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STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



It also stars Vigo the Carpathian!

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

MacheteZombie posted:

Stuart Gordon would not be happy for your betrayal.

You know I actually didn't see a single Stuart Gordon movie until I started posting in the horror thread in my mid-20s. Discovering him was definitely a pretty big holy poo poo moment where I realized the horror thread was going to open some huge doors to areas of the genre I didn't even know existed. I should go back and find the first post I made after I saw From Beyond for the first time.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

The Fog is my #1 followed by the Thing and Halloween. but Mouth is probably 4.

Its also Lovecraftian in its basic story construction of an investigator recounting his story through flashback. And the whole discovering a hosed up town thing. If anything Sutter Cane is probably much more Lovecraft than King, but Carpenter went with the King stuff because more people would recognize it. And of course King took a lot from Lovecraft so they fit together well.

Its funny, one of the things I love about the film is this sense of nostalgia i get in the book store. Those Cane covers are all clearly patterned off the way King books were designed in the 90s so I always flash back to kid me in a Waldenbooks or Barnes and Nobles scrolling the King shelf.

Not to get too pedantic, but the only thing Lovecraftian--specifically like the author, not his writings--about Sutter Cane is his isolation. Everything else is inspired by Stephen King and his popularity, and it's a big reason why the movie rules. It seems like it could be a dumb decision--like if we made a movie in the 2010's about an author directly inspired by Stephanie Meyer--but clearly Stephen King has been a household name for five decades now, and will continue to be so. To have a film that kinda looks at that level of popularity, especially for a writer predominantly known for horror, one of the least critically hailed genres in any artform, is really interesting. It's a huge reason why the first act works so well.

And your mentioning the covers is another great thing. I love it. If they made little Sutter Cane paperback replicas like they make for The Handbook for the Recently Deceased, I'd be pretty tempted to buy them.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Yeah, you're right. I guess what I mean is that Cane feels conceived in the original script more as Lovecraft with all the elements, including just simple stuff like Rhode Island instead of Maine or Mass. But obviously stylistically Carpenter shifts him hard into King in a ton of ways all the way down to those paperback covers. And that makes sense. Lovecraft would make sense in a smaller scale story or to big horror fans but King makes sense to everyone in a film because he's a household name. He allows Carpenter to do that huge cultural phenomenon thing that just wouldn't have made sense with Lovecraft.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I must admit Sutter Cane is a cool rear end name

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

Yeah, you're right. I guess what I mean is that Cane feels conceived in the original script more as Lovecraft with all the elements, including just simple stuff like Rhode Island instead of Maine or Mass. But obviously stylistically Carpenter shifts him hard into King in a ton of ways all the way down to those paperback covers. And that makes sense. Lovecraft would make sense in a smaller scale story or to big horror fans but King makes sense to everyone in a film because he's a household name. He allows Carpenter to do that huge cultural phenomenon thing that just wouldn't have made sense with Lovecraft.

Exactly. It's just a perfect short-hand for what the story needs to make an apocalyptic threat tangible to a viewer.

"Everyone who reads Lovecraft goes insane". Great, just stay away from like, one or two weird persons at the comic book shop or game store.

"Everyone who reads Stephen King goes insane." Well, you're hosed. Everyone's probably read at least one King book. Even my friends who don't read will randomly hit me up and say, "I saw King had a new book and I grabbed it on a whim. Good stuff."

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Yeah, I think that "Have you read Sutter Cane?" tagline is so great and key to its story. Its that ubiquitousness of Cane/King. The hot tv show or movie that you go "Have you seen it yet? You have to!" If you made the film now you'd make references to Youtube reviews and avoiding spoilers online. That's really what King was in the 90s and its a fun allegory to play with turning the kind of "what is it doing to society?" criticisms around into this apocalyptic nightmare.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


In all of this Carpenter talk, everyone is forgetting that it's the #4 spot that is up for debate, because the top 3 are definitely Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, and The Thing.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Night of the Hunter > Carpenter's filmography

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Well I can unequivocally say that Night of the Hunter is my #1 favorite Charles Laughton film.

Irony.or.Death
Apr 1, 2009




Real disappointed by all the Christine-snubs here, is it time for another horror thread love-in about it?

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

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



Grimey Drawer

Irony.or.Death posted:

Real disappointed by all the Christine-snubs here, is it time for another horror thread love-in about it?

John Carpenter has 24ish movies in his filmography. In so many other contexts it's a Top 3 movie, but not when compiling Carpenter's filmography, for me. There's too many that stand out a little bit more. But it's easily a 4+ star movie for me.

Coincidentally, my top 3 Carpenters all come from different eras of his career.

Halloween, a young Carpenter still trying for a break-out.

The Thing, Carpenter fully in the peak of his career doing a passion project and makes probably his best movie, to zero acclaim. Made back it's budget, and that's it. (In theaters that week, coming out ahead of The Thing, were: ET,
Blade Runner, Firefox, Rocky 3, Star Trek II, Annie, and Poltergeist. Helluva line-up to beat.)

In The Mouth of Madness, post-Cundey Carpenter, with the flops piling up (Starman made back it's budget and that's it, and it quickly lost public attention; Big Trouble came out while Aliens was in theaters and didn't even make back it's $19 mil budget; Prince of Darkness and They Live made profits but only because they were low budget movies at $3 mil; Memoirs of an Invisible Man lost the studio at least $15 mil and was panned). He was frustrated with the Hollywood system, he was offered a horror script that he initially passed on, that weirdly looks back at the horror genre and what it was (Lovecraft, creature features, mysteries) to where it was now (at the time), and he directs the hell out of it.

It's his last Great movie, and we're still seeing it's influence on pop culture. Ari Aster apparently considers it a huge influence and one of his favorite films.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 00:18 on Aug 4, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its Wednesday! I for one have totally slacked on this week, super focused on Carpenter and just unable to really get into the head space for the other films. But I still have just over 31 hours. Its not a ton but hopefully its enough.
Voting goes until 3 AM EST Aug 6th (or when I wake up). As always you can vote or change your vote until then and then its the last matchup of the Elite Eight on Friday.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I enjoyed Nausicaa a lot, although I've only seen two other Miyazaki films and it probably isn't surprising that I thought Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke were both better. But Nausicaa is definitely worthy of being mentioned alongside them, and one thing I absolutely loved was the scale of everything. The animation is used perfectly to create these massive creatures that really do have an epic feel to them, in some ways it was similar to a Kaiju film.

I did end up voting for Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance though. And I didn't even rewatch it, I didn't want to go through that emotional roller coaster again but it's a film that has tremendous twists and turns that are often devastating. Maybe it's not technically horror, but I certainly felt horrified as I watched it and it's a film that has really stuck with me in the years since. I'm not sure Nausicaa will be as memorable, it's best moments were not as impactful as some of the messed up poo poo that happens in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a pretty good anime that absolutely does not transcend the genre boundaries to become a masterpiece capable of beating legit horror movies by sheer overwhelming quality alone. It’s a solid, imaginative, heartfelt fantasy movie, clearly an influence to a lot of video games (for once this is not meant as a negative). It’s also very good at not making its message obnoxious, which sadly happens a lot when preaching to the choir. Watching it I felt like maybe instead of Avatar, James Cameron should have just made a live action remake of this. I’d watch the hell out of it and take my hypothetical children to see it (those fuckers at the Alamo don’t let me bring in cats, screw em)

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is lucky to be up against a sub-par Miyazaki, because it’s not my favourite PCW movie by far either. It is something I watched years back and apart from a key scene at the end completely escaped my mind. Rewatching it was a pleasant surprise though – it twists and turns, it’s uncomfortable and it’s funny and it’s mean. It’s also very conventional as far as PCW movies go, far less stylized and full of artistic flourish, and this relative groundedness gives it more punch than say, Lady Vengeance or Thirst. It does however play very fast and loose with cinematic shorthand, and I was confused about the plot at several points in the movie, just because the transition from one scene and plot point to the next was less than clear. And then when the final scene comes with a narrated flashback to explain it, I did throw my hands up in the air, because this scene didn’t need it, the others did. So, overall a bit janky for a PCW movie, but it’s still got my vote.

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



I wanted to effort post for Nausicaa, but sad brain. While it's definitely a dry run for the Princess Mononoke and the later Miyazaki films, which obviously outstrip it in every way, it's worth remembering that this is Miyazaki's second feature film, and his first featuring original characters. Already we see many of themes that would live and blossom and develop in his later films, of community, of shintoism, of harmony not only with nature, but as a part of nature, and the seriousness with which Miyazaki holds and presents his ideas, even in what is ostensibly a children's film. Few kids films begin with nuclear apocalypse and end with ecological suicide, few kids films contain relatable villains with understandable perspectives, few films at all present animals and nature with the nuance and intelligence of Nausicaa. And all wrapped up in a fun action sci-fi fantasy package, with a feminist lead, and deeply impressive kaiju insects.

I really enjoyed Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, as grueling as it is in places, it's a fun and meaningful film, depicting cycles of violence like few other films I've seen. For me, this is a very tight race, but I have to give my nod to Nausicaa. I'll always remember it as the first film that absolutely broke my heart and left me in floods of tears as a child, it taught me that cinema could be a medium of vastly powerful and moving emotions, and for that, I will always be in its debt.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I think Nausicaa is probably a very good and effective children's film, if maybe a little long given a pretty standard story and nothing that stood out huge to me. It didn't really do anything for me as an adult seeing it for the first time but I don't really have any criticisms for it that aren't basic criticisms of anime or children's films. And I think the giant bugs and grotesque monster run close enough to horror for me to not quibble with its inclusion here compared to other films we've had.

I have yet to get myself to a place to watch Sympathy for Mr Vengeance. I will try one last time tonight before the clock runs out.

Kangra
May 7, 2012



I remembered to actually vote this week, so I expect the vote won't be close at all.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Ok, got the last one in with about 90 minutes left. I'll keep it short and sweet. Park just seems too mean for me, or at least that's my impression from this and Lady Vengeance. I'm not a revenge film fan in general although I'm more open to ones that are less of the "yeah, revenge kicks rear end" variety and more of the "revenge is an empty, circular hell you have to break out of" kind. This feels a bit closer to the latter than most, but it also feels like it wants to have fun with the former too. And I just don't find it fun nor do I really find the kind of dark humor in play funny. That one disabled man in particular just felt really lovely and really focused on and kind of put me in a foul mood about things. Song Kang-ho once again showing up salvaged things a bit for me and it was nice to have a character we could just kind of focus in on for awhile. But ultimately it dragged on too long for me and its signature tonal seesaw thing made it impossible for me to really care.

I didn't love either but I enjoyed Nausicaa more. My vote's going there.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I finished the last movie in just enough time to remember I hadn’t finished this week’s setup. Everything just under the wire for me this week. Procrastination and deadlines is my natural state.



Wow, that’s two really close ones! I wasn’t expecting Carpenter to have much of a chance in hell here, I really thought I was throwing him the vote that might keep him from getting shut out. But maybe all the Carpenter love this week made an impact because he made it a fight but falls just short by two votes of Laughton’s Night of the Hunter. I suppose its yet another Carpenter film that did well but just not as well as its top tier competition. The other matchup seemed more open with it maybe being overshadowed by the Carpenter/Naughton and being an odd combination of different kinds of films that both fall on the far edges of “horror” to many of our voters. So its less of a surprise that one was close but remarkable how close it was as Nausicaa just narrowly wins out by a single vote. Apparently my single vote if I just finished 90 minutes before the deadline. I feel so powerful. The result of all this is two huge solo directors fall by only a combined total of 3 votes and two more big teams advance into the Elite Eight and set up a class of Machete’s One n Dones vs Deb’s Family Friendly.

Now lets set our last Conference championship and this time at least one solo director is gonna get through.


2. Mario Bava’s Shock vs. 3. George Romero’s Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives


Easily one of the biggest heavyweight director macthups left in this thing, with Carpenter eliminated Bava is now the highest seeded director left in this tournament with Romero not far behind. The big names have been falling but one of them will survive this epic battle of Masters of Horror, but its not their classics matchup but rather two deep cuts. For Bava its arguably his last film released just a few years before his death and while it doesn’t have a huge rep or big reviews it does feature the legendary Daria Nicolodi in the main role (as well as the always sleazy Ivan Rassimov). I personally consider Bava a master of defining new sub genres with elevated versions be they slasher or giallo, so what does a film done at the end of his career and towards the end of the giallo wave look like? On the flip side we get one of Romero’s earliest films, before the cult classics like the Crazies or Martin but one that a lot of reviewers seem to describe as a bit of ahead of its time modern “prestige” horror. And oddly a film that Romero set out to make as a feminist statement only for the studio to find it “too wordy”, demand more sex, and slash it up and release it as softcore porn. I’m not joking. That’s its story, and why its got two names because the incredibly thirsty titled Hungry Wives bombed but Season of the Witch got a release after some movie called Dawn of the Dead got released. Its got me curious and even if this matchup doesn’t have the recent hype of that Raw/It Follows clash or the massive weight of the In the Mouth of Madness/Night of the Hunter matchup this might actually be one of the matchups I’m most curious to get into.

Sequel Alert?: Shock is also known as Beyond The Door II. But that seems to just be that thing they did with italian films where they package it as a sequel to a film it has nothing to do with. Its way too late in the tourney for even me to mess with nonsense like that.

Shock is on Shudder, Spectrum, FlixFling, and free on Roku and Tubi.
Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives is on Shudder, AMC+, Kanopy, Arrow, and free on Tubi.



4. Stuart Gordon’s Stuck vs. 8. (STAC Goat’s Team Ladies Night) Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’ Good Manners


When this matchup got set last week I quipped that Gordon might be the antithesis of my team’s vibe, and sure enough these two films might be complete polar opposites. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve seen Stuck and just forgot everything about it except its basic premise and key scenes, or if I just saw a trailer and it stuck with me because of its such striking nature. For the second time this week the RNG drew a director’s final film and this is one that seems in some ways a bit out of Gordon’s wheelhouse as a true crime thriller, but also very much in his wheelhouse as a very mean dark comedy. That might resonate with this crowd but true crime can always be a touchy place to go especially if you decide to try and make it funny. On the flip side its really difficult for me to explain what Good Manners is without spoiling the film. Its a bit odd, a big disjointed, but very quirky and stylish and unique. Not at all mean, really incredibly sentimental and full of love. This really is my kind of film that uses horror to tell a deeper human story (or two)… and I fully expect it to lose to the mean and gory horror I might hate. But that’s ok, I’m at peace and just happy that this odd little offbeat film is gonna get exposed to the spook-a-doodle crew and watched fresh by a bunch of people. That’s what I built my teams for so I’m happy.

Stuck is on AMC+ and free on Tubi and IMDB.
Good Manners is on Kanopy and Ovid.



That’s our week and the last of the Sweet 16ish matchups. Next week starts the Elite Eight and then Final Four 2 weeks later and then Championship. We’re actually in the home stretch here with just a month left. But it feels like we’ve been appropriately getting some of the best matchups these last few weeks and the talent just gets narrower from here. So as always enjoy the films, talk about them, and don’t forget to vote because as we once again proved this week, every vote matters.

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST Aug 13th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week!
5. Queer as in gently caress You vs. 7. Creature Features
3. Tobe Hooper vs. 16. Predation

————————————————

Where We're At:
- 2. Mario Bava’s Shock vs. 3. George Romero’s Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives
- 4. Stuart Gordon’s Stuck vs. 8. (STAC Goat’s Team Ladies Night) Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’ Good Mannersx

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST Aug 13th (or when I wake up)

Next Week!
5. Queer as in gently caress You vs. 7. Creature Features
3. Tobe Hooper vs. 16. Predation

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



Nausicaa advances!? Holy poo poo :dance:

I haven't seen any of the upcoming, except for Good Manners and I absolutely adore it. It maybe bites off more than it can chew with its branching plot, but it's a delightfully queer movie that felt relatable and real to me in its depiction of Sapphic relationships. There's also one incredible gore scene that I know people are going to love!

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I voted for Carpenter but I'm also not upset that he lost to Night of the Hunter. What a great matchup that was.

I've never seen Season of the Witch so that's really going to be interesting because while I like Shock and Daria Nicolodi is great, even just a solid effort from Romero would definitely have a shot at beating it.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


Even though one of the matchups didn't go the way I voted I don't feel bad about it at all. Those were all good movies!

I'm excited for a week in which I haven't seen anything already.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Oh neat, I actually really like Shock, and Season of the Witch is honestly quite boring.
Other matchup sounds really interesting, been meaning to watch Good Manners for a while, and I've never even heard of the other one.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

If Bava does manage to win this one with Shock, I think he's got a strong chance of winning the whole thing. Of the stuff he has left the only one I'd be hoping to avoid in the draw would be Baron Blood. The rest are very strong.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

For your convenience, the remaining teams (thanks to STAC the Spreadsheet Wizard)

Bava: The Girl Who Knew Too Much Black Sabbath Planet of the Vampires Five Dolls for an August Moon Hatchet for the Honeymoon Baron Blood Lisa and the Devil

Hooper: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Eaten Alive The Funhouse Invaders from Mars The Mangler Spontaneous Combustion Mortuary Dance of the Dead Djinn Crocodile Night Terrors The Damned Thing I'm Dangerous Tonight

Romero: Night of the Living Dead Creepshow The Crazies Diary of the Dead Monkey Shines The Dark Half Survival of the Dead

One and Dones:Ganja ’N Hess Def By Temptation The Wailing

Gordon:Castle Freak Dreams of a Witch's House King of the Ants Black Cat Daughter of Darkness Eater

Queer: Knife + Heart Amer Santa Sangre

Family: Princess Mononoke Dark Crystal Labyrinth

Creature Feature: Cronos Crimson Peak Hellboy II: The Golden Army Mimic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Ladies Night: The Love Witch Hard Labor Saint Maud

Predation Let the Right One In Angst

Looking at this, I think some of the dreaded superteams might not really have that great of a chance. Predation can only win this if they draw Angst against some real trash, which is quite possible with Hooper. Angst in the final isn't gonna go over well, but if Hooper is lucky and beats Predation with a subpar entry and get Chainsaw 2, he's the winner.

Creature Feature has no real bangers left, so it's likely to lose against Queer, and whether they then win is really up to the competition.

One and Done's Wailing is an absolute killer, but all of Family Friendly entries have the potential to win agaisnt the right opponent. Miyazaki becoming the King of Horror would be hilarious, and so would Jim Henson.

Both Gordon and Ladies Night are probably done after this round.

Both Bava or Romero could take this with the right draws, but I don't really think Bava has the right movies to beat some of the killer entries of other teams, and Romero could draw some real trash.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I only saw Labyrinth as an adult so can confirm with sober eyes that the movie is terrible. If you have childhood nostalgia more power to ya but maybe one of the worst films left in the entire pool.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Castle Freak could definitely give Gordon a chance depending on what the opponent draws.

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



TrixRabbi posted:

I only saw Labyrinth as an adult so can confirm with sober eyes that the movie is terrible. If you have childhood nostalgia more power to ya but maybe one of the worst films left in the entire pool.

So sad to see people with nothing but pure ice running through their veins

Kangra
May 7, 2012



Stuck vs. Good Manners is an interesting match-up. One is about a nurse with such a disturbing disregard for human life that she doesn't care about someone dying except in how it might affect her life, and the other one is directed by Stuart Gordon.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



2. Mario Bava’s Shock vs. 3. George Romero’s Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives

I’m third and lazy so I’m just copy and pasting my Letterboxd reviews. Sorry.

quote:

Season of the Witch very much feels like Romero’s witch version of Martin. They’re obviously very different stories but they feel very similar as Romero’s take on classic horror monsters but with a more grounded, allegorical ambiguous quality. Just as its never entirely clear whether Martin is actually a vampire or just a mentally ill killer its not entirely clear if Joan’s witchcraft is actually doing anything or simply giving her the excuse to do the stuff she wants to do. A bored suburban housewife who’s child has grown up and become enough of an adult to speak to her mother like an adult and friend, and a lovely husband who is the type who seems familiar with the day after “I’m sorry I hit you.” Her life has little but boring rear end middle age house parties where everyone plays Mad Libs or her one mss of a friend who has made a mess of an affair, she turns to this one interesting thing of a “witch” in the neighborhood because its freeing. And as the witch sells her, or she sells herself, it brings her the liberation and freedom that she probably wanted all along even if her Catholic guilt makes her feel bad about it.

It starts off really slow. This got butchered from an original run time of 131 minutes to 90 minutes upon release. My version was a 104 minted so I’m not really sure what it was, but it definitely feels a bit long and dry early one. A lot of that certainly has reason, to sell the mundanity of Jane’s life and her feelings but it definitely feels like it could have been tightened up a bit. The studio tried to turn it into a softer porn and wanted Romero to record more sex, which he refused, but the scenes in it are definitely something both sexy and dark. There’s a violence and sinister quality to them. All of the men in Jane’s life suck, honestly from the dialogue of background characters all of the men suck. So sex while something Jane desires is also something she not only feels guilty about but which men seem to take from her. It feels messed up someone would try and turn this into some horny porn since it feels very opposite of its intent. I dunno if Romero nailed feminism or something but he seemed to be trying at least.

There’s a great scene of our lead finally getting her witchiness on while Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” plays. Its very on the nose, but its very cool. It works and I realized I was really getting it. Now the bad thing is this came more than an hour into the film. And really I keep coming back to that because the film really does feel long, at least in the front half. Maybe the 90 minute version is better but I was skeptical given the “porn” intent. Still I think Romero at this stage definitely could have stood to cut this down a bit.

Its weird to call this an early Romero and grade it on a curve, because of course Romero’s first film is Night of the Living Dead, one of the greatest of all time. So like… when you start that high its tough to act like we should be grading on a curve. If this were drat near anyone else I’d be taking about the great elements present despite the shaky aspects. And I still should, but when you come out so strong out of the gates it gets odd. But regardless this is an early film that has some obvious flaws and maybe some serious pacing problems but definitely has some great elements and like his other early work feels a lot deeper than maybe audiences were ready for at that time. Or studios at least. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but by the time it really got going I definitely I was enjoying it. It takes a bit too long to get there for sure, but in the end I like its vibe, its ideas, and Jan White’s lead performance. I just had to stick with and give it time.

quote:

Mario Bava has an uncanny ability to make the kind of film that I hate and make one that I actually sorta like. With slashers its Bay of Blood. With giallo its Blood and Black Lace. And he does it with the sort of film you’d expect to get from Fulci. You know the kind. Spooky house, scared woman, creepy child, supernatural events, nightmarish happenings, bad dubbing. I generally don’t like those at all, even though I am a fan of haunted house type films. But the Fulci/Italian style of them just doesn’t do it for me. But as Bava does he does this one a bit differently and while I don’t love it it worked a lot more for me than the films it reminds me of.

The first couple of acts of the film are pretty by the numbers and unremarkable. Bava gives them his usual excellent and stylish signature cinematic flair, mood, and music and Daria Nicolodi is wonderful and captivating as the beseeched mother on the edge of her sanity. I think this is the meatiest role I’ve seen for her and she is to no surprise completely capable of carrying things in a way I find few actors of this Italian horror era stand out. Although certainly Bava has something to do with bringing out the best in her. But she’s great and there’s this amazing scene late in the film. One of many nightmarish surreal scenes, this one has her curled up naked in a fetal position in bed (you don’t see anything, which in itself is a feat) and with a closeup on her face as her hair is whipped around by an invisible force and her face is in some kind of blend of rapture, fear, ecstasy, and insanity. I saw reviews mentioning and thought it was just about a beautiful naked woman, but it really is a remarkably gorgeously shot and acted scene.

And for the most part Bava’s great film making skills and Daria’s wonderful presence and acting carry an otherwise predictable and uneventful Fulci esque haunted house film. But then the last act comes and holy loving poo poo things hit the fan! And its not like one big twist. Its this cascading sequence of events that just get crazier and crazier all the way until the final moments. The final shots really put this film over the top for me from something that I wasn’t that into but more or less enjoyed to something really memorable I was kind of pumped about. Between Bava, Daria, and that amazing finale this thing really surprised me. Once again Bava making something I like from a sub genre I don’t, but this time something I really did get there for.

So I gotta give this one to Bava. It was close a lot of the way. Neither was blowing me away but I was enjoying elements of both. But that finale for Shock just really put it over the top and the combination of Bava and Daria just wins out clearly for me and ends up making this easy in the end.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


2. Mario Bava’s Shock vs. 3. George Romero’s Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives


Shock (1977)
Directed by Mario Bava



Shock is about how difficult it can be to escape an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Daria Nicolodi plays Dora, who lives in a haunted house with her creepy, possessed son and airline pilot boyfriend. There are a few genuinely spooky happenings and the score is pretty great, but the rest of the movie just felt flat. Daria Nicolodi does a good job, but neither she nor the surprisingly surreal finale are quite enough to push this past okay.


Season of the Witch (1972)
Directed by George A. Romero



I had relatively low expectations for Season of the Witch. Its average score is not stellar and it has kind of a messy history. At least three versions were made and I wasn’t entirely sure which version I was watching when I started it. Once it had some time to get moving, I was pleasantly surprised. I think that Season of the Witch can actually be seen as a feminist film, which was Romero’s original intention. It’s kind of a tired trope now, but it still makes sense that witchcraft can be used as a metaphor for feminist empowerment. Especially in the 70s it would be difficult for a mother to assert herself and have real agency, at least in the “real” world. The supernatural world offers a chance to shape your own destiny and be among other empowered equals.


Superficially there are a lot of similarities between these two. The leads are both mothers and they both lean really heavily on their performances. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say I think that Daria Nicolodi's performance is the better one. This doesn't mean that I think Jan White did a bad job. I think her character required more nuance and she didn't always deliver it. Otherwise, I think that both Shock and Season of the Witch depend on the director to establish a creepy atmosphere and in this case I think that Romero does a better job than Bava. I don't know if it's how the film was edited, but parts of Season of the Witch have that same jumpy, unnerving style that shows up again in The Crazies.

I'm voting for Season of the Witch here because it resonated with me more and it seemed to have more of a message to deliver than Shock.

twernt fucked around with this message at 16:55 on Aug 9, 2021

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I'm in the same boat as twernt. Hungry Wives/SOTW is slow, but it resonated more with me and I enjoyed it more overall, so it's getting my vote.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





I'm not sure who I'm voting for when it comes to Stuck and Good Manners. Liked both of them a lot

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Season of the Witch definitely has more of an idea to it. I think Shock is the better made film. Daria is the stronger lead and I think I was excited that its the first really leading role I've seen her in. It had a killer finale but the first half of the film was pretty by the numbers, still I like Bava's style so much it carried it. But also Season of the Witch reminded me a lot of Martin or the Crazies which I didn't love, so I could se people who like Romero's non-Dead stuff more liking this more. Also I watched a longer version of it so maybe the 90 minute cut is better.

All that to say I'm voting Bava, but I was on the fence right until the end of it and I can understand Romero winning.

Servoret
Nov 8, 2009



I ended up voting for Stuck over Good Manners. Good Manners fell off for me in the second half, and I’m ultimately not really sure what it’s about. Whereas Stuck zips along nicely and has a grim moral outlook I enjoyed.

I don’t really like Season of the Witch or Shock, but I much prefer Romero’s films to Bava’s in general, so Season of the Witch gets my vote. I’m not sure how Romero can win the tournament with only Night of the Living Dead left among his big guns. I guess he could also pull Creepshow versus a weaker movie?

married but discreet posted:

For your convenience, the remaining teams (thanks to STAC the Spreadsheet Wizard)

Looking at this list, I’ve already seen over 90% of what could potentially come up. I miss the odder selections from earlier rounds that I would never have sought out on my own.

quote:

Angst in the final isn't gonna go over well

I don’t understand what this means. Do horror thread regulars have some sort of problem with Angst?

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I know it only by people warning me not to watch it. But I'm also the guy who nominated Good Manners and hates Stuck's grim outlook so I'm definitely not the norm.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I'll just say this, I'm voting against Stuck on principle. Take an actual man's murder and turning it into a whitewashed, trashy joke just kind of pisses me off.

Servoret
Nov 8, 2009



STAC Goat posted:

I'll just say this, I'm voting against Stuck on principle. Take an actual man's murder and turning it into a whitewashed, trashy joke just kind of pisses me off.

Whitewashed? In the real life case, the driver was black and the guy she killed was white. I guess it would have been interesting to keep that racial dynamic. The driver was caught because she bragged about killing “this white man” at a party. But covering reverse racism would probably have turned off audiences, so I dunno.

I don’t see how Stuck turns the incident into a joke. It has a pretty serious moral behind it? The gallows humor amplifies the grim take on the dehumanizing effect of power structures. It’s actually kind of tragic. The nurse is compassionate on the job; it’s a waste that she turns herself into a villain under pressure.

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I watched Season of the Witch last night. I found it to be pretty boring and didn't really connect with it at all. Like STAC I did enjoy the scene where the song Season of the Witch plays though. But it just has too many scenes of somewhat annoying people sitting around talking, and like most of Romero's other work I didn't think the movie had much to offer visually.

Voting for Bava because Shock has more tension and overall it's just a tighter movie with a lead actress that I love unconditionally. Without Daria I suppose this could've been a tough decision but if the two films are nose and nose without her, it becomes a pretty easy decision with her in the mix.

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