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Lurdiak
Feb 25, 2006



Asiina posted:

I'm not sure. Maybe a different cut would have changed things but honestly it felt like a pretty cookie cutter horror movie.

What was the ending? Burnt corpse or tape?

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Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.




October 2nd - The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears

What a pretty, bizarre movie. This is kinda like someone stuck a bunch of Bava / Argento movies in a blender and strained out all of the plot. That probably sounds like a bad thing, but I dug it quite a bit. It owes a pretty heavy debt to Suspiria in particular, but there are certainly worse movies to crib from. It was hard to follow at times (most of the time, really) but it feels more like a movie where you are meant to just let signs and symbols and style wash over you than to puzzle out the narrative thread. There's a hallucinatory quality to the camerawork that is very cool - it reminds me a bit of Hausu in how willing it is to just take a shot and play with it in a way that should feel pretentious, but doesn't. I will say that it leans a bit heavily on some of its stylistic tics by the end - I think it's just a little bit longer than it really needed to be, and as a result it goes back to the same well a couple times, visually. Also random aside, but it weirds me out how much Klaus Tange looks like someone smashed Guy Pearce and Willem Dafoe together.

I can definitely see how someone might be disappointed if they went into this expecting, well, a plot, but as a giallo sendup and a visual treat, it's worth checking out at least. I'm a pretty big mark for this kind of movie, though. I give it /5


Watched So Far:

Dark Star (3.5/5), Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (4/5)

Asiina
Apr 26, 2011

No going back


Grimey Drawer

Lurdiak posted:

What was the ending? Burnt corpse or tape?

Both? The very ending was Him walking through the burnt room smoking a cigarette before disappearing because he was a

LORD OF BOOTY
Feb 11, 2015

THEY MAKE SURE YOU AIN'T BOOTY!!!


Oct. 2 - Murder Party (2007, 1/31)

This was a pleasant surprise. Not too much of a surprise, given that I love Green Room and Blue Ruin, but still, better than I expected!

Jeremy Saulnier really has a way with gore. Somehow, even in an explicitly comedic movie, he shoots absolutely loving nauseating gore; the girl hitting her head towards the beginning, the guy getting shot in the head and slowly bleeding out from it, and Macon Blair getting his face burned off all made me cringe like hell. In spite of that, I was still laughing my rear end off at parts of the movie; the ending is incredible.

/5

Lurdiak
Feb 25, 2006



Asiina posted:

Both? The very ending was Him walking through the burnt room smoking a cigarette before disappearing because he was a

Yeah, that's the bad cut. Besides having a bad ending, it also spends a lot more time exploring the relationship with the dad instead of focusing on the daughter like it should, which is pretty weak. The other cut's like 10 minutes shorter. Probably not gonna take the movie to 5 spookies for you but it's generally agreed to be a much better cut.

SEX HAVER 40000
Aug 6, 2009

no doves fly here lol


Continued the challenge today with a double feature. The Scarecrow categories were made-for-TV and an auteur piece. I want with Ghostwatch and the Werner Herzog Nosferatu.

GHOSTWATCH: This was maybe my fourth watch, and I'm always surprised by how effective it is. The atmosphere just gets subtly grimmer until it's not so subtle anymore. By the time they pan frantically around the upstairs hallway to find the source of the noise there's no turning back, despite the fact that to their knowledge everything up to that point has been faked. The interview segments are starkly real. I always remember Pipes lurking in the background from pretty much the beginning, but I always forger where; I caught myself frantically scanning the backgrounds of even innocuous shots.
This one gets a Lister from Red Dwarf In A Weird Mask/10, which is a drat high rating by my standards.


NOSFERATU: First time watching the English cut. Herzog has such a skill for weaving vérité style cinema into period dramas, and here it's in full force. Everything feels like a poetic documentary, filmed in ye olden tymes. The dread just seeps through the screen. Klaus Kinski is weirdly restrained, playing a different kind of unholy monster than Aguirre, though none of the other actors can really touch him (maybe with the exception of Bruno Gans). As with most Herzog films the images are what stick with me: hundreds of rats crawling over caskets, the ship lonely at sea, and especially that closing shot. This one's nice and gloomy and meditative, a good counterpoint to the manic fear of Ghostwatch.


Up next on the list is Part IV day, so I think I'mma stretch the definition a bit and go with Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.

Xenomrph
Dec 9, 2005

AvP Nerd/Fanboy/Shill


Kicked things off on the 1st with a pair of found footage movies I'd already seen before, The Last Exorcism and Quarantine.

I still like both of them a lot, and I still like Quarantine more than Rec (although I like Rec a lot, too). I really like how effectively both movies start out with "this is all really mundane, nothing could possibly go wrong!" and then they just go totally off the rails. If anything I think their very endings are a little weak, but that's a little bit systemic of "found footage" as a genre, and dates back to 'The Blair Witch Project'. Some found footage movies handle it better than others, though.

Today I watched Afflicted, which I hadn't seen before, and I also liked that a lot. It's the most convincing and compelling "moral decay of someone turning into a vampire" movie since 'Interview with a Vampire', and it actually had a satisfying ending that made sense.

Tomorrow I'm planning to watch The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).

VROOM VROOM
Jun 8, 2005

goongratulations to forum user vroom vroom for winning the avatar contest. his casual confidence in easily claiming the twenty-first post is an inspiration to myself and others. warmest regards, wolfsheim




1.1: Cloverfield
1.2: 10 Cloverfield Lane


2.1: Assorted thoughts about The Thing, my old friend: 1) This would be great required viewing for an Intro to Epistemology class. 2) I love the sound design; I don't know if I ever really appreciated the way the roars seemed to occupy the whole space they were in, even outside, and I don't remember many silent moments in the film; there's usually at least some wind howling, even inside. Gives a really oppressive feel. 3) Endlessly rewatchable; as much as I've seen it I always feel like I need one more viewing to really put all the pieces together. This time I most appreciated how nearly every character gets introduced or has a brief bit of characterization very early on, and while the characters and first-time viewers are led to suspect Clark to be the first Thing based on his proximity and wooden behavior (really genius in retrospect), it's really Norris, the one character I don't think has any early defining moment, who turns out to be a Thing instead. With that rule in mind it's obvious looking back that Clark wasn't a Thing, considering his characterization was the most heavy-handed - he's The Dog Handler Who Loves Dogs! 4) As good as every actor was in this, the best one was a dog. And yet, the best dog in the movie was the one that halfway succeeded in chewing a drat hole in the fencing, seriously, what a great effort from that dog, it died a hero.

2.2: It's a little sad to see They Live be so relevant nearly 30 years later. If it was remade today the pirate message at the beginning would be exactly the same, with the only difference being that the guy would be wearing a mask. With this directly following The Thing I'm gonna have to say all the goofiness, bad decisions, and awkward dialogue are entirely intentional. On a surface level I'm gonna blame the broadcast warping everyone's brains; on the next, it's highlighting the absurdity of society and giving the whole thing a sheen that allows the very serious message some time to sink in. I'll get back to you guys on why the fight had to last quite as long as it did. Something about it not being easy to make people see the truth. It's interesting that this has basically the same "victory in death" ending as The Thing, while thematically and structurally the more obvious pairings would be this and The Matrix or Equilibrium. Hell, you could draw up a 4-way chart with what each one has to do with selflessness: In The Thing personal survival was not an option, in They Live it was explicitly a self-sacrifice for the sake of others, in The Matrix he tried to sacrifice himself and broke on through to the other side, and in Equilibrium it could be said that the selfish option was untenable, that bringing down the system was ultimately in his best interest, or that the tone of the film was such that the chance of him dying was never really a concern.

VROOM VROOM fucked around with this message at Oct 3, 2016 around 07:59

SomeJazzyRat
Nov 2, 2012

Hmmm...


The List

Proto-Slasher
1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
2. Fritz Lang's M (1931)
3. The Old Dark House (1932)
4. And Then There Were None (1945)
5. House of Wax (1953)
6. Night of the Hunter (1955)
7. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
8. Psycho (1960)
9. The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971)
10. Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)
11. Mario Bava's Bay of Blood (1971)
12. Torso (1973)
13. Profondo Rosso (1975)
(a.k.a. Deep Red)

And it's US poster:


So I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Bay of Blood is pretty much shlock that was pumped out to make money, and I do respect it on those terms. It's dumb fun, but not a good film. Torso was just boring outside of a masterful last 30 minutes. And this one was perhaps the most legitimate Film 'with-a-capital-F' out of the three. It's shot in cinematic widescreen, and it makes use of the camera in ways the other two wouldn't. The latter films were very workman like, while occasionally having a flash of flare when not interfering with the film making process. But this film will set up complicated shots, filled with long takes and complex movement. And the ways of shooting are just as dynamic, sometimes taking a surrealistic tone, sometimes stylized, sometimes personal, and sometimes very naturalistic. And the latter is where the film really shines for me, demonstrating the beauty of old Italian architecture and city streets. It almost works as much as a travelogue as it does a horror feature. And plus, I can now totally relate to how everyone freaks out about Goblin. I'm freaking out about Goblin. The soundtrack is so freaking good in this film, though admittedly not always appropriate. It's weird to watch a tense scene of a guy nearly falling off a building, and be reminded of weird British comedies. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but I bet if you played the record for this film, people would be guessing it's the soundtrack for a cop chase. In any case, the film at least has one thing going for it that the Bay and Torso didn't, and that's the story. Bay was improvisational and disjointed, Torso felt rudderless except as a vehicle for tits. This film, not to claim it as a champion of film, at least had stakes set up early on, had a clear progression, and was smartly setting up scenes with payoff for most of them. This film was probably what I was hoping to discover in this experiment, decent not-so-well known features that deserve respect while also being entertaining. The high art that bathes itself in the tropes and styling of low art. It's gorgeous, and it's absolutely and senselessly brutal. Relatable and horrifying, perhaps a 7 on the brutality scale of 1 to 10 (10 being 'Canadian Workplace Hazards PSA'). So go watch this one somewhere, you won't regret it

Next up: Black Christmas

BioTech
Feb 5, 2007
...drinking myself to sleep again...

Let's do this!

1. The Fly
I hardly ever rewatch movies, but it has been 10+ years since I last saw The Fly and I wanted something great to start off my Horror October. As expected it didn't disappoint. A true classic that does so many things well it sets a near impossible to reach standard for everything else this month.

2. The Dead Zone
I can't believe Cronenburg made this between Videodrome and The Fly. It feels so normal and while it reaches for interesting things it just falls short. It plays out like multiple episodes of a TV show, or a collection of short stories, slapped together in a way that just isn't satisfying. I did like the transition between reality and visions, especially the first time with Walken in the burning bed, but the same for him suddenly being alone in the gazebo. Can't put my finger on it, but that scene was really jarring and it worked very well.

Wilhelm Scream
Apr 1, 2008



4. Maximum Overdrive a movie I've seen so many times and the joy of Stephen King directing while high on coke and blasting AC/DC never lessens.
5. The Dead Room Generic haunted house flick, some decent little scenes but nothing you'll remember 10 minutes later.
6. Friday the 13 '09 drat good remake, I have a friend who insist that the Elm Street remake is better, I'm seriously reconsidering our friendship.
7. Demon Possessed Also known as The Chill Factor on Amazon Prime, it's loving terrible.
8. Treehouse Surprisingly good find on Hulu, the last 20 minutes or so are typical fare but up to that point it's a pretty solid little flick.
9. Savaged Also known as Avenged on Hulu, well made surprise sex/Revenge flick with the woman being possessed by an Indian spirit and going full Apache crazy on the group of Nazi rednecks that hosed with her, nice amount of gore as well for those that like their gore.

Samuel Clemens
Oct 4, 2013

I think we should call the Avengers.



TrixRabbi posted:

I hate this kind of attitude because it A) Is condescending to the audience

Well, yeah, Funny Games is pretty open about the fact that it has nothing but contempt for its audience.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment,
I wouldn't have any appointment.


Grimey Drawer

quote:

1. Creepshow
2. Cat People
3. Chopping Mall
4. Hush
5. V/H/S Viral
6. They Look Like People
7. From Beyond

8. Re-Animator

I couldn't hold back from following up From Beyond with it's precursor. One of the greatest accomplishments of this movie is the sound design. An already violent and gorey movie becomes a slippery slooshing gross-out with its sound effects. The cast is perfect, especially the villain. Barbara Crampton is still stuck playing victim to the male cast and doesn't get to shine as much as she did in From Beyond, but she's at her most sympathetic here (where every guy around her is ruining her life for her). I wish more horror movies had such an infectious manic glee like Re-Animator. And that theme song!

/5

9. The Invitation

This would be a good double feature with They Look Like People (is long-haired paranoids questioning the reality and danger of their surroundings the new genre trope?), though this was the better movie. Dude gets an invitation to a dinner party held by his ex-wife. There are old friends, and some new faces, including a new boyfriend. This is a slow build, but things escalate until it's "horror" finale with some minor twists here and there. Reminded me more of Rosemary's Baby or The Shining, not from their quality, but with pursuing atmosphere and making me ask "What's really going on?" for over an hour. Drew Carey's cross-dressing brother The Zodiac Killer himself, John Carroll Lynch, plays a small but pivotal part, and was the highlight of the movie for me. This has been one of the better surprises of the season for me.

/5

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!


Samuel Clemens posted:

Well, yeah, Funny Games is pretty open about the fact that it has nothing but contempt for its audience.

Yeah, it's bullshit. It's an art director mocking us for liking visceral story telling, the high end equivalent of moral crusaders getting up in arms over video nasties.

graventy
Jul 27, 2006


Fun Shoe

Hoo boy. Rough day.

4. Purge: Election Year - I love these dumb movies, but I wish they put any thought into the premise. I mean, this is supposedly set ~18 years after the first Purge, but the year is still basically "present day", and by this point you think there would be advanced purge techniques or something. Instead they treat 'purge tourism' as something new this year.
Anyway this was pretty by the numbers and disappointing.
/5

5. Holidays - I wanted to say that eight was too many divisions for an anthology movie, but that's not true. ABCs of Death managed to have several good segments. These were all pretty terrible, though I guess if I had to pick a favorite, maybe Mother's Day?
/5

6. The Forest - Man, Aokigahara Forest is such a great spooky setting for a movie. This was terrible. Lots of unearned jump scares, a pretty nonsensical plot, and not enough character development for you to care what happens. Plus, a ton of the movie takes place during the day. Even a suicide forest is just a forest in the day. I'm sure it's possible to make that spooky, but they did not succeed here.
0.5/5

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


TrixRabbi posted:

Yeah, it's bullshit. It's an art director mocking us for liking visceral story telling, the high end equivalent of moral crusaders getting up in arms over video nasties.

I've never heard a single quote from Haneke that didn't sound like he was up his own rear end and likely was self-hating. (For example hearing him say once upon a time that he hated horror and that his films don't count as being in the genre)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003



Class3KillStorm posted:

Next up is Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers. Hoo boy, this was terrible. I threw it on because I was strapped for time tonight, and it had a short runtime (it sure doesn't feel like a breezy 80 minutes, though). I doubted I was gonna get anything like the weird Friday the 13th/giallo stylings of the original, and knew it couldn't have anything approaching the (in)famous final shot from Sleepaway Camp I.

Too bad this film had nothing going for it in its own right. None of the kill scenes were any good (and quantity did not make up for quality); none of Angela's terrible joke throwaway lines landed; hell, Pamela Springsteen was just straight up awful in this. So was everyone else, come to think of it. A total waste of your time. If you're gonna watch a crappy slasher piece of junk this season, you can do way way better.

1 out of 5.

Once I realized Sleepaway Camp 2 is a satire, it increased in quality by about 50%.

Tiny Lowtax
May 16, 2003

IT'S LEGO, not Legos. Heh


Can I recommend that people post where they watched the movie at after they list it? For example:

The Exorcist (Netflix)

Would make it easier for others to find the same movie if they are interested and not have to search a bunch of services

Vakal
May 11, 2008



Class3KillStorm posted:

1) The Witch

Next up is Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers.

Too bad this film had nothing going for it in its own right. None of the kill scenes were any good (and quantity did not make up for quality);
1 out of 5.


Really, the outhouse kill did nothing for you?

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment,
I wouldn't have any appointment.


Grimey Drawer

Spatulater bro! posted:

Once I realized Sleepaway Camp 2 is a satire, it increased in quality by about 50%.

This. Pamela Springsteen, while not necessarily a good actress, wins me over with her charisma and charm. She's so cute, and I wish she had more movies to her name.

al-azad
May 28, 2009



Do they ever address in The Purge that the likely target of a no-rules night would be the wealthy? Only going by what I've heard it's basically bums forming elaborate street gangs terrorizing the street and I know a plot point in the first is selling Purge related security. But c'mon if you're saying an annual event like this wouldn't involve a group of people premeditating their tactics. And they certainly wouldn't take their aggression out on each other when better targets are available.

graventy
Jul 27, 2006


Fun Shoe

Not really.

Part of the plot of the third is that the usual ban on attacking 'level 10 government officials' has been lifted. Which is funny because I don't remember that being mentioned in any of the previous movies, and it seems to go directly against the idea of a purge.

There is a group who seem to be planning to systematically attack politicians but they don't. The "end the purge" party's main argument is that the purge primarily affects the poor, but we never find out why. I just want to see purge corporate sabotage, or purge Wall Street or something.

K. Waste
Feb 27, 2014

MORAL:
To the vector belong the spoils.


al-azad posted:

Do they ever address in The Purge that the likely target of a no-rules night would be the wealthy? Only going by what I've heard it's basically bums forming elaborate street gangs terrorizing the street and I know a plot point in the first is selling Purge related security. But c'mon if you're saying an annual event like this wouldn't involve a group of people premeditating their tactics. And they certainly wouldn't take their aggression out on each other when better targets are available.

graventy posted:

Not really.

Part of the plot of the third is that the usual ban on attacking 'level 10 government officials' has been lifted. Which is funny because I don't remember that being mentioned in any of the previous movies, and it seems to go directly against the idea of a purge.

There is a group who seem to be planning to systematically attack politicians but they don't. The "end the purge" party's main argument is that the purge primarily affects the poor, but we never find out why. I just want to see purge corporate sabotage, or purge Wall Street or something.

The first Purge film very explicitly depicts an exploitation film scenario like something out of Death Race 2000: It's obvious that the cabal of "real leaders" is basically impervious to all the violence, unless they stand in the way of the perverse fantasies of other rich people.

Meanwhile, the second film actually does a fairly decent job of mapping out all but explicitly the "anarchy" of violence among the "underprivileged." In one of the early threat scenes you get a clearly pre-meditated sexual assault and murder attempt, and, indeed, the "B-story" of the movie is Frank Grillo carrying out another heavily pre-meditated and "stockpiled" revenge fantasy. But on the other hand, it also depicts the "impulsive" violence of a "crime of passion," as well as nihilist capitulation to the "new slavery" that the Purge has fundamentally legalized. An entire family, a father, a daughter, and a granddaughter, are all sold by the film's climax. And then the Black Panthers burst in and start "arming the rebels."

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


#7: Mark of the Astro-Zombies (2004)

So, once upon a time a mad scientist created cyborg undead he called Astro-Zombies. Now, in the first sequel made 35 years later, aliens have coopted this technology and are using it to start killing off humanity. The president tries to gather the best minds in the country, but this just results in the aliens kidnapping them to steal their brain patterns. Meanwhile, an evil woman (Tura Satana! ) starts running a con game with her lacky using the astro-menace to her advantage, and kidnaps a reporter (Brink Stevens!) to attempt to extort information out of her Fed boyfriend. Also, some good aliens come to stop the bad aliens.

A lot of people like to say they're a fan of "bad" movies. These people often have no idea what they're talking about as to what the bottom of the barrel is. Ted V. Mikkels is one of the filmmakers that lives down there. We have monsters that are definitely dime store masks. We have the same gore effect used literally dozens of times throughout the film. We have actors that aren't even up to community theater snuff. We have lines of banal conversation painstakingly worked on. We have shot after shot (on home video) of things that make no difference to anything in the film, such as a secretary going to make coffee, or countless interviews with a "celebrity" (Liz Renay! ) who claims to have been abducted by aliens, repeated several times. This kind of film is mindnumbing after a while, and is only for true cinemasochists. At least the wave after wave of gore is fun to watch, so I'll give it that.

I give Mark of the Astro-Zombies out of Five (that's one half)

Hibernator
Aug 13, 2011



10/1-I kicked things off with Scream, which I've seen a zillion times, but haven't revisited since the 4th one came out. Used the opportunity to show it to the gf, who hasn't watched much horror. It played really well, and got me excited about the month ahead. It's funny, when I first saw it when I was young I was unfamiliar with all the slasher conventions that it satirizes and embraces, yet somehow it struck a chord anyway. And I think the reason is that it kind of feels like a primer or beginner's class on the genre. It got me excited to see all these movies the characters were talking about. I'm not sure gf had the same response. She dug the movie, but I don't think it lit a fire in her or anything.

10/2-Continued last night with 31. This is pretty easily the weakest thing I've seen from Zombie. It succumbs to all of his worst impulses, coming off like a 12-yer-old's idea of what a really "hosed up" movie would be. Incomprehensibly edited, moving from setpiece to setpiece at breakneck speed without ever giving any of them any actual weight. It's safe to say I really disliked it. That said, there are a few highlights. Richard Brake is the obvious one - though I'd argue nothing else in the film tops his opening scene. I also think Sickhead cuts a sort of perversely imposing silhouette. And I do think there's a good movie in this premise/set-up, I just think Zombie failed to pull it off here.

Darthemed
Oct 28, 2007

"A data unit?
For me?
"


College Slice

#2.) The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)



This was a nice cleanser follow-up to #Horror. Kind of made me feel like the preceding film would have been, if not more effective, at least more focused had it been shrunk down to the ABCs format. I wouldn't really say there was a notable dud in this one's alphabet set, aside from the song over the end credits, and while a couple of them played more like gags than scares (M might be my favorite from this category, with W as top challenger), that's certainly not a deviation from the blueprint set by the first in the series.

I am having trouble recalling all of the entries a day later, but D, J, K, O, Y, and Z stand out as my favorites. P felt like a nice channeling of David Lynch's more overtly weird moments while putting its own spin on things. U was slickly executed, but it did seem to suggest that Vincenzo Natali does much better in a long-form style. I wasn't as turned-off by the gag entries in the first ABCs as some people whose reactions I've seen, but it did feel like the average quality of the shorts had been brought up a bit in this installment. Overall, a nice compilation, and though I kind of doubt I'll bother to track down ABCs of Death 2.5, I am looking forward to finding out who they'll accumulate for the actual third installment.

/ 5

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


#8. Deathrow Gameshow (1987)

Chuck Toedan is the host of the hottest game show on the air, Live or Die! wherein death row inmates play games to try to win a reprieve on their sentence. If they fail, they get executed live! Chuck has lots of fans, and just as many haters, but neither slow him down one inch. After a talk show debate with one Gloria Sternvirgin (groan) and a mixup on the game show, the pair find themselves on the run from a wronged mafia boss, with danger on their heels.

Okay, I'm skirting the "horror" definition here. What we have is more a jet-black comedy, but one of a decidedly horrific nature. This is from the same guy who brought us the lovely "Curse of the Queerwolf" after all. And just like that film, this one is filled to the brim with awful to offensive humor of every stripe. Also half the time the jokes fall flat. Really, the only thing the film really has going for it is the extreme satire of tv. It reminds me of the film Video Vixens, which was loaded with fake commercials and wry commentary on television standards, all of which through the lens of adult entertainment. Here instead you have the same idea, only with violence. They're kinda reaching for the same destination from different directions, and both quite lesser seen for it.

I give Deathrow Gameshow: out of Five

Irony.or.Death
Apr 1, 2009


1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
2. Halloween
3. Halloween 2
4. We Are Still Here - Fun but not exceptional. A couple move into an old house in a small town to get away from memories of their dead son, but the wife keeps insisting she feels his presence in the house. Another couple comes out to join them for a weekend and wave crystals around/not wave crystals around depending on which character you ask. Most of the characters are reasonably engaging and it goes about half a step farther with its premise than you'd probably expect after watching the first ten minutes, but never makes it all the way off the rails. There's also an unfortunate bit where the same character explains the dark secret of what's going on twice, in scenes that can't be separated by more than twenty minutes or so. I'm also not totally sold on the dark secret of what's going on - the darkness under the house is apparently supposed to be a real force in the world of the film, and in that last phone call Cat insists Dagmar isn't what they should be worried about, but everything we actually see sure makes it look like Dagmar and his family are what you should be worried about. Like, okay, Dave is a murderer and the house will gently caress up your weather patterns and maybe spread some disease, but Dagmar and co. will follow you out of the house to punch a hole through your chest if you try to run away and drag all of your friends through the floor while you burn and then erupt into a fountain of blood if you try to stick around. The other threats are fairly low-key, in comparison. Dave did provide some high quality head explosions on both the giving and receiving ends, though, so points to him for that. Part of me likes leaving the ancient powerful evil totally unseen like that, but it ended up feeling a little jumbled here. It did exactly what I needed it to in terms of a break from slashers, though, and was much more enjoyable than I expected going in. Ghost-y stories usually bore me to death in a way matched only by demonic possession stories.

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


1. The Wicker Tree (2011)
2. Mexico Barbaro (2014)
3. I Can See You (2008)
4. Demonic Toys 2 (2010)
5. The Grudge 2 (2006)
6. Laserblast (1978)
7. Mark of the Astro-Zombies (2004)
8. Deathrow Gameshow (1987)

9. The Grudge 3 (2009)


We open with Jake from the previous film, now in a pediatric institution, where his doctor doesn't believe his stories about the angry ghosts now living in his old apartment building. Besides that, in the building itself we have the super, 20 something Max, and his teen sister Lisa, and their younger, chronically ill sister Rose. They're almost all that's left in the now dying building as people don't want to stay where a disturbing murder happened (too bad the curse doesn't work that way). However, a new woman from Japan, Naoko, moves in. Turns out she's the SISTER we never had heard of of Kayako, and she might have a way to save the family from the impending death. Maybe.

Ugh. You know how I said the other day with my piece on part 2 how the series' strongest point was the auteur cohesiveness holding it all together? Well boy is my face red. This film gets a token executive credit thrown Takashi Shimizu's way (he was busy helping make the next two films back in Japan at the time) and instead relies on a couple of heavily inexperienced Westerners to pick up the slack, and apparently the company that picked up the rights after Columbia and Village Roadshow dropped out moved things to Bulgaria for cheap filming. At least they were able to keep the apartments looking the same. That and I was impressed with the child actress playing Rose are about all I have to say positive here. There is 100% a lack of understanding for how the series works, and what makes the films good. Kayako is presented as a knock-off of the girl from The Ring, at one point even crawling out of a painting in near identical fashion to the famous tv shot of the other franchise. The story is told completely linearly with much more blood and gore and no subtlety at all. And then, they make it clear by halfway through that they weren't even paying attention to the story previously. In part 2, one of the things I liked a lot was how they started building up for the American perspective, that Kayako's childhood as the daughter of a sort of exorcist is what led to the curse, and that she could do something to make things right, only to have the elder woman spit in our faces and call us dumb for thinking things worked that way. Then in this film we get introduced to an unmentioned character that was part of her family who instead travels to America to assure the white people that no, that's exactly how it works, and we're going to have an exorcism to make everything right. It's a 100% about face on everything the series' lore stands for and it makes me actively angry how much it misses the point. At least the cast are trying to make the best of their situation, so I can't fault them there, there's a lot of genuine feeling interaction at play.

I give The Grudge 3 out of Five.

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



Day 3 - I ran into a problem with watching Cemetery Man this evening, so I fired up my back up plan: a mysterious unlabeled video tape I found under my television.

I've seen the original Japanese version of Ring and it's really good. And that made me not watch the US version. Not because I didn't think a remake could be any good but because I didn't think I needed to after watching the original version. So now I've seen the US version and it's also really good, but I also think that I didn't really need to see both.

I feel obligated to give a premise even when I doubt anyone needs it. There's this videotape and if you watch it a nearby phone rings and a voice says that you will die in seven days. After the deaths of a group of teenagers, a reporter finds the tape, watches it, and then begins following the trail of clues on it to unravel the mystery before her seven days are up.

The US version of The Ring is kind of funky to me. It's from 2002 and the cinematic style is very much of that era, particularly with the color adjustment of the scenes. But a lot of the set dressing feels more like 1992, probably to make the videotape feel more natural at a time when digital video was becoming very common. The film in general is visually striking and dreamy.

I think The Ring gets a bit lost in the middle portions. The beginning and the ending are very creepy, but there's this portion in the middle that might as well be a straight investigation story since the tone is just dropped (essentially once the island is reached).

Between the two, I think the US version is a bit better than the Japanese version on the visuals though I don't like the kid in the US one. It's not so much better that it's worth seeing if you've watched the Japanese version, though. Of course watching the Japanese sequels is just a terrible idea.

(Oh hey, between the previous post and this one it's Grudge vs. The Ring right here. )

alansmithee
Jan 25, 2007

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Grimey Drawer

1. Body Melt /5

2. Video Violence
Low budget 80's movie about a town with a mysterious affinity for VCRs, slasher movies, and a strange habit of outsiders disappearing. The opening set piece seems genuinely sleazy and creepy, but the remainder of the movie doesn't seem to ever get to that point again. Apparently the director made it as a response to the popularity of horror movies and other similar things he saw while working as a video clerk. This kinda shows through (there's an exchange in the movie that's apparently based directly on something that happened to him while working in a video store) and seems to cut through what could've been a low-budget classic if someone was more focused on making an effective horror movie. That said, there is some low-budget charm.
.5/5

3. New York Ripper
A murderer is terrorizing New York City women by...well ripping them. This plays out like an extremely violent episode of a 70's police procedural. Just couldn't get into this one very much at all, had none of the weirdness and style that the other Fulci movies I've seen. The kills were ok, but nothing too memorable outside of the somewhat gratuitous nudity often featured in them.
/5

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


If I remember right, The Ring was really the first major US film to be doing that washout effect for dread in horror. It kinda started that trend we still haven't bucked.

I really think there's a lot to be said for pretty much any version of the film, even the Korean one. But then, I'm kinda a nerd on the subject so what do I know?

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



Choco1980 posted:

If I remember right, The Ring was really the first major US film to be doing that washout effect for dread in horror. It kinda started that trend we still haven't bucked.

I really think there's a lot to be said for pretty much any version of the film, even the Korean one. But then, I'm kinda a nerd on the subject so what do I know?

It might have been the first to do it in horror, but it's really mimicking The Matrix which popularized it in feature films and then everyone in those first few years of the twenty-first century was heavily color shifting their images.

That mention of other versions reminded me that I want to check out the Chinese version which I've heard is distinctive. Maybe this October I'm going to keep seeing the ring. (Edit: Huh. Apparently I'm thinking of another movie or a different country's version. Well, I'll poke around and wind up watching another country's version of some major film I've seen anyway.)

Random Stranger fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2016 around 02:54

Xenomrph
Dec 9, 2005

AvP Nerd/Fanboy/Shill


Darthemed posted:

#2.) The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)



This was a nice cleanser follow-up to #Horror. Kind of made me feel like the preceding film would have been, if not more effective, at least more focused had it been shrunk down to the ABCs format. I wouldn't really say there was a notable dud in this one's alphabet set, aside from the song over the end credits, and while a couple of them played more like gags than scares (M might be my favorite from this category, with W as top challenger), that's certainly not a deviation from the blueprint set by the first in the series.

I am having trouble recalling all of the entries a day later, but D, J, K, O, Y, and Z stand out as my favorites. P felt like a nice channeling of David Lynch's more overtly weird moments while putting its own spin on things. U was slickly executed, but it did seem to suggest that Vincenzo Natali does much better in a long-form style. I wasn't as turned-off by the gag entries in the first ABCs as some people whose reactions I've seen, but it did feel like the average quality of the shorts had been brought up a bit in this installment. Overall, a nice compilation, and though I kind of doubt I'll bother to track down ABCs of Death 2.5, I am looking forward to finding out who they'll accumulate for the actual third installment.

/ 5

Thanks for this review, I was curious about the two ABCs of Death movies that i saw were available on Netflix, I think I'll give them a shot after I exhaust some of the other movies in my library.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!


Quick update with a full list since September.

1. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004)
2. Friday the 13th (1980) Rewatch
3. Baghead (2008)
4. The People Under the Stairs (1991)
5. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)
6. Deathdream (1974)
7. Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
8. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
9. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
10. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
11. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
12. The Bad Seed (1956)

Waiting on Fridays VII through X from the library to come in.

Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011


1) The Witch
2) Sleepaway Camp II

Next up was Return of the Living Dead II. The original is a genuinely great film, a punk rock-infused bit of anarchist nihilism and maybe my favorite zombie movie. This one, however, is far goofier in tone and made with a much younger audience in mind. However, most of the jokes don't stick, and the tone makes some of the ever escalating violence double back into queasy territory in its own "Looney Tunes"-infused right. (One zombie gets part of its face blown off, then cut in half by a shotgun, then horribly scalded by steam; another decapitated head gets a screwdriver through the temple and its face set on fire while still talking.)

This is even before we get to the half-baked meta jokes, based around more or less recasting some of the bit players from part 1. It veers and careens wildly all of the place, never seeming to have a firm grasp on character and plot, and so never gels together. Also, its version of the Tarman zombie is much worse than the original, and just kind of disappears after falling in a puddle, which is a total waste of iconography.

2.5 out of 5.

Vakal posted:

Really, the outhouse kill did nothing for you?

This goes back to what another poster was saying about Sleepaway Camp II being satire, but there's a difference between good satire and bad satire; SC II is firmly in the latter category. The whole outhouse thing was just too long and belabored to be effective, and both actresses involved were terrible at selling the scene. It also comes fairly late in the whole mess, and by the time it happened I had already well and truly checked out.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


I confessed at the start that I had never truly seen many of the classic films from the pre-80s/70s eras of horror. Its embarrassing as a horror fan to admit, but its true. And I set out to correct that this year and make sure to mix in plenty of these into my otherwise balance of movies from all decades. This goal began tonight with one of the absolute classics that I can't believe I've never seen before.



2 (3). Frankenstein (1931)
"Its alive! Its alive!"

So many names in the credits I know but have never truly experienced. So many classic scenes and lines that I know but never saw the context of. One of the greatest, most iconic monsters of the genre and I'd never actually seen him in his glory. And my misconceptions. Its not "Victor Frankenstein", its Henry. Its not "Ygor", its Fritz. What a fool I am.

I enjoyed this. I say it that plainly because I was kind of torn going in as to whether I will end up grading these older films on a curve given the technical and artistic limitations and different standards they have. But really, its simply a good movie. Not especially scary (or "horrifying" as the introduction warns), granted, but that's one of those curves you have to grade on since obviously my sensibilities are different from the audience of 1931.

1931. God drat. I'm always amazed when films made that long ago hold up so well today. But its all there. A solid story, good acting, good directing and shooting. Sure, some camera work is jaunty and the standards for horror are different, but by every fair standard I can judge the film on it delivered.

And truthfully, I didn't know if it would. I was worried that I'd be dragging myself through these movies as an obligation, but I genuinely enjoyed it and was worlds more captivated than the episodes of Fear The Walking Dead I binged prior to it (I know, not a high bar but I think a fair one considering the "decades" standards I'm applying here to show that I can enjoy the old more than the new).

I'm glad on one level that I finally saw Frankenstein as I'm sure I'll be glad with other movies this month, but I also just plain enjoyed my viewing and I'm really excited by that fact and the promise of more to come.

And I finally saw Boris Karloff in action (you know, not as the Grinch) and I'm not sure I've ever done that. And I saw a James Whale movie. It really is a disgrace that it took me this long.

October Tally - New (Total)
- (1). 30 Days of Night (2007) / 1 (2). It Follows (2015) / 2 (3). Frankenstein (1931)

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2016 around 03:44

K. Waste
Feb 27, 2014

MORAL:
To the vector belong the spoils.


K. Waste posted:

Day 2

Early-morning semi-starter with Roar (1981): Noel Marshall basically made the anti-Cannibal Holocaust with this one, and I dig it. There hasn't been an activist documentary since that was as authentic and compassionate in its depiction of animals while simultaneously being as earnest in its criticism of their displacement by homo sapiens.

Real deal with that TCM triple feature of Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein. The first two are classics, the second one has good production design, but lacks the kind of whimsical camp and directness of the Whale pictures. I had never seen Bride before, and was seriously skeptical of the chain of thought that said it would be better than the original, but I have to say, it is a masterpiece. So many perfect scenes.

Day 3

I really shouldn't have slept on The Witch while it was in theaters. Ended up just renting it on YouTube, because I realized Netflix's selection sucks and there's nothing on Turner Classic Movies horror or Halloween festivity-related enough.

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



6. Mad Love (1935)

This is a weird one. Peter Lorre plays a surgeon in love with an actress. One day the actress's husband is in the same train crash as an infamous murderer, and loses his hands in the wreck. Lorre then crafts the murderer's hands onto the husband's body. All seems well, but the husband finds that the hands may be doing things out of his control... Meanwhile, Lorre continues his obsession with the actress.

In a way the movie kind of reminds me of some of the Val Lewton movies from the 40's- it's less of a focus on scary monsters or gore, but there is a nice atmosphere and a good focus on how twisted Lorre's character is (His bald head in the movie even seems to recall Count Orlok to a degree). Even the weird thing with the husband's new hands kind of plays out less like a stereotypical spooky horror plot, and more like a case of what we now call PTSD from having survived a terrible event (Perhaps it is meant to deal with World War I trauma a la Ulmer's The Black Cat). It's less than 70 minutes long and will be airing on TCM in a few days- check it out if you want something a little different.

EDIT: Also it was directed by Karl Freund, the man who shot The Golem, The Last Laugh, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, and Metropolis.

Raxivace fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2016 around 04:09

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Asiina
Apr 26, 2011

No going back


Grimey Drawer

Only one movie today since it was a weekday.

In the Mouth of Madness - This movie was alright, but just failed to completely grab me. I just felt slightly unconvinced at every turn. It wasn't quite scary enough, the characters didn't act quite logical enough given what we knew about them, the monsters weren't quite convincing enough, the premise didn't seem to follow through enough. It wasn't bad, but it felt like it could have used another draft.

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