after death. They do this by spending five days in the "Mount Everest of haunted houses", and much like most trips to Mount Everest, it doesn't end well. Our crew includes two psychics, a paranormal investigator and his wife. They each have their own explanations and theories for ghosts and the reasons behind Hell House's murderous history. Who is right? This is the central question in the movie.

We get a lot of paranormal phenomena, but much like the book, the movie does a wonderful job of straddling the line between the different explanations. Did the skeptic truly get attacked by the murderous spirit of the house's former owner, or did one of our psychics lash out at him in response to his unbelieving and dismissive attitude? Of course by the end the superposition collapses and we are left with a canonical explanation. The ending, in my opinion, is the weakest part of the movie, but that's how it usually goes. The unknown is more enthralling than an explanation, and getting to the ending is a lot of fun. You know, in that "horror movies are fun" kind of way.

I wouldn't call Hell House a scary movie, but it does have a lot of classic old school ghost house atmosphere. The Blu-ray looks gorgeous and has just the right amount of noise so the movie looks amazing and all the details are very clear, but it still feels like a movie from the 1970s. Also big props to the actors. Roddy McDowell is wonderful as the only survivor from the previous expedition into the house, who is naturally scared out of his mind as he already knows what the house is capable of, and is just waiting for the shoe to drop. Pamela Franklin is also great as the young and very religious Miss Tanner who bears the brunt of the house's attention and suffers a great deal for it.

Definitely worth a watch for anyone who wants a good haunted house story.

/

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

1. Fright Night
1985
dir. Tom Holland
rewatch | Eureka blu-ray

You can point out the flaws in Fright Night all you want, but I don't care, it's my favorite vampire film.



As far as I know, this is the first example of "teen discovers classic monster in their neighborhood" that I can point to, and I think this is still the best one?

There are some flaws, of course.

Charlie's a bit of a lame duck compared to the rest of the cast. I think his milquetoast personality is more of a positive than a negative, because he allows both Jerry, main vampire played deliciously by Chris Sarandon, and vampire killer Peter Vincent, one of my favorite Roddy McDowell performances, to flourish in their larger-than-life roles. Charlie is the audience surrogate and keeps things grounded, and with Evil Ed's over-the-top "there's no ceiling to this performance", having another strong personality would feel too much. (Secretly the whole movie is glued together by Billy, the vampire's living assistant, played by Jonathan Stark, who is in-your-face with his performance, but never feels like too much. I find his work in this movie mesmerizing.)



The ending may feel a bit dragged out, but I kind of prefer how difficult it is to kill Jerry. This script has one of the best push/pull reactions between the heroes and the villain, with a mix of Peter Vincent's fear, Charlie's bold-headed foolishness, Jerry's over-confidence. Charlie and Peter make a move against Jerry, but Jerry is prepared for it. Jerry then loses the upper hand because he chooses theatrics over getting the job done. The characters make mistakes, and over-come each other. It's a fun battle until the credits roll!

I do not know what Billy Cole is. He seems to be human, but then he melts into green goo, in a scene straight out of Evil Dead.

I don't think Evil Ed is annoying. I've heard that his relationship to Charlie is a little vague, since Charlie calls him Evil through-out the film, and Ed hates it, as it is a term he's been bullied with. I see them as people who have gone to school together for a long time and were closer at a time, but now aren't best friends anymore, and Charlie insensitively calls Ed "Evil" to put him down. I ultimately find Ed to be the most pitiable character, and there's room for a Fright Night 2 with Evil Ed's revenge as the center of focus instead of the new vampire story we get.



I now hesitate to call Fright Night a horror comedy in the past few years because of CineD posters who say it isn't funny enough to be a comedy. There are sight-gags, but there aren't many jokes or humorous sections, no one-liners or quips or set-ups/pay-offs. And yet, I watched this film with a friend, who had never seen it, and she laughed through-out at all the right moments. The characters are so funny in this in such a naturalistic way. It's easy to point to how funny Billy is, because he's such a jerk to Charlie, and Peter Vincent's absent-minded cowardly ways manage to be human in the funniest ways. Thanks to fresh eyes, without any context or warning, I know that the movie is still funny to new audiences even in 2021. It's a horror comedy.

This film is the epitome of comfort cinema to me. The tone, the cinematography (which is phenomenal on the Eureka blu-ray release, which is region free and full of extras; I'd consider it an essential film for an 80's horror fan ), the music, the sets, and the AMAZING special effects just fill me with inexplicable joy. The worst thing about this movie is I can only show it to people, and have no way of sharing how happy it makes me.

5 out of 5


Total: 1
Films Watched: Fright Night
rewatch | new to me

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 19:01 on May 3, 2021

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



3. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)
dir. Brian Clemens
Hulu

After several young girls are found dead and rapidly aged in the English countryside, Dr. Marcus calls in the help of a vampire hunter, the titular Captain Kronos. Kronos explains that the killer is a vampire who drains the youth from its victims instead of their blood. They set out to track down the creature before it can claim more victims.

I could watch Hammer vampire films all day, and this is a pretty solid one. There are a lot of fun ideas in this, like that different types of vampires feed on different things, and that the method needed to kill them varies as well. Lots of neat shots involving dripping blood and all that too, just general vampire-y stuff that I can't help but love. Even though most of the action takes place in the third act, I actually enjoyed the atmosphere of the first parts of the film more. The end felt a bit strange to me - it involves a vampire hypnotizing several people at once, which is fine I guess but in practice meant that the majority of the characters just stood there doing nothing during what should've been an exciting climax.

It seems like the premise of a traveling sword-wielding vampire hunter who fights all different kinds of creatures could've made for some fun sequels, but I guess this wasn't successful enough to warrant any. It's definitely got some flaws, but I had fun with it. Also I absolutely love with characters in period films like this have trendy modern haircuts.

4 dead toads out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 95/100
TSZDT 2020: 667/1000

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011






#2. Freaky (iTunes)

After a botched murder attempt by the Blissfield Butcher using an ancient ceremonial knife, an ostracized teen girl swaps bodies with the killer. Now stuck as a toweing 40 year old man, she only has until midnight on Friday the 13th to reverse the spell, or be stuck in that body forever... oh, and probably stop her classmates from getting killed, as well.

I was a little bit surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this - it was the most fun of the Blumhouse high concept slasher movies that I had seen (though I still have to see Happy Death Day 2U), mainly due to a very game cast and a handful of excessive gore scenes. They took their time to carefully build the world and characters, so that the "Freaky Friday but a slasher movie villain" conceit would work without seeming like a simple gimmick. The script is fun, even if the plotting is kinda scattershot at times, but those characters are what ends up elevating this.

/5


#3. Vampires vs. the Bronx (Netflix)

A trio of young friends trying to rally their neighborhood to push back against gentrification find out that the construction company buying up everything is a front for vampires.

This is another one where the world and characters end up elevating a scattershot script. I feel like there's an element of the thematic intent that gets muddled by that scripting, though - the (all white) vampire villains make a point of rubbing it in that the Bronx makes an ideal feeding ground because "who cares if anyone goes missing [there]?" If that's the case, though, why bother with gentrifying the neighborhood at all; it becomes counter-productive to force out a potential food supply based on raising rents and bringing in new storefronts. (Unless they never intended to do that, but the script is vague on whether the company is actually doing anything with the property that it acquires or not - they put up signs for new stores and living spaces coming soon, but outside of the one vampire nest being a supposed hotel it never touches on anything else.) It somewhat undercuts the other points that the film is making, which is a shame because this is otherwise a really fun little film; I just wish it was able to better articulate the themes that were in its head.

/5


Watched so far: The Curse of the Cat People, Freaky, Vampires vs the Bronx

Class3KillStorm fucked around with this message at 19:49 on May 3, 2021

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

"Real life is messy, inconsistent, and it's seldom when anything ever really gets resolved."



1. Fright Night (1985) Fran Challenge Playing with Power

My first movie is just a go to for me for great horror. Everything about this movie is awesome. Chris Sarandon ( Susan Sarandons one time husband) plays one of the best vampires ever put on the big screen. Roddy McDowell is fantastic in it and never loses a step. The acting is great, cinematography. And that synth sound track loving rocks. Everything about this movie is just perfect.

Hollismason fucked around with this message at 16:03 on May 24, 2021

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018






Deep Blue Three

OK, first off I should say that I was on my phone for a good chunk of this. But I don't think that effected my viewing experience that much.

This was alright. There's a surprising amount of nice underwater footage. They really went all out having people swimming around in some shallow reef, and the movie is nice to look at because of it. The abandoned fishing village is great setting for a shark movie and they use it effectively without resorting to clichť "We need to signal a boat!" or whatever stuff.

There's good action too, a couple good human-on-human fights and one stunt explosion that looks fantastic. There's a bit of dodgy CGI but there are also real physical shark puppets, and those look great. Honestly this does not look like the second straight-to-DVD sequel in a franchise, it looks good.

I enjoyed the villains monologue about how the intelligence drug they're trying to make out of shark brains will only be given to the children of the rich so that after global warming ruins the planet whatever is left will be ruled over by super-intelligent billionaires. It's nice to have a realistic villain.

There's also the single best shark-related death I've ever seen in a movie.

So yeah, Deep Blue Sea 3 is a reasonably entertaining shark movie that's very pleasant to look at. If you want a shark movie, I'd recommend Deep Blue Sea 3.

No. 1 Juicy Boi
Jun 1, 2003

#1 JUICY BOY



Buglord

6) Vampyres (1975)


Vampyres is a gem of a movie, being better than it has any right being. It's a weirdly high-brow movie about bisexual vampire women who lure men to their deaths. What's not to like?



Total: 6
1. Crawl (2019) / 2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) / 3. Vampyr (1932) / 4. I Walked With A Zombie (1943) / 5. Kwaidan (1964) / 6. Vampyres (1975)

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.




9. 1968. A Quiet Place in the Country
Available on Criterion

In A Quiet Place in the Country, Franco Nero plays Leonardo Ferri, a painter who is losing is grip on reality. In order to relax and recuperate, Franco decides to move to the countryside. Specifically, he moves to a creepy abandoned villa that he was drawn to during some kind of waking dream.



Immediately after moving in, Franco begins to experience all sorts of disturbing, possibly supernatural, things. Strange noises in the night. Imagination intersecting with reality. A man with a pipe picking flowers.



Franco soon discovers that the house may be haunted. Haunted by a sexy ghost! The locals tell him all about Wanda, the young countess who had sex with every man in the village until she was killed by a British fighter plane. Of course, Franco becomes obsessed with Wanda.

Franco Nero does an excellent job playing the increasingly unhinged Leonardo Ferri. A Quiet Place in the Country oozes with style and atmosphere. If you give it a chance, youíll be in for an increasingly weird and wonderful giallo adventure. Also, have you ever really considered how excellent Vanessa Redgraveís name is? Redgrave. Red. Grave.



This is a very solid !

Time Travel Challenge: 9/31

Watched: 1. Jigoku (1960), 2. The Curse of the Doll People (1961), 3. The Burning Court (1962), 4. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), 5. The Long Hair of Death (1964), 6. Planet of the Vampires (1965), 7. Daimajin (1966), 8. Viy (1967), 9. A Quiet Place in the Country (1968)

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

"Real life is messy, inconsistent, and it's seldom when anything ever really gets resolved."



2. Fright Night Part 2 (1988)

Honestly they should have stopped at the first Fright Night. Roddy McDowell returns and is this time a more "seasoned" vampire hunter, Charlie also returns but this time has come to believe that vampires are just a fiction of his mind and the truth was that his neighbor was a serial killer. Naturally this comes into conflict when a new vampire comes into town. Honestly I really liked this movie . It doesn't reach the heights of the original but its got its own charm and some groovy special effects in it. Also it interesting because this time Charlie is the target.

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




2. Jason Goes to Hell (1993)

I havenít seen a handful of Friday the 13th films and Iíd like to fill some gaps this month. Iíve seen the ones considered classics like IV, VI, and of course Jason X.

Like most people I have avoided IX since itís famous for being the ďJason isnít Jason he is some sort of demonic wormĒ. But I heard it described as ďessentially an evil dead movieĒ so I was intrigued. That turns out to be true in the literal sense there is a necronomicon straight out of Sam Raimiís prop department but not in the sense that itís a good time.

The film is a giant mess but its not entirely because of that ďtwistĒ on the series. Itís a confusing, meandering soap opera with a lame as hell protagonist, terrible acting, and some shoddy camerawork. Itís paced very strangely- to the point I wondered if I skipped scenes. I think since it ditched the slasher pacing by jumping the killer around from person to person it doesnít build suspense or dread like a usual slasher. Itís very self referential and doesnít take itself seriously but the parts that made me giggle almost certainly werenít meant to (besides the foul-mouthed dinner owner she was great)

On the positive side, some gore here was wonderful. I particularly liked a goopy, melting man bit that looked really great. The opening scene is a famously amazing piece of schlock that needs to be seen. Lots of good effects work all around.

In the end, if Jason Goes to Hell went even more balls to the walls in the insanity department I think Iíd like it more. Give me more demons literally dragging Jason to hell, magic daggers, and that ridiculous Freddy stinger..that poo poo was fun. But itís mostly unsatisfying and just feels...off.

smitster
Apr 9, 2004




Oven Wrangler

Well, this is exciting - finally in a place to participate in the bracketology and this thread pops up! Yay! I'm in for 13 new-to-me movies! Bracketology picks will no doubt help there, but I also hope to pick off some of these movies I keep buying and not watching.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



#4

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Albert Lewin, 1945



I read the novel way back in college and liked it, and I've seen the incredible Ivan Albright painting at the Chicago Art Institute. So why has it taken me so long to watch the movie? No idea. But I'm glad I've finally seen it because it's great. It's darker than I was expecting given its age. It has a somber, moody, sinister vibe. Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian Gray with a sterility that I could see mistaken for wooden, but I found it to be just the right amount of coldness the character needs. I really liked George Sanders too. In fact I think he was my favorite part of this. His callous, cynical philosophies of life (and the reactions they invoke from the other characters) were super entertaining.

Another detail I really loved was how a few shots of the painting were in gorgeous technicolor! That surprised the hell out of me, and it makes for a startling reveal near the end when we see the corrupted version of the painting for the first time. Such a great idea.

4.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Davros1
Jul 19, 2007

You've got to admit, you are kind of implausible





WeaponX posted:

1. Bride or Re-Animator (1989)

If you are a fan of the original and havenít seen the sequel I would definitely recommend you check it out.

A tranashula?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYAlB1Kxayc

Didn't know this thread was happening; can't wait to join in! Loved doing the Halloween one!

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








7. Dead & Buried [1981] - Dir: Gary Sherman

Well this was a wild one and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought I was going in for one movie and completely came out the other side slightly flumoxed and surprised. I'm definitely going to go ahead and purchase this one for my own collection because dang did this one just fly under my radar for so long and have so many cool bits in it that I keep thinking about later. highly recommended.



4 Skulls out of 5



8. The Prowler [1981] - Dir: Joseph Zito

Another one that I've always heard about but kinda just put it off for so long that its taken this long to get to it. Effects were great, the characters I was only so much attached to enough to not want to see some of them die and the gore was over the top great. just some really great gags front to back. I would even argue that this might be my most favorite Friday the 13th film. Just a good slasher, creepy villain design and a hell of a ending. Another one I may go ahead and look to add to my library in the future.



4 Skulls out of 5



9. From Dusk Till Dawn [1996] - Dir: Robert Rodriguez

Hadn't seen this one in quite some time so it was more of a treat to jump into this one again. I really forgot that the bulk of this movie is more of a Ida Lupin 'Hitch Hiker' thriller than it is a creature feature (first instance of a vampire isnt until past he hour mark and by then there's only 40 minutes left of the picture). It's a shame Clooney hasnt done a genre picture in so long. He's got the charisma and grittiness of a John Saxon, but he's cool and collected that you dont mind going down the dark hallway. I could see him knocking out of the park a Saulnier movie or a Cosmatos late night feature.



4 and a half Skulls out of 5



10. The Lost Boys [1987] - Dir: Joel Schumacher

This one is still a treat. Another one I havent seen in awhile, but do I really connect with the grandpa character as he turns on his car then promptly turns it off and declares 'well that's far enough into town for me'. I'm with you old man. too bad they didnt just call the town Santa Cruz. That place was a legit hell hole for awhile full of murders and one of the heavy hitter serial killers Ed "Bumble Butt" Kemper. It would've added an extra layer to the creepiness of the town and so many people having gone missing, presumably dead.



4 Skulls out of 5

M_Sinistrari
Sep 5, 2008

Do you like scary movies?





gey muckle mowser posted:



3. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)


I highly recommend the novelization by Guy Adams. It's with Brian Clemens' blessing and incredibly good. There's also a graphic novel/comic miniseries of it that I haven't picked up.



4) Game of Death - Shudder - 2017

This was okay enough. It wasn't great, but it wasn't completely awful. Plot involves a group of unlikable teens partying up and deciding to play the Game of Death only to find actual death is really involved.

On the plus side, it was nice seeing the evil game being one of the LED electronic ones I remember from when I was a kid. Another plus was the gore effects were nice. The rest was hit or miss. A couple of the teens decide to head to a hospice to finish off the game's kill counter, while another couple decide after killing a few that killing's not their thing so they feel what's left of their group allow the game to kill them to save others. The ending's pretty much expected.

From what I gather, this was originally an eight episode series so that explains the odd pacing this had with me. I feel the concept has potential but how it was handled here's lacking. Some tweaking around would definitely improve things.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.




4 (7). The Wicker Man (1973)
Directed by Robin Hardy, Screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, inspired by David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual.
Watched on Amazon Prime, available on Shudder and AMC+.


Now if someone had told me that the premise of Wicker Man is some guy finding himself trapped in a strange horny musical that leaves him flustered and frustrated I might have gotten to this sooner. I had no idea I'd relate so much.

Seriously, I've meant to get to this for years now but it always seems to fall through the cracks or get cut. But its May Day (Observed) so no better time than today. And really this did well to live up to the hype. Despite having seen the remake and having the basic knowledge of the plot and twist just by the film's reputation it still was a really good and engaging watch. Watching our uptight protagonist fluster his way through his own personal nightmare is something else. He's not really a great guy because he's a Bible thumping judgmental jerk a lot of the time, but he's not a bad guy because like he's trying to find a missing/murdered girl and a whole town is loving with him. And he knows they're loving with him but they just don't give a poo poo so there's not a drat thing he can do about it. Its very darkly funny and the whole weird musical pagan world he's stumbled into falls just on this side of too absurd to believe.

I definitely wouldn't have made it past that siren song myself.

Its legacy is well known but also well deserved, because this is if not the best of the pagan/folk horror sub genre its certainly one of the easiest watches I've seen and most seemingly rewatchable and enjoyable. Just a fun ride the whole way that I was really sold on once the protag just started stuttering his helpless objections to what was happening to Christopher Lee. And such a fun performance from Lee so different from some of the other more stoic performances he's known for. But really, everything was fun. The large cast of villagers, the poor fool cop, the taste of him being a jerk that kept what was happening from ever getting too heavy, the music, the gonzo set and costume designs. Really well delivered cult classic that I took a long time to get to but probably won't to rewatch.




5 (8). Varan (1958)
Directed by Ishirō Honda. Screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa, Story by Takeshi "Ken" Kouronuma
Watched on Internet Archive and Debís Bracketology Stream.


No, its not Godzilla. Varan is totally different. He flies. I mean, not right now. He's not flying right now because he's tired from all the flying he was doing off screen. But you should have seen him before you got here. He was flying all over the place.

I mean, it is what it is. A cheap and lazy Godzilla knockoff made for tv to cash in. There's barely any plot, not a single character I can name or that had a plotline or anything, and Varan doesn't really do anything. Like he sometimes eats someone who crosses his path but mostly he's just somewhere isolated and then the military firebombs him.

If anyone made this but Honda I'd say they missed the point of Godzilla entirely. I mean the military are completely the aggressor who basically chase Varan out of his natural habitat, have big meetings talking about all their cool weapons to throw at him, and then chalk up killing him as a "victory for man." Its so drat striking a difference from point of Godzilla that it borders on satire. But if it is its done so finely that there's no traces of it. The film seems to be taking itself seriously. Its not trying very hard, but it seems to mean it.

I mean, if you really like kaiju action and wanna see dollar store knockoff Godzilla get all pew pewed by toy tanks there's a lot of that here. But that's all that's here. There is nothing else. At all. And as far as generic monster action its not even good stuff. Varan mostly just stands around and gets shot. And one time he spends like 5 minutes trying to get out of the pool and off his knees. It was humanizing. Everyone gets old.




6 (9). The Roost (2005)
Written and directed by Ti West.
Watched on Youtube and Debís Bracketology Stream.


Ok, so... its not great. Its clearly very cheap, "amateurish". But that's I think the important thing to consider, at least for me. This is Ti West's beginning, at 25 years old, made on the cheap with a lot of people in the same position scraping and clawing to make it in the industry and make something they can be proud of. I was there. About the same time, about the same place, scraping and clawing to try and do the same thing. I failed. The dream is dead for me. They succeeded. They made a film. Then went on to make more and better ones. Ti West made some great films and has built a career doing what I'd love to be doing. I could be jealous or bitter but I just appreciate it and kind of lived vicariously through them while watching this. Remembering where I was at that time trying to do the same stuff.

There's some decent stuff in here. Some good shots and used of lighting and shadows to make up for the low budget. There's some bad stuff. Stuff like the random images shown at times. An idea. They don't all work. But I think I can see the traces of Ti West's skill here. He tries to give his characters some backstory and depth, he tries to set the mood and build tension. Its not a home run. Its probably not even a single. But I think he made solid contact. I can see the learning curve in here and it kind of makes me want to go and watch his later films again and see the growth and progress and keep living my dream vicariously.

The stand out is clearly the Tom Noonan horror host wraparound and I wish it had leaned a little mroe into that. I mean maybe that would have wore it out but its tough not to want to see the best part of it more. But its fun and i think speaks to the core of the idea here. West trying to make a B creature feature with that old horror host framing and just lean in on the fact that he can't make some millions of dollar movie. It doesn't all hit but I found it charming.

Also that end theme song is awesome. I was gonna give it 2 1/2 stars as a film that missed the mark, but original kick rear end theme songs get half a star. That's the rule.




🌻🎈Spook-A-Doodle Half-Way-To-Halloween í21: Return of the Fallen & King Spring🎈🌻
King Spring: 2/13
Return of the Fallen: 2/13
Fran Challenges: ??/??

Watched - New (Total)
1. Riding the Bullet (2004); 2. Catís Eye (1985); - (3). Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020); - (4). The Thing (1982); 3 (5). Sleep Tight (2011); - (6). Dark Shadows (2012); 4 (7). The Wicker Man (1973); 5 (8). Varan (1958); 6 (9). The Roost (2005);

bitterandtwisted
Sep 4, 2006






STAC Goat posted:

I definitely wouldn't have made it past that siren song myself.

It's a reverse siren song, don't resist it!

4: Witchfinder General (1968)


Price playing against type here by playing an evil guy. I'm not really joking either, this is nothing like what I'm used to seeing in a Price movie. He's a loathsome monster with none of the usual humour and winks. For 1968, this is a really grim, brutal film full of rape, torture, screams and burning.
It's beautifully shot on locations in England, making use of grand old historic buildings. Interior sets and costumes are great. Scenes where our Roundhead protagonist rides a galloping horse with heroic music like an adventure movie contrast strongly with the torture and misery scenes. I'm not sure how to feel about very last scene where Richard is ultimately denied his revenge and he's screaming and Sara's screaming and I guess they all live unhappily ever after. It's frustrating, but maybe that's the point. There is no justice in this time period.
This is a really good film, but not one to pick if you're looking for fun times with Vincent Price.
The English Civil War is an undermined topic for movies

Competed: 4
Four Flies on Grey Velevet; Gods and Monsters; Alice, Sweet Alice, Witchfinder General

Kazzah
Jul 15, 2011

Formerly known as
Krazyface


Hair Elf

Let's go

01: Overlord (2018)

I usually grab a screenshot, but it's a really nice poster

Eh, it was alright. Circa-1944 Mad Science is an underused aesthetic IMO, it's a really nice level of clunkiness. I would have preferred if it stayed pure horror all the way through, instead of turning into a fairly straightforward action movie towards the end.

/5

Coming up next: The Empty Man (2020)

Iron Crowned
May 6, 2003


5) The Cellar (1989, Blu-Ray)

I popped in this Vinegar Syndrome disc and was greeted with something I hadn't seen before from VinSyn, the choice between the Director's Cut, and the Producer's Cut (website lists this as theatrical). Having had no previous frame of reference, I stared for a minute and then went with the Producer's Cut.

The Cellar is about some sort of monster in the basement that was created by the native Americans to kill white people, but it doesn't only kill white people. This film is about 75% padding. There's a bunch of things that get setup then forgotten, such as the villainous land owner. The native chief who only seems to serve as exposition, but at least had a decent enough scene taking the piss out of pop culture depictions of natives.

All in all, kinda boring, and could have used some more polish instead of just tooling around some nowhere town in Texas. The monster was ok, if generic IMHO.

Is the director's cut better? I'll probably give that one a go in a few years when I'm having a dull Saturday afternoon

2/5

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

2. The Brood
1979
dir. David Cronenberg
rewatch | Criterion Channel



The Brood was a very alienating experience for me on the first watch. It's a dense exploration of trauma, grief, the failings of parental figures, the relationship between the brain and body, the intimacy of therapy, the crumbling of a relationship, the horrors of insanity, among a myriad of other themes. Most of these ideas are conveyed through dialogue, which is thankfully the film's greatest strength, because of amazing performances from Samantha Eggar, Oliver Reed, Robert A. Silverman, and Gary McKeehan. The actors in this film are tapping into an intensity that is haunting and disturbing. While the major through-line for the film are a series of murders carried out by mutant human-derivative dwarves, the true horror is watching the heart-wrenching revelations that Dr. Hal Raglan rips from his patients--especially Nola (Eggar) and Mike Trellan (McKeehan). On the first watch, I was able to cling to the performances, and on rewatch it is still the best parts of the film. It's a masterclass of how to film dialogue, and even in writing this I'd love to find any information on how Cronenberg--an ideas director, a visual and special-effects driven story-teller--managed to get such fantastic, vulnerable performances from everyone but the lead.





The main theme, from which the rest branch off, is the idea that the mind--the brain--in charge of our bodily functions, could change us biologically, physically. Our anger could manifest in sores, our depression into wounds, our constant fear into tumorous growths, etc. One conclusion this is taken is that a woman obsessed with motherhood--blaming her mother for her psychological scars, craving an intimacy with an alienated daughter, being a maternal partner to her lover, fearing a new woman to replace her as the matriarch--could asexually manifest her rage into actual living off-spring. The second conclusion is a fear of a therapy or therapist that could exacerbate this phenomenon of mental energy manifesting into biological results; how the intimacy of a process to improve mental health could be weaponized by a therapist. In this instance, it is a school of thought called Psychoplasmics, but the relationship shown can translate to more than therapy, like religion (Dianetics came to mind multiple times, as did Catholic confessionals). The vulnerability of intimate sharing, especially for mental illness, can be terrifying, and Cronenberg manages it in his horror film, and impregnates the idea with boundless possibilities of terror.

There is also a parental fear throughout the film, as mentioned. Nola's therapy is centered on the abuse she suffered from her mother. We are never given concrete evidence that these are factual accounts, but the damage to Nola is real enough. She blames her mother. She blames her father for not protecting her. Nola's mother blames her daughter for blaming her, while she constantly sips from a glass of bourbon that is never less than half-full. Frank's main spoken worry is that Nola will physically or psychologically damage their daughter Candice, but there is an unspoken fear that Candice has already inherited problems from her mother. Every reasonable parent worries that they are just like their own parents, and are afraid that they are imprinting problems on the next generation.

Cronenberg's Toronto is beautiful in this film. It's a cold, bleak landscape, full of snow.


4 out of 5


Total: 2
Films Watched: Fright Night | The Brood
rewatch | new to me

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



bitterandtwisted posted:

4: Witchfinder General (1968)
I'm not sure how to feel about very last scene where Richard is ultimately denied his revenge and he's screaming and Sara's screaming and I guess they all live unhappily ever after. It's frustrating, but maybe that's the point. There is no justice in this time period.

That's how I read it. Justice is an erroneous concept. The murdering of the alleged witches being "justice" is obviously bullshit, and the notion that justice is a foregone result of a misdeed is equally misguided. It's a cynical view, but I loved it.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Iron Crowned posted:

5) The Cellar (1989, Blu-Ray)

I popped in this Vinegar Syndrome disc and was greeted with something I hadn't seen before from VinSyn, the choice between the Director's Cut, and the Producer's Cut (website lists this as theatrical). Having had no previous frame of reference, I stared for a minute and then went with the Producer's Cut.

The Cellar is about some sort of monster in the basement that was created by the native Americans to kill white people, but it doesn't only kill white people. This film is about 75% padding. There's a bunch of things that get setup then forgotten, such as the villainous land owner. The native chief who only seems to serve as exposition, but at least had a decent enough scene taking the piss out of pop culture depictions of natives.

All in all, kinda boring, and could have used some more polish instead of just tooling around some nowhere town in Texas. The monster was ok, if generic IMHO.

Is the director's cut better? I'll probably give that one a go in a few years when I'm having a dull Saturday afternoon

2/5

These VS releases always look so tempting, but then I read reviews of the actual films and remember that they're probably not worth dropping $30 on. (though that Home Grown Horrors set is still calling my name...)

E.G.G.S.
Apr 15, 2006



5. Wacko (1982)
It spoofs Halloween, The Omen, Psycho and a bunch of other classic horror films and it's just as funny as them. Almost none of the gags land and some just keep on going and going until you maybe show a hint of a smirk for the briefest second.

.5 /5

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011






#4. Rawhead Rex (Shudder)

An ancient monster is awakened in the Irish countryside, and proceeds to go around killing and hypnotizing the locals. Only an American writer on a working vacation can figure out the ancient stained glass references to try and destroy the monster.

This is not a particularly good or well made movie, but I kind of ended up liking it in spite of itself? There's a lot to rip on in the film - the acting is just pants across the board, locations are pretty much limited to one okay church set and one half empty trailer park, the monster design is "eh" at best and sounds like he was "voiced" by recycled noises from the 1976 King Kong, the whole thing is weirdly flat and I don't remember any of the music being interesting. But there's a very mellow European sensibility to the whole thing that helps it coast along well enough, and it ends up getting darker and more urgent around the 2/3rds mark, when Rawhead goes and kills the lead's young son. It's not often that a film gets better when it starts killing children, but Rawhead Rex is a rare beast where that feels appropriate. There's also a fairly interesting pyrotechnics scene fairly late in the picture, where one of the hypnotized detectives sets like the entire town's police force ablaze, including himself, and then prostrates himself before Rawhead before dying.

I think the biggest sin is that there's a lack of urgency for a long time, and the main hero ends up being incredibly passive. The magic Macguffin that they use to defeat the monster is interesting, in that it's a fertility statue that can only be properly wielded by a woman to defeat the monster, so his wife has to up and do it. However, this ends up neutering our lead, since he cannot hope to overcome the monster with the magic stone - because of his gender - so he ends up being a passive observer at the end, while the wife is done no favors because she was never much of an established character to begin with. It feels like one of those things that should work better on paper, but ends up not really working on screen; the design of the monster, which strayed pretty far from writer Clive Barker's original design, ends up undercutting the intent of the whole thing. But the film was never much interested in dipping into Barker's thematic interests in the piece, just going for cheap thrills with an okay monster running around and biting on people, so the ending doesn't feel earned or in keeping with the rest of it.

I dunno - it worked well enough that I'd give it a soft recommendation if you're in the mood for low-ish budget monster movie fare, but it's as deep as a shallow puddle and about as interesting thematically. I know this had a bit of a romantic history as this "lost" Clive Barker film, but it's not like there was much here to lose.

Then again, it also does include a scene where a guy prostrates himself in front of the monster, only to end up getting pissed on, so maybe I'm wrong?

/5


Watched so far: The Curse of the Cat People, Freaky, Vampires vs the Bronx, Rawhead Rex

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog





5. House (Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, 1977)
I've been wanting to watch this forever, and I am glad I finally did. It's a total blast, and a classic for a reason. A group of high school girls go to visit one of the girl's aunt, but things are not as they seem and it goes off the rails quickly. I love the way each girl gets their own character-relevant side plot of how they get separated and so forth, it gave those moments more weight which is astounding since this plays out like a cartoon for a lot of the runtime. I had seen gifs and clips, so a lot of the wild stuff was not new to me, but this is a truly funny and inventive film with some moments I will never forget.

4.5/5


6. Varan (Ishirō Honda, 1958)
I watched this for the Bracketology Tournament thread. I didn't connect with this very much at all, it just feels like a crappy Godzilla ripoff with none of the things that make Godzilla an incredible movie. None of the characters have personality, Varan barely does anything, most of the movie feels like planes dropping bombs or getting swatted out of the air, tanks firing, and so on. It is not something I would recommend, I'm sure there are dozens of better kaiju movies that you could watch instead.

1/5

Challenge Count: 6/31

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


The Old Dark House(1963)

This is a film that was just completely under my radar until now. I'm going through a recent Hammer blu ray set for this challenge, and this has to be the biggest new discovery that's come out of it so far. Directed for Hammer by William Castle(!), this basically does for The Old Dark House what the other Hammer films did for black and white horror classics. I fell in love at first sight with this one, when the animated opening credits hit. I love animated/illustrated credits in 60s films like Vertigo and A Fistful of Dollars.

Like the original film, this remake is a horror/comedy, and with more emphasis on the comedy. I found it to be legitimately funny and also like the original it's packed with endearing characters. Most of the movie takes place inside the house on a few sets, but this is Hammer so of course the sets are a joy to look at and they're packed with atmosphere. The lead is an actor named Tom Poston, who is someone I'm not very familiar with(he apparently was most known for the t.v. show Newhart), but he really does an excellent job with facial acting and overall goofiness. Another standout is Peter Bull, maybe best known as the Russian Ambassador in Dr. Strangelove. But really the whole cast is great and they all nail their roles. That, along with the Hammer aesthetic makes this a big hit with me and probably a new go-to option for October viewing.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House

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