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STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



No one knows what you do in the voting booth.

Its Wednesday so time for my weekly reminder. You got about 38 hours left before the voting week ends.
You can vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST May 7th (or when I wake up). We got a classic, a modern crowd pleaser, a lazy outing from a legend, and an amateur beginning from a could have been. A little it for everyone. So you still have a little time left if you want to get them in and don't forget to vote.

I'm weirdly probably gonna watch the US Varan because I'm told its uniquely bad. Also its barely an hour.

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Class3KillStorm
Feb 17, 2011





STAC Goat posted:

I'm weirdly probably gonna watch the US Varan because I'm told its uniquely bad. Also its barely an hour.

The US localization of Varan will make you appreciate how respectful the Raymond Burr localization of Gojira really ended up being, for all its faults. It kind of throws into stark relief all of the pitfalls of that kind of US-centric localization - namely the paternalism and racism - that Godzilla, King of the Monsters! largely managed to avoid... and which Varan the Unbelievable just plunges headfirst into.

Hey, in that way its kind of fitting!

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Vampires vs The Bronx
It's cute I guess? Some good gags, perfectly inoffensive, goes down smoothly, the usual Netflix fare.

I didn't rewatch the Thing but obviously voting for that.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Class3KillStorm posted:

The US localization of Varan will make you appreciate how respectful the Raymond Burr localization of Gojira really ended up being, for all its faults. It kind of throws into stark relief all of the pitfalls of that kind of US-centric localization - namely the paternalism and racism - that Godzilla, King of the Monsters! largely managed to avoid... and which Varan the Unbelievable just plunges headfirst into.

Hey, in that way its kind of fitting!

Yes, yes... this is true. God, the US Varan was terrible and offensive, and offensive in the kind of way that isn't so in your face and overt but rather that really worse way that a bunch of people will fight with you and say there's nothing wrong and you can't make ground because they won't acknowledge the subtle and not subtle aggressions. Ugh. Wish I hadn't watched it. No one make the mistake I did. I guess I do have new found respect for Honda's Varan and the Burr Godzilla KOTM. But that's a low rear end bar for this film.

The weird thing is I'd almost say its a better constructed film than Honda's. like there's a plot and characters. But oh my god that plot and character are the worst.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I guess I had a very different reaction to Varan than most people. I took it as a very straightforward kaiju story where there isn't any big reason or explanation; it's just a big old monster and people have managed to piss him off. It's the sort of thing that plays with the formula by not actually doing anything with it, if that makes sense. It's a big, annoyed, ancient animal and it's going to implacably come at you when you upset it. It's not angry about violence, or about smog, or about industrialization. It's just angry that you picked a fight with it.

Not that it lacks a metaphor ó I think this is also a more direct criticism of the myths the Japanese military believed in during the imperialist phase that ended in 1945. The monster could as easily be China as much as the US - once fully roused and capable, there was nothing to be done. I can't say for certain, but I did half wonder if the comment one character makes about their 36mm cannons being sufficient was actually a jab at the IJA (they'd mobilized for a war in the 1930s, and did not have the manufacturing capacity to build any tanks or similar vehicles that were prepared to take on even the medium American armor, but they didn't like to admit it). Either way, I think it does show off the futility of that doomed fight. I will allow that maybe there could have been a bit more to break up all the combat. The ending doesn't really fit well in that narrative, either, but you probably couldn't make a movie in 1958 where the monster marches right up into Tokyo and establishes itself as a surrogate emperor for the next decade.

This movie isn't quite up there with the likes of Honda's best work, but those are all-time classics. The lack of any memorable characters is notable, especially since the 'journalist' side story kind of falls flat. It still manages to be quite capably directed, as we might expect, and I think it's really making the most of what was probably a somewhat limited budget, even if that means a bit less of the carnage we'd expect from a big monster movie. It still looks really good much of the time, and I found the early scenes in the mist to be some of the most suspenseful and creepy that Honda has ever made.


I actually liked The Roost well enough, and think its direction is quite good, especially in the visual creation of the scenes. On the whole it's too amateurish and misses a bit more than it hits.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


STAC Goat posted:

Yes, yes... this is true. God, the US Varan was terrible and offensive, and offensive in the kind of way that isn't so in your face and overt but rather that really worse way that a bunch of people will fight with you and say there's nothing wrong and you can't make ground because they won't acknowledge the subtle and not subtle aggressions. Ugh. Wish I hadn't watched it. No one make the mistake I did. I guess I do have new found respect for Honda's Varan and the Burr Godzilla KOTM. But that's a low rear end bar for this film.

The weird thing is I'd almost say its a better constructed film than Honda's. like there's a plot and characters. But oh my god that plot and character are the worst.

I waaaaaaaaaaaaarned you

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I'm going Roost and The Thing this week. The Roost edges out Varan thanks in part to the TV show host gimmick

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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

Grimey Drawer

I'm also going The Roost over Varan.

I appreciate some things about Varan. The monster suit, on its first appearance, looked good. It's every subsequent time it's shown that you realize Honda is trying to hide it. I think the cinematography really hurts this one too. There are a lot of shots that are a low contrast between the bright whites and shadows that are barely there. I did kind of like the change in story, from Godzilla movies, where the monster is attacking what are basically scientific settlers, who don't seem to have the best intentions towards Varan or respect of the indigenous people that worship it. The montage at the end did not work for me at all.

The Roost is amateur hour, but there's enough here for me to vote for it, even though I liked it less than Varan. It's trying something new, and it's testing the structural "rules" of horror, and tries to work new ideas out of the scares. I'm much more impressed by amateurs going for it rather than the creator of Godzilla turning in a flawed boring movie eight years later. I also thought The Roost nailed the Tom Noonan intro (like MZ mentioned).

(I was interested in seeing a documentary about Honda, cuz I just do not understand his career. If anyone has any resources that aren't Wikipedia, I'd really appreciate it.)

I'm probably voting The Thing over Vampires vs the Bronx, but I plan to watch that tonight to give it a fair chance.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


First, this is not a defense of Varan.

If anything I wouldn't have included Varan at all, regardless what version. But it counts, so it gets included.

Your time scale is a bit off Fran- Varan was 1958, not 8 years later. That might seem even more insane- only 4 years after Gojira, 2 years after Rodan, what in the world happened? This even predates Mothra and many of his great films from the 60s, and is concurrent with some of his other 50s greats! And its not just the direction- the effects are worse, the picture quality is kind of really bad, and the picture is in black and white despite Rodan being, again, two years prior.

If something smells, you'd be right. That stench is a convoluted mess of bullshit and fuckery.

So let's paint the picture. 1956, Godzilla King of the Monsters is an international sensation. Godzilla becomes a house hold name. Fantastic, great cool yeah okay let's go. You know what else is becoming a household phenomenon? TV! So an American TV network goes, yo! This monster movie stuff is great! Let's go talk with Toho and get one made specifically for TV that we'll co-finance and air everywhere!

So they go over to Toho and Toho goes, yeah I guess sure. Yo, Honda, take a month and go film this. Tsuburaya, get your B Team together, grease up the actors let's go. Here's some poo poo equipment that we're not using anymore because who gives a poo poo, this isn't going to be seen on a big picture. Oh what's that Tsuburaya, you absolutely hate the conditions you're having to work under because everything is going to look cheap and fake as hell and you don't have time to make it look right, nor the budget? Well you see, it's going to be on TV, so no one cares get it done. Sorry Honda, you get black and white cameras with no sound equipment that might be worse than what you shot Gojira with. It's going to be on TV and they're all black and white so who cares.


Oh what's that, the TV studio went bust and that entire deal is now busted?

Well. poo poo. Movie's already too far in production to stop. Can't do anything about it being black and white, but we'll pan and scan the footage and just make it wide screen I'm sure that won't make the lovely footage look worse.

Oh did I mention the month time frame to make the movie?

I made that joke in discord, then I checked because I realized that sounded right to me for some reason. I was wrong, it wasn't a month


Unless you count February. 28 days is all this movie was given.

When they realized they were stuck with this turd going to theaters, they tried to shoot a few more scenes to give it, you know, a story, but you've seen the results. Tsuburaya's annoyance with the whole venture is well known, but even Ishiro Honda, one of the most loyal directors around, was extremely unhappy with everything and with Toho for doing this. The entire movie was a giant stumble backwards since Toho had already moved into proper wide screen AND color film, and the result is as evident as anything.


And then in the 1960s some Americans grabbed the film and made it racist as all hell.

Just really brought out the shining racism and White Savior Knows Best bullshit.

Couldn't have happened to a better movie

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Thanks for the excellent background info Burk, that's rough luck for Honda. I'll be voting The Thing plus The Roost, and The Roost really isn't a vote out of passion for me, in fact I hate the film, but it gave me some Tom Noonan, so what am I going to do?

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Hey, we got our highest voter total this week, topping our high from way back in January in Week 2! Lets see the results.



No real surprises here. Both matchups were really a case of the luck of the draw. Vampires vs the Bronx had the support to win a lot of matchups but against the Thing it stood no chance. It avoided the shutout but my Block Party team gets booted from the tournament just before the Second Round after a Play In victory. Its 2 votes and the 1 abstaining vote could have played spoiler and prevented The Thing from racking up the numbers but the high voter total compensated and the result is The Thing is the new top movie in votes and Carpenter moves into 2nd among directors, behind only Gasper Noe who has had 2 films.

On the other side Ti Westís Roost was an amateurish flop to most but Honda drew a bad and production compromised cash in that allowed West to advance handily on some gimmicks, charm, and curve grading. That sends the legendary Honda home early this year. Its not a huge upset based on seeding, but it feels like a big fall. Still, people could have seeded him higher and maybe things would have happened differently. After all, I drew numbers by matchup order so he wouldnít even have gotten the same movie if he played another week. But themís the breaks. Every vote counts and Honda is down.

That sends my West/Wingard team into the second round with the pleasure of facing Carpenter as the legend threatens to eliminate half my teams on his own. And Iím ok with that.

Ok, time to finally finish up the first round.



1. Dario Argentoís Phantom of the Opera vs. 16. (TrixRabbi's Andrzej Żuławski & Other Poles) Andrzej Żuławskiís On the Silver Globe


Yes, our second Phantom of the Opera of the first round. Pile that on the list of weird coincidences. Argento fell in the second round last year after knocking out Crawl with Suspiria but he fell to Peter Jacksonís Braindead despite drawing Deep Red! He had the absolute best luck of draws on his end but still fell in the brutal meat grinder of the tournament. And things donít get easier as this time he draws real low in his pool. Still one Phantom already advanced so maybe heíll get lucky with the votersí tastes this time. People love train wrecks. TrixRabbiís Polish team advanced into the tourney after knocking off The Bride and A Page of Madness in the Play Ins. I donít know anything about On the Silver Globe but it sounds weird and is from the same guy who did forum favorite Possession so things look shaky for Dario. Two 1 seeds have fallen already. Will Argento join them or will he advance and join Carpenter into the second round? Meanwhile two Play In teams have advanced and two have fallen so can Zulawski tip the scales in their favor?

Phantom of the Opera
On the Silver Globe



8. (STAC Goatís Team Ladies Night) Issa Lůpezís Tigers Are Not Afraid vs. 9. (STAC Goatís The Silent Founders) Tod Browningís Mark of the Vampire


Its kind of amazing it took THIS long for two of my teams to matchup, but at the risk of sounding narcissistic it almost feels fitting for it to be the last matchup of the round. Tod Browning fell first round last year as Dracula was taken out by Jordan Peeleís Us in a real statement vote. His partner Hitchcock faired better going 3 rounds and Team Universal has already advanced so can Browning make up for things and start representing the classic oldies more with a win here? Bela Lugosi in a vampire movie looks good on paper but didnít work for him last year. Issa Lopez is a newcomer as is her entire team of ladies, but theyíre the 3rd of 3 womenís teams I put together and the other two have already fallen. Truthfully I donít really know anything about her or this film but no one can seem to talk about it without mentioning GdT so Iím excited. Normally I joke here about all my teams is lose but I mean someone has to come out of this one. So will it be Lopezís modern dark fairy tale or Browningís golden age vampire tale? Iím kind of mailing in this entry. Whoís gonna get mad, me?

Mark of the Vampire
Tigers Are Not Afraid is streaming on Shudder, AMC+, DirecTV, and Pantaya in the US.



This is it. The end of a 4 month first round that saw 64 films come and go. Plus an additional 15 films across 3 Play In weeks. The last 4 this week and the last pair who advance into the second round get decided. Next round gets all kinds of interesting and exciting but everything comes in time.

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST May 14th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week! Round 2!
- 4. Lucio Fulci vs. 5. Debbie Does Dagonís Queer as in gently caress You
- 9. Tarnopís The Brutal Brits vs. 16. Francschendoís Team Vulgśr

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

I don't think Argento is gonna win this one lol

I found Tigers extremely bland and unimaginative, so it's Mark's round to lose.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Ohhh I'm definitely looking forward to Mark of the Vampire. Been meaning to check that out for a few years and it's also a great selection for the May Challenge.

Phantom of the Opera is one of the few Argentos I haven't seen so I'm gonna give it a fair shot. If it's as bad as Dracula though, forget it, Argento's gone.

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Been meaning to watch Tigers for a while now so it's good to have a bit of extra motivation. Silver Globe sounds wild. Interest in the other two is basically zero

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Spoilers for the masterpiece


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1o4Hrwmfdo


Also lol at the idea of people mixing up Argento's Phantom and Argento's Opera

married but discreet fucked around with this message at 13:11 on May 7, 2021

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



oh man Zulawski comes roarin' in with the big guns

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


Looks like Ishiro Honda got knocked out of the tournament on his birthday. That's a fine how-do-you-do.

I voted for The Roost

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





married but discreet posted:

Spoilers for the masterpiece


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1o4Hrwmfdo


Also lol at the idea of people mixing up Argento's Phantom and Argento's Opera

Lmao this gunna be tough to beat

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Uh yea, am I supposed to NOT like that?

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



It's gonna be an odd double feature:

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

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Basebf555 posted:

Uh yea, am I supposed to NOT like that?

Having never seen Argento's Phantom but having read a bunch of reviews and remembering that Schumacher's Phantom won... yeah, I kinda don't think this is the slam dunk it seems to be. It sounds like Argento's might be crazy and theatrical enough to win people over.

But then again his opponent also sounds crazy and like the voting block's thing. So he might get screwed by that draw. Against a more pedestrian film I could see Argento having more of a shot at this. But if Silver Globe hits the way its reviews say then all bets are off.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

STAC Goat posted:

Having never seen Argento's Phantom but having read a bunch of reviews and remembering that Schumacher's Phantom won... yeah, I kinda don't think this is the slam dunk it seems to be. It sounds like Argento's might be crazy and theatrical enough to win people over.

But then again his opponent also sounds crazy and like the voting block's thing. So he might get screwed by that draw. Against a more pedestrian film I could see Argento having more of a shot at this. But if Silver Globe hits the way its reviews say then all bets are off.

Yea this is one stream that I'll be making a point of being there for sure. Deb to the rescue on this one, I doubt I'd be able to get my hands on either one of them otherwise.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Week 19 Bracketology Streams!
Only on the CineD Discord

All times are in EST and may not reflect reality.

Saturday, May 8th



1900 On The Silver Globe*
vs.
2145 Dario Argento's The Phantom of the Opera

*This is over two-and-a-half hours long, so plan accordingly. I'll take a vote on either an intermission or an extra-long middle break during the stream. Either way, this is cumulatively going to be an over four-and-a-half hour long stream.

Monday, May 10th



1900 Mark of the Vampire
vs.
2010 Tigers Are Not Afraid

Content Warnings

On The Silver Globe (1988)
Unrated - Severe violence, gore, and frightening and intense scenes. I couldn't find a lot of ratings info on this one, but it's from the same director as Possession, so, it could be intense.

The Phantom of the Opera (1998)
Rated R for violence/gore, sexuality, and depictions of Julian Sands.

Mark of the Vampire (1935)
"Passed" in ye olde ratings. The vampire and bats may frighten some viewers.

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Unrated - Moderate violence, gore, and frightening and intense scenes, including violence against children.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Quoting myself from the May Challenge thread:

The Berzerker posted:


11. Mark of the Vampire (Tod Browning, 1935)
I watched this for the Bracketology Tournament thread. This was a weird one, like they wanted to make a parody of Universal vampire movies. The actual vampire stuff in this is good, Lugosi obviously does a fine job and there's enough spooky atmosphere here that I never tuned out, but the non-vampire stuff is really flat. I shouldn't be thinking about fast forwarding in a movie that is only 60 minutes. It's also really silly? Like, tonally, it was a bit all over the place, and it ends on such a goofy punchline. My favorite moment involved a cute cat.

2.5/5


12. Tigers Are Not Afraid (Issa Lůpez, 2017)
I watched this for the Bracketology Tournament thread as well. The premise is pretty depressing and bleak, we have a group of orphans, trying to stay alive in a city overcome with human trafficking, cartel violence, etc. who wind up stealing a phone from someone who really wants it back. There are some fantasy elements throughout, and they take a bit more spotlight in the back half. This made things a bit surreal, since the core of this is a very serious scary reality, but there are also moving drawings, bad CGI, and a stuffed tiger that comes to life. The blend of fantasy elements and kids in horrific situations reminded me some of del Toro films, and while this isn't as good as say, The Devil's Backbone, it's still a solid watch especially due to the quality performances from the young actors.

3.5/5

Challenge Count: 12/31

Voting Tigers are not Afraid.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Yeah, I guess I'll quote my already posted reviews. Sorry that means wordiness instead of brevity I usually try for here.

STAC Goat posted:


13 (16). On the Silver Globe (1988)
Written and directed by Andrzej Żuławski, adapted from a 1903 novel by his granduncle Jerzy Żuławski.
Watched on Debís Bracketology Stream.


I dunno. I didn't get it.

I mean I get large chunks of it, many parts, the vague idea. There's some great shots, some great costuming and makeup. I think its clear Żuławski did what he set out to do with it, and his granduncle's story, besides the scenes he was unable to film. The folks I watched it with certainly loved it and were transfixed. I was not. I don't think that's because of any real flaws. Some commented that they couldn't really fully follow the plot, but I just don't think the plot was fully followable. Part of that was the missing scenes and the inadequate choice of reading summaries for them over random footage. That was disorientating. But to some extent I just think the plot was very loose and its basic premise of magical, nonsensical evolutionary and societal (and in some cases technological) time jumps was just far too broad to really hold together for as long as this film demanded it to. There's no making sense of parts of the story's development because the development just doesn't make sense. But I don't think that was rally a concern of the film. The artistry of it was elsewhere and judging from the general responses of the people I watched it with it largely worked with its intended crowd.

Unfortunately I wasn't one of them. Arthouse isn't really my thing and loose storytelling has a limit for me. For a good while I was going with it and appreciating what it had to offer on some level, but its a nearly 3 hour film with three pronounced acts that move very wildly through non existent scenes. And as it went on my appreciation gradually faded, my grasp of what was happening gradually loosened, and I just kind of checked out. It was just too much and I spent the last 45 minutes or so of the film just kind of annoyed that it wasn't over yet. Again, not sure it speaks to true flaws of what the film intended (at least avoidable ones), but more to tastes and the extent to which someone can stretch themselves.

So I kinda hated it. But I don't think it was "bad". Obviously in some way I think it was good and in other ways others loved it. So it feels like it falls firmly into my 2 star "not my thing but I get why you like it" category.




14 (17). The Phantom of the Opera (1998)
Directed by Dario Argento, Screenplay by Argento, Gťrard Brach, and Giorgina Caspari (English adaptation), Based on Le FantŰme de l'Opťra by Gaston Leroux
Watched on Debís Bracketology Stream.


Was that a bad film? Unquestionably. Did I have a great time watching it? Absolutely.

I get what everyone thinks are the problems with this film. Dario Argento is known for making gorgeous, gorey, violent, sexy horror films and this is a weird, trashy, ugly film that looks cheap and stars his daughter in the most unerotic scenes imaginable. Which when you really think about it, as messed up as it is that he made the choice to sexualize his daughter at least its kind of a relief he's so drat bad at it. Besides that this is also Phantom of the Opera. An elegant, operatic, theatrical, musical classic that has been done again and again with grandiose and flourish. So you see "Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera" and you draw some pretty fair expectation. And this film fails ALL of those.

But that's not really its problem.

There's this thing you see a lot with hated films where people say "no one gets it, its satire." And sometimes that might be true, and sometimes it might not be, and sometimes it is satire but if no one got it then you probably hosed up. I even see that in a few reviews about this film. But this isn't a satire, its a parody. To me I can clearly see what Argento is shooting for here and that's "Mel Brooks." Argento is trying so hard to be Brooks here that a couple of times he straight up steals gags like the mole one. To me its clear that Argento's trying to do something he's never really done and make a parody to fit the times. The problem is he isn't funny.

I mean some of the jokes are very funny. At quite a few times I was cracking up at the sheer absurdity of what was happening. And you can't tell me that wasn't intentional. So much here is so obviously over the top and absurd that it only makes sense if you view this movie as a comedy. If you think this is a straight telling than half of the film makes no sense. There's a scene with a bunch of people trapped on a rat trap. That's clearly a joke.

But jokes aren't just setups and punchlines. They're tone and timing. We all know people who think they're funny and they're not. It can be painful. And Argento isn't funny. Some of his cast is. Some of the scenes and effects are. Many of situations are. But the whole doesn't work because its off. Its playing things just a touch too straight and creating a weird tonal disconnect. Argento's still Argento and a lot of his film is still in his voice. And when an unfunny person tells a joke very dryly, sometimes stuff gets lost in translation. Sometimes it doesn't even sound like a joke.

Still, despite its many, many flaws I really had a great time. A lot of that is definitely down to watching it with a group. We were able to laugh at the bad stuff and entertain ourselves before the next big legitimate laugh came. And there were a lot of them. Argento did do a good job adapting his gore and effects game to the comedy by just going so far over the top and aiming for the absurd. But the film also makes no sense. Characters kind of come and go randomly and their motivations and feelings change on a dime. It felt like Argento took the basic Phantom story, wrote up a bunch of changes and gags, and then just kept the outline intact without actually resolving anything. So the end of Phantom calls for Raoul to go save his love Christine. So that happens. Even though Raoul's been played off as a joke all film and Christine has shown no interest in him and tons of interest in the Phantom. And then the Phantom has to romantically sacrifice himself so... now she loves him again? And he wants Raoul to save her. From who? What's going on? Argento doesn't seem overly concerned that none of this makes sense because he's there for the silly rat jokes. Which are funny! But the rest is weird.

And that's basically it. Funny, but weird. Intentional, but off. Argento tried something and while he didn't miss completely, he did ultimately miss. Still, I had a great time. Maybe I wouldn't have in a different setting but I did this time.


Ok, so what does that mean head to head? On the Silver Globe is probably objectively the better film but its distinctly not my idea of a good time and its length, artistic choices, and forced upon limitations all work together to make it an all together unpleasant and regretful viewing experience for me. Phantom on the other hand is pretty bad and ridiculous, but i laughed so hard I nearly passed out and gave myself a headache I still have. So what can I do? I might be the only one but I'm voting Argento and I'm doing it pretty guilt free.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

That review definitely makes me think more highly of Phantom. I absolutely never thought of it as a comedy but it makes perfect sense. Nothing worse than a bad comedy of course, but at least I'm a little less embarrassed for Argento.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Tigers are not Afraid
I suppose Iíll be one of the few haters of an overwhelmingly well received movie this time. Admittedly, I watched this a while ago and forgot about most of it, so Iím basing my reviews off some texts I sent to a friend when I first watched it. Turns out it wasnít just forgettable to me, I must have been in a very grumpy and ungenerous mood because I really didnít like it.
Hereís some texts:
-Generic Tel Toro hosed up kids story
- Narco-Satanists? Hell yeah
- Magical Realism for no reason other than cash in on Del Toroís popularity, detracts from movie. No rhyme or reason to any of this.
- Trying very hard, sad single note piano/violin soundtrack
- Not a single thing in this thatís not predictable and clichť.
- Like someone saw Panís Labyrinth and decided to do it too, but sappy and generic
- Somehow seeing the mutilated mom in the corpse pile gives the child closure enough for the film to end. Right.

Dunno. Didnít work for me.

Mark of the Vampire
There is a kitty in an armor and that is enough for me to make it a winning movie. But there is also an opossum, several real (sadly) and fake (aw yea) bats, spiders, nice effects, and a quiiiite unexpected and a bit silly ending. And honestly, itís almost a bit scary. There is a shot of Dracula walking towards the camera that, if theyíd held on it longer, would have been unsettling. Thereís the whole aspect of the vampires invading the house, which generally doesnít really elicit much because itís done in every Dracula movie, but somehow here it feels a bit more eerie. I donít know why, especially since the movie overall has a comedic tone. But it works as a package, and overall definitely a step up from Dracula for Browning. Itís fascinating how quickly people of that era came up with a language for movies, and then seeing it evolve over time.

edit: obviously voting Mark.

married but discreet fucked around with this message at 02:46 on May 11, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



8. (STAC Goatís Team Ladies Night) Issa Lůpezís Tigers Are Not Afraid vs. 9. (STAC Goatís The Silent Founders) Tod Browningís Mark of the Vampire

STAC Goat posted:


19 (22). Mark of the Vampire (1935)
Directed by Tod Browning, Written by Guy Endore and Bernard Schubert
Watched on Debís Bracketology Stream, available on the Internet Archive.


Not a great film, but really a very fun little watch, especially if you can get your mind into the space of 1935. You go back and watch the horrors from that time and its kind of hard to process how scared people were by them and how different the sensibilities were. Similarly Mark of the Vampire utilizes a very dry humor mixed with those classic Universal "scares" to put together what I'm sure was a Scary Movie level parody by 1935 standards. Using Bela aping his classic Dracula performance and all the same basic outlines of the story from Browning's own Dracula film, he turns them on their ear and shows he can laugh at himself and not take something that was just a global landmark hit 4 years ago too seriously.

I think there's two big contexts I really love this in. The first is looking at it from the Browning/Dracula perspective. If you go back and watch Dracula there's a lot of great elements of it but its also clearly kind of clunky and learning on the job. That's a big part of the reason many hold up the spanish version that filmed at nights after as superior, because they were able to study when Browning did and improve upon it. Well there's a similar deal with James Whale's classic Frankenstein. A classic in many ways, but also clearly clunky as directors learned a changing medium. But what's so impressive about Whale is that four years later he comes back with Bride of Frankenstein that is not only leaps and bounds more of a polished technical film, but also has a ton of humor and clever self awareness to it. I think this is the same kind of thing I see with Dracula and Mark of the Vampire. Four years separated, 1931 to 1935 for both directors, and Browning has another vampire movie with Bela that looks much better, is much smoother and slicker, but is also having a great big laugh at its own expense. A maturity and improvement that really impresses me.

The other part I love is Bela playing Dracula. And I don't care what they call him or what they say, he's playing Dracula. And I had no idea there was a third Bela Dracula film out there but its kind of perfect. It creates the perfect half comedy/half horror bridge in a trilogy beginning with Dracula and ending with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. And that's a trilogy I'm definitely gonna do sometime probably in October, especially since all told its under 3 1/2 hours. Not bad for a full trilogy. Or as we measure these things now, 3/4ths a Snyder Cut.

All of this is contextual and certainly it can be argued that if you need all of that then it won't hit for viewers who don't have or appreciate that stuff. And that's fair. But I do. I also like dry humor. I also love Bela's Dracula. And I love the Vampirella type archetype which seems to originate here. I really did love this little movie. Also, I loved the kitty.





20 (23). Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Written and directed by Issa Lůpez
Watched on Debís Bracketology Stream, available on Shudder, AMC+, DirecTV, and Pantaya.


Gorgeous. Tragic. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Magical. Gritty. All these things and more. Tigers Are Not Afraid blew me away and had the tension and pressure building in my chest for the entire run time until the drat finally broke at the end and I cried for half an hour. Out of sadness, but also just out of relief and release. The film is so tense and powerful that there was no time to truly react and grieve during it just as the children have no chance to grieve or be children. They take their moments, play when they can, cling to magic and faery tales, show glimpses of the children they should be able to be. But those moments are fleeting and short lived as danger lurks. The stuffed tiger held for comfort is also a fierce protector. The castle of safety and play is also a trap when the predators find them. The childlike wishes to be saved from these horrible things can only be answered with pain and suffering.

You can obviously see the influence of Guillermo del Toro in this film. Its not just the use of supernatural elements and modern faery tales that GdT is known for but also the children in danger in the middle of a warzone that pops up in so many of del Toro's films. In the opening act Tigers Are Not Afraid is definitely very reminiscent of GdT's classic The Devil's Backbone but as it goes on I believe Lůpez finds her own voice and the film becomes its own in its own world with its own dark magic. There is no shame in being influenced by other artists. Everyone is. We constantly call films "Hitchcockian" or stories "Lovecraftian". Just because del Toro is still out there making things doesn't mean he hasn't clearly influenced a generation of artists like Andrťs Muschietti and Andrť ōvredal, And sometimes that can feel too much like aping or trying to be something you're not. But I think Lopťz completely finds her own voice here and by the second half of the film I was no longer thinking of del Toro.

There's so much I want to say about this film and I just don't think I've fully processed it yet. Its a film I unquestionably wish to watch again soon. Its one I'd recommend to anyone, regardless of their genre favorites or apprehension to subtitles. Its a wonderful film that absolutely moved me and I really can't pick any flaws out of it. Some said the metaphor was heavy, but I don't think it was metaphor. It was fable and allegory. Its a faery tale. A dark one, but most are. Stories of children and predators are the backbone of faery tales, as are the magical elements that sometimes haunt them and sometimes help them. Some found those elements a burden on the film but they absolutely worked for me and kept the piece from ever falling too deep into the despair of its events. To me it was the perfect balance and is honestly one of the best films I've seen in a long time I think the best one I've seen in this Bracketology Tournament.

I loved this.

So both my teams up this time and I feel like both delivered, at least for me. I'm sad to see either go since Issa Lopťz represents the last of my 3 women's teams standing, and Tod Browning represents the last of my 2 B&W "founders" teams left standing. Both underrepresented parts of horror in this tournament I feel, but one has to go. Truthfully if I had to pick a director/team it would probably be Browning and Hitchcock. Much of this Ladies team was put together sight unseen. But nothing could deliver on a first watch as much as Tigers Are Not Afraid did for me. I really enjoyed and appreciated Mark of a Vampire on a lot of levels, but its going against what is probably my single favorite watch (at least first watch) of these last four and half months in this tournament. So the Ladies have my vote easily.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


I'm copying and pasting my hot takes from Letterboxd for both of these matchups.

1. Dario Argentoís Phantom of the Opera vs. 16. (TrixRabbi's Andrzej Żuławski & Other Poles) On the Silver Globe

Phantom of the Opera - Julian Sands is at his Julian Sandsiest in this very uneven but occasionally very entertaining horror comedy semi-musical reminiscent of the 1910 novel Le FantŰme de l'Opťra.

On the Silver Globe - On the Silver Globe is an incredibly dense sci-fi fable about accidentally re-founding human civilization on a distant planet and not learning from any of history's mistakes.

To me, On the Silver Globe was the objectively better movie, but it really wasn't any fun. On the other hand, Phantom of the Opera was probably only fun because I watched it with a group. I'll probably be voting for On the Silver Globe because I've voted against the other #1 seeds when they drew a real clunker.


8. (STAC Goatís Team Ladies Night) Issa Lůpezís Tigers Are Not Afraid vs. 9. (STAC Goatís The Silent Founders) Tod Browningís Mark of the Vampire

Tigers Are Not Afraid - Tigers Are Not Afraid reminded me of both Panís Labyrinth and City of God in the best ways possible. Five young orphans are forced to deal with circumstances that would be terrible for adults. The performances were fantastic (especially the children) and the supernatural touches were just enough to accentuate the tense and tragic story.

Mark of the Vampire - Tod Browning does Scream 60 years before Scream. I should have liked this a lot more than I did but it really fell flat.

In this matchup, Tigers Are Not Afraid is an easy choice.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Just as a warning, do not confuse the Tod Browning movie with the text of Dracula sent through a Markov text generator, or else you get this:

quote:

How this phrase thrilled through the evening we strolled into the room the same seas in 1777; or John Paxton, drowned off Cape Farewell a year later; or old John Rawlings, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of much thankfulness together, and she was a wilderness of beautiful white flowers, and death be all that we sought the hilt of his care. I saw that she feels influences more acutely than other people do. Just now he spoke out:-- ďUnclean, unclean! I must touch him or kiss him no more. I stole back to my room and found Madam Mina still sleep as late as you will. I am content if I am like the rain on the road we were not sure already given in simple good faith, was outcast from God. ďJonathan dear, and a fine fellow is overwhelmed her that he would be certain whether any more!Ē and he groaned in anguish that not even feel it. Fortunately, the weather is getting too diffuse; but now he rose and fell with regular respiration.


I actually liked Mark of the Vampire and realized it's where Scooby-Doo comes from. It also has some genuinely good chills, especially with the women. Hoping to get to Tigers before the voting deadline.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its Wednesday. I have a headache. Running out of time before this week and the first round is over.
Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST May 14th (or when I wake up). Sorry I'm not more clever. Or "clever." Head hurts. Enjoy movies, vote, or don't. Be well.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Under the Silver Globe vs. Phantom of the Opera is an interesting one because I think both of them really did benefit from the group watch experience. For different reasons, I don't think I'd have gotten through either film on my own, Under the Silver Globe was just so long and opaque, and Phantom of the Opera was so goofy and not really up to the visual standard we're all used to with Argento. In terms of artistic merit, Under the Silver Globe wins easily. But I don't feel an obligation to vote just based on artistic merit, or any specific criteria really. So I'm voting for Argento because A)Phantom wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be and B)it was actually legitimately funny, as if Argento was going out of his way to make a comedy version of the story. So of the two films Phantom of the Opera is the one I'd be most likely to rewatch or show to a friend, and in general 3 hour experimental films aren't usually my thing, even though there was plenty I could appreciate in Under the Silver Globe.

Anyway I'm pretty sure Argento is toast so my vote probably won't matter much there.

Last night I was able to finally sit down and watch Mark of the Vampire and I enjoyed that a lot. It doesn't lean too hard into the comedy, the film still has plenty of that classic Universal Monsters atmosphere(even though this is MGM), and Lugosi is just as good as ever. The plot is solid and even though I knew the twist it was still a lot of fun to watch it all play out.

So that's an easy vote for me, I watched Tigers Are Not Afraid in October and it's fine but didn't strike me as remarkable in any way and I was kinda bored through most of it. It's certainly well made but it's not the sort of thing that I'd ever choose over Bela loving Lugosi.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Argento got me lolin atm

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





An easy pick for On The Silver Globe to me. Argento's movie is silly in some great ways, but overall just so poorly made, especially in comparison to it's competition which is a masterpiece. Though it toes the line of being a horror movie, I found enough of it haunting to vote for it. It has some exceptional art design and the camera work is just out of this world. Truly remarkable, probably one of the best movies in this tournament up to this point.

E: gunna try to get both Tigers and Mark, but time's short so I dont know if I'll make it.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





I'll be voting for Silver Globe, and Tigers Are Not Afraid. Both easily beat their competition in terms of storytelling, visuals, performances, tone, and just overall enjoyability for me. As much as people have said that perhaps Phantom could be watched and enjoyed in repeated viewing, I'd personally rather watch a film that puts effort in and genuinely moves me.


MacheteZombie posted:

E: gunna try to get both Tigers and Mark, but time's short so I dont know if I'll make it.

Both are very short, in fairness. Mark is only an hour long.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Debbie Does Dagon posted:

I'll be voting for Silver Globe, and Tigers Are Not Afraid. Both easily beat their competition in terms of storytelling, visuals, performances, tone, and just overall enjoyability for me. As much as people have said that perhaps Phantom could be watched and enjoyed in repeated viewing, I'd personally rather watch a film that puts effort in and genuinely moves me.


Both are very short, in fairness. Mark is only an hour long.

I'm about to finish Mark, but tonight is my online game night with friends so not sure when I'll fit in Tigers.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Dario Argentoís Phantom of the Opera
I was wondering on the Discord what had happened to Dario Argento in the 90s, and the most convincing answer that was brought up is that he just got old. This has been sort of bumming me out ever since I thought about it. Like, in an existential dread sort of way. If it can happen to a person like Argento, it can happen to me. Not in the sense of getting old physically, but losing whatever made me good at whatever. Maybe itís happening already? Iím only 34 so that I havenít even reached his Profondo Rosso age, so that should be a solace. But it sort of isnít. Of course Iím not a filmmaker, and Iíll never be as good at what I do as Argento ever was at filmmaking. But AM getting older, so I could lose whatever I have at any time? Dunno. Thatís sort of what went through my head as I watched Julian Sands gently caress bunch of rats or whatever the gently caress was happening during that scene. Movie sucks.

On the Silver Globe
I almost didnít watch this, and then I decided to try and split it over two days, but then I easily watched it in a single sitting. What a masterpiece! Iím far too art illiterate to write something profound about the movie, and by God it deserves something profound, not some idiot like me saying itís dope. Itís dope though! Somehow the missing parts, narrated by the director as he films life in post-soviet Poland actually add another layer to the movie. The lack of a conclusion in the story, but instead the ending with the directorís reflection in the storefront, it sort of gave me a conclusion on its own. It didnít feel like anything was missing. Probably the best Bracketology movie so far?

Not horror tho so voting ratfuck
just kidding

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its over! The week and the first round! Lets see what happened!



No real surprises there. The big story is of course that our 3rd #1 seed goes down as Dario Argento is out in the first round. Given his draw and the general reaction to it thereís no explanation needed here but that undercuts what a strong reaction Żuławskiís On the Silver Globe with some calling it the best film of the tournament. Argento drew a few votes and we had a lower turnout this week so the film doesnít make a mark in the Top 5 stats but the Polesí second win in the tournament nets them 22 votes total and draws even with Predation for second place among teams. Lopezís Tigers Are Not Afraid gets a comfortable victory herself and sends Browning and Hitchcock off to the farm with most of the other old men. That sets up our last second round matchup of TrixRabbiís Andrzej Żuławski & Other Pole (although at this stage I think its JUST Zulawski) vs my Ladiesí Night team. And with that our first round comes to an end after 4 and a half months.

Which means weíre halfway home! So lets get the second round started!

4. Lucio Fulciís City of the Living Dead vs. 5. (Debbie Does Dagonís Queer as in gently caress You) Bertrand Mandicoís Les garÁons sauvages aka The Wild Boys


Its a legendary director vs a highly ranked team to kick off our second round. Fulci drew his classic Zombie in the first round and took down Michael Haneke and married but discreetís Austrian Oscar Winners Who Also Do Horror while Debís QaiFY team took down Larry Cohen with the crowd pleasing Singapore Sling. That was way back in January so its understandable if youíve forgotten, but now they both go again looking to keep taking down the Director/Team dynamic. For Fulci he draws another one of his zombi mind twisting classics, the first of his Gates of Hell Trilogy, but it goes against a film that sounds just as visually distinctive and out there as Fulci. A film so diverse in elements that I was able to make a joke out of people comparing it to half a dozen films that have very little in common. I have a general idea what to expect from Fulci and I have absolutely no idea what to expect from Wild Boys. No, thatís not true. Its Debís team. I have expectations. But I donít know what to expect from this matchup as two very loaded entries go head to head in a tough one to call.

Sequel Alert: While City of the Living Dead is the first of the Gates of Hell Trilogy with The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery it is my understanding that this is an entirely thematic trilogy, although Catriona MacColl stars in all three as different characters. So even Iím not crazy enough to feel the need to watch all of them. But Iíll let you judge for yourself.

City of the Living Dead is available on Amazon Prime, AMC Plus, Kanopy, Night Flight Plus, Shudder, Tubi TV, and VUDU Free in the US.
The Wild Boys is available on Kanopy in the US.




9. (Tarnopís The Brutal Brits) Ben Wheatleyís Sightseers vs. 16. (Francschendoís Team Vulgśr) Lars von Trierís The House That Jack Built


Oh boy. This seems like a dark one. Team Vulgaer has been one of the most dominant teams of the tournament, picking up huge big wins by Gasper Noe already over Charles Band, Duccio Tessari, and most impressively Takashi Miike. Although you know, racist bugs. But its been enough to get them into the second round and propel Noe and the team to the top of the stats. Noe wonít get a chance to add to his personal totals but Lars von Trier gets his first call to try and keep the teamís momentum going with a film that has some very polarizing reviews and differences of opinion as to if this is a introspective self confession, a pretentious bit of self aggrandizing, or a cry for help. Also it might or might not have some pretty severe animal brutality. On the other side Ben Wheatley gets his first go after his fellow Brutal Brit took down another big name in William Friedkin in the first round. Wheatleyís film got some pretty polarizing reviews himself with some seeming to feel his quirky black comedy works and some finding it pandering and try hard. Thereís one review which described it as ďNatural Born Killers minus the social criticism, the style and much funnierĒ which didnít make the poster because for the life of me no matter how many times i read it I couldnít figure if it was positive or negative. What I can tell is that these are two pretty rough films and after swearing Noe off last round Iím debating extending that to von Trier and maybe this whole matchup. I dunno. Tough call. But it sounds like the kind of stuff the crowd loves so should be interesting.

Fun little extra in this matchup is that while Franís Team Vulgaer briefly held the lead in team stats Tarnopís Predation overtook them late in the first round. So now another of Tarnopís teams gets a chance to take them out and really clear the way for Predation to dominate this thing. And von Trier has the chance to join Predation in having 2 directors show up in the top stats. This stuff is fun to me.

Sightseers
The House That Jack Built is available on AMC Plus, DIRECTV, and Hulu in the US.




That stuff is fun but this week doesnít look very fun for me. But it does sound like its right down the path of most and could be a very interesting week with a lot of films that gets strong reactions. Second round underway means diving deeper into the film pools and also moving a lot faster. Also fun and more complicated stat stuff to entertain me while I maybe donít watch the movies for my own sanity.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od6hY_50Dh0


Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST May 21st (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week!
- 3. Team David vs. 11. Team Universal
- 2. Shinya Tsukamoto vs. 7. Creature Features

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I didn't vote in time

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Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Excited as heck for all of this. 3 films I know are great, and a film my dear friend DDD absolutely loves.

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