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The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Yeah count me on the side of slow pace is fine. We're not going anywhere and it helps prevent the tournament from feeling like a chore. There were weeks in the last tournament where I just skipped weeks to catch up on watching other stuff I wanted to see. It's hard to watch 8+ horror movies in a week as my partner isn't into most horror movies and I have two jobs.

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The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




OK, real life deadline stuff has settled down and I will hopefully be participating from here on out. I watched Ghostwatch for the first time around the end of December so I'll likely not rewatch it again so soon, and I am having trouble finding Human Lanterns (it isn't on Prime ) and will hopefully make a stream of it. I've been following the thread so far and just not voting, but am looking forward to getting back into it.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




OK, so I watched Audrey Rose. The first 45 minutes of the film are relatively tense and interesting as you try and puzzle out who Hoover is and what he's up to, but once you solve that mystery, things get pretty slow and plodding. It eventually turns into a series of speeches about reincarnation and a courtroom drama of sorts, with exactly zero scares. It does, however, have Anthony Hopkins with a fake beard.

On the other end of the match-up, you have Ghostwatch, which I just watched about 6 weeks ago so I don't need a rewatch. Ghostwatch's format, of a 'real' BBC special investigation into paranormal activity at a reportedly haunted house, gives it such a unique feel. I didn't grow up in the UK so the personalities are nobody to me (except Craig "Lister" Charles) but I can only imagine what this would have done to me as a kid if it was set in Canada with familiar Canadian news personalities. It has tons of flavor, feels really real (for example I love the one on-camera personality trying to fit in with the blue collar crew and it not working at all), and the pacing just feels spot on. I think once you hit the moment where the kid is caught being the cause of the spooky sounds etc., you think you have it sorted out, and that's when things escalate in an extremely satisfying way. Last year, I watched the WNUF Halloween Special thing, and I liked it a lot but it leaned into the cornball nature of the subject matter and I actually think Ghostwatch does it better by playing it straight. Also, the ending is amazing.

Easy vote for Ghostwatch.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I'll give The Woods its fair shot as I've never seen it, but seems likely that we're about to have our second shutout.
Not sure if I will vote in the second match-up. Like STAC, I don't know if I can really handle Salo right now. I guess that is the problem with these types of tournaments, there are certain categories of horror that are sometimes too much for me.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I watched The Woods and it's perfectly competent but never develops the characters enough to really get you invested, and draws from much stronger films to wind up with a watered down version of them. It's not a bad movie, it's just not very good, and it will lose in a landslide to Re-Animator - rightly so.

That said, I looked up the director of The Woods and realized that May has been in my watch pile for some time, and since it likely won't come up in this tournament, I watched that as well. Now that is a great movie! I still think Lucky McKee was screwed either way being up against Re-Animator but if May was the draw it might actually be a fight, I can see why May would be the pick of some voters in that case.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




My latest Eraserhead rewatch was less than 2 months ago but I've never seen John Dies at the End, it's also on Prime in Canada. I watched 3 From Hell as part of the October horror challenge but haven't seen the Incredible Shrinking Man, so two new ones for me this time around.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I'll start by saying that I didn't enjoy 3 From Hell when I watched it in October. I don't like what it does to the ending of The Devil's Rejects (which is Rob Zombie's best movie imho) and it mostly feels like it is rehashing similar beats as that movie, but less successfully. Sid Haig is sorely missed. Back in October I said "If I was feeling generous, I'd say Zombie is doing a meta commentary on society's desire to milk a franchise until it's bone dry, but I don't know". I don't think it's completely unsuccessful. There are tense moments, some macabre laughs typical to RZ's stuff, and Richard Brake is a fun addition. I just don't have a lot of love for it and don't really think there's a strong through-line, it feels like disconnected set pieces.

On the other hand we have The Incredible Shrinking Man which was a first time watch for me. It's horror enough for the tournament I suppose, and the scenes where Scott faces off with a spider in the basement are solidly scary, considering the technological limitations. One thing I love about watching movies from this time is seeing the creative ways they make it work. The giant props as Scott gets smaller, the way he's sort of transparent and flickering when they're trying to show tiny Scott in scenes with regular-sized everything else, it's all very charming. That said, it does take a long time to get going (especially for an 81 minute run-time), and I found the ending unsatisfying.

I'll let this match-up noodle around for now and likely choose based on how swayed I am by the posts of others. I could go either way, which is great!

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I watched Brides of Dracula and thought it was good! I didn't love it, but I don't love Lifeforce either (I think it is also pretty good). I'm leaning towards Lifeforce, but I will wait and vote late like I did last week to read the arguments from others.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Debbie Does Dagon posted:

You can abstain from voting in specific matchups, you don't have to fill out the entire form.

This is an important note for people who are participating quietly from the sidelines. This is what I did in the round where there were films I wasn't sure I could "take" at the time.

FWIW I watched Otto and thought it was OK, my comments would be similar to STAC's I suppose. I voted Possessor / Lifeforce

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




As you suffer through Alien Terror, squinting at a film made with perhaps $20 in the budget for lighting, trying to make heads or tails of the dialog through a combination of the bit of Spanish you've picked up from Duolingo and the attempt at translated subtitles from Youtube, you will look at yourself in the mirror and think:



Gremlins 2 is a loving blast. Gizmo makes a flaming arrow out of a pencil and a bottle of white-out and uses it to kill a gremlin that drank spider potion. The "Lincoln's birthday" bit is a hilarious reference to the original. There's a Miss Vanjie gremlin. This is the easiest vote of all time.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




MacheteZombie posted:

I enjoyed After Midnight. Well done indie horror/romance.

I liked it too, thought it was pretty good, but I still have to watch Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I also went for After Midnight essentially on a coin flip. I liked both a lot.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




This is a week of difficult to find films

I can't even find Seance on Canadian justwatch to tell me where to find it!

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I watched Bruiser yesterday and thought it was fine. The premise is neat but it doesn't really go anywhere exciting, it just turns into a "boring pushover snaps and gets revenge" kind of thing. The mask on the lead is really striking and there were some surprises I enjoyed (like Tom Atkins showing up to play another cop, and Peter Stormare's unhinged performance) but I didn't love it and thought Romero might be in trouble. Then I watched Phantom of the Opera which was so slow and boring that my partner and I stopped to check 'how much of this is left' like 15 times. The performances are fine to good, but it's just so loving slow and boring I was angry that I didn't think to watch it on fast forward.

I will be voting for Bruiser.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




7. (STAC Goat’s Creature Features) André Øvredal’s The Autopsy of Jane Doe vs. 10. Herschell Gordon Lewis’s A Taste of Blood

A Taste of Blood is Lewis doing a pretty standard Dracula story with a fun opening where a descendant gets some bloodbooze in the mail, drinks it, and becomes a freakin Dracula, out to kill all of the Van Helsings. A bald accountant-type related to Van Helsing named Howard gets involved to stop him. This was kind of a mess. It doesn't really have any trademark Lewis gore. What it does have though, is about 85 minutes of movie stretched out to a 2-hour run time. There are very few cuts and as a result many scenes drag on and on, it's plodding af. I was going to rewatch The Autopsy of Jane Doe (and still might depending on when it streams) but I already know that I am voting for Øvredal, here. While TAOJD gets flak for not sticking the landing as STAC mentioned, it's still a very good movie. The first half is fantastic, I love how the tension and mystery build as the autopsy moves along. The Lewis film isn't without merit, but there's no way it's getting my vote.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I'm pretty much aligned with STAC on the Scouts Guide/Beneath Still Waters takes and said some similar things in discord. I don't think Scouts Guide is particularly good and the humor is not my thing, but it was at least more engaging than Beneath Still Waters which had me bored out of my mind.

I had only seen Jennifer's Body once before this, but it held up well. Most weeks it would be an easy pick for me. But I got really wrapped up in Perfect Blue and I already want to watch it again, it was very impressive. It's getting my vote.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I have to admit I kinda zoned out during Scouts Guide and missed a lot of what Deb has described. If you're willing to remove 1 vote for it on my behalf since I already voted, STAC, I'd appreciate it.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Hey, how about that! Thanks.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Spirited Away vs Mama
Spirited Away is a really beautiful film that I love very much. Mama did not do much for me, a lot of jump scares and bad CGI, I had difficulty getting invested in the relationships between the characters. Mama looks like the woman from the painting in It and is shown far too much. This is an extremely easy vote for Spirited Away.

Cursed vs Return to Return to Nuke Em High
This is more complicated. I'm not a big Troma fan, gross-out goopy stuff that is this cartoonish doesn't really do it for me. I do have some appreciation for the punk middle finger attitude of Troma as Fran and others have commented on here/in discord, but there is some stuff in Nuke that is obviously indefensible. I did however laugh like an idiot any time two characters' heads touched and it made the *BONK* snapchat filter sound, because I am an idiot. Nuke also held my attention more than Cursed, which I will generously compare to a lovely episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also really hate the "bully calls someone gay all the time because he's gay!" trope. Actually, the first episode of BTVS with a werewolf had that same trope iirc... and Cursed uses the Sunnydale high school... weird. Anyway, the werewolf middle finger was a fun moment. I guess I am torn, because I don't really want to vote for a movie full of slurs (intentionally pushing my buttons or not), but I also don't want to vote for Cursed because it sucked. I'll probably abstain unless I'm swayed one way or another by a post itt

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I think the difference for some people is that in Scout's Guide for example, we're supposed to be rooting for the guy who gropes the zombie woman. He's one of our hero characters and it's not even acknowledged that he did something gross and bad. Whereas in a Troma movie, it's clear from the jump that every character is a bad person and it's all a big joke, and you're just sort of rolling around in the mud with the rest of the scumbags. I think some people participating give more weight to their perceived intention behind the tasteless thing vs. just evaluating the tasteless thing on its face, maybe.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




For what it's worth after reading the arguments all week I definitely consider myself more on the "pro Troma" side of the argument now, but I still think this specific movie was pretty lovely and I don't want to vote for it because it was pretty lovely. Cursed was also pretty lovely.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Time to kickstart a Troma anime!

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Mario Bava’s Black Sunday vs. 15. (STAC Goat’s Radio Silence) Glenn McQuaid’s I Sell the Dead

I Sell the Dead is really forgettable. I like the cast (Hellboy! Tall Man! The LOST Hobbit! The Creepy Weirdo from Until Dawn!) and the premise is fun (grave robber hijinks), but it doesn't really go anywhere, there aren't any real laughs, I had trouble paying attention at points because it just felt like it was sauntering along towards the finish. Black Sunday on the other hand is extremely good. I only watched it for the first time a couple of months ago. The opening to Black Sunday is one of the coolest openings in horror, period, and it's just such a cool, atmospheric, witchy spooky goth masterpiece. Basically:

TrixRabbi posted:

Black Sunday is loving dope and this should be a runaway for Bava.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




Roger Corman’s The Pit and The Pendulum vs. 10. Kôji Shiraishi’s Teke Teke
I haven't seen too many of the Corman/Price films, just a couple, and this was a new one for me. It took some time to really get rolling, but the mood and the sets are so enjoyable that I didn't mind the slower pace. And once things pick up, it's a ton of fun. Price and Steele are entertaining as hell, and I love the direction the story eventually goes (having not read the story). Teke Teke was totally fine - inoffensive and I like the "teketeke" sound, but the effects are pretty goofy and there weren't a lot of memorable moments outside of the opening.

twernt posted:

For me, this is a relatively easy win for The Pit and The Pendulum

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




1. (Tarnop's Agents Provocateur) Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls vs 16. (Tarnop's Predation) Michael Powell's Peeping Tom
I won't be a genre cop but I can't imagine Showgirls stands a chance here. I'll be voting for Peeping Tom (even though I really like Showgirls, and think about the pool scene any time I need a laugh). I don't feel the need to watch either of them again before voting, though if I'm in discord when they stream I'll certainly watch as they're both a good time. I've seen Showgirls a handful of times including last summer, and Peeping Tom I watched only a few months ago. It is a very funny match-up, but imho Peeping Tom is a stronger film and certainly a stronger horror film.

8. William Castle's Mr. Sardonicus vs. 9. (Franchescanado's Team Rule Breaker) Harmony Korine's Julien Donkey Boy
I haven't seen many of Castle's films, but I liked Mr. Sardonicus. The general story beats seemed somewhat familiar, I guess there are plenty of "great fortune comes to you but at what cost" stories, but it was well executed. The make-up on Rolfe is pretty cool, the first reveal of it was genuinely shocking. While I don't think this has any big surprises and the story played out mostly as I expected, this was a good time. Castle himself showing up to ask the audience to vote on the fate of Sardonicus is something I hadn't seen before, at least in this way (which felt different than say, Funny Games or like, the Twilight Zone movie). I thought it was cute and cheeky, even if the results of the vote were clear from the start (apparently they didn't even shoot a non-punishment ending).

I'm not really sure how I feel about Julien Donkey Boy, or Harmony Korine in general really. I have seen Kids and Gummo and Spring Breakers, I remember finding Kids really unpleasant and Gummo made me very uncomfortable, but it has been 15+ years since I've seen either. Anyway, it's hard to really talk about this particular movie, it was a disorienting experience. I had to look away from the screen at parts (not because anything graphic was happening but because the way the film is shot was making me feel dizzy). I guess this is part of a movement called Dogme 95 with a bunch of arbitrary rules, I don't know, I read up on it afterwards but did not find it very interesting. I didn't dislike this, and I will say that the performances in this are good - Herzog really goes for it as the abusive father and is quite scary, Sevigny and Bremner were both engaging, and some moments were profoundly sad (phone call). But overall, this was too loose for me to really feel connected to it, I just came away with vague feelings of sadness and unease. I won't argue that it isn't a horror movie, as I can see how someone could read it that way (especially someone with more experience with or understanding of schizophrenia), but I'll likely be voting for Mr. Sardonicus. Maybe I'll join the stream and see if I get more out of it with a group.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




The Tingler and Strait Jacket are both in my May challenge pile! I've only seen House on Haunted Hill until today, I think.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




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

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

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 López, 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.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




The Berzerker posted:


25. The House that Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)
I don't want to do the cliche thing and say Lars von Trier needs professional help, but like, he really does, right? I watched this for the Bracketology Tournament thread and I'll be honest, going into this week I was considering skipping this match-up entirely, but I'm glad I didn't, because despite its faults I thought it was pretty good. Jack, a serial killer, is talking through a random sampling of his victims to Virgil who is leading him, unseen, through the circles of hell. Matt Dillon does a great job as Jack, a loser who thinks he's more sophisticated than he is. We see a series of killings, varied in their gruesomeness (personally I found the taxidermied kid stuff and the stuff with Simple to be the toughest to watch), dipping in and out of Jack's life. In between and during, we get some dark comedy, talk of OCD (which Jack has) and how he thinks that impacts him, and a lot of talk about 'the artist' that someone else can write about as this is clearly Lars reflecting on his career but I don't feel equipped to get into it.

3.5/5


26. Sightseers (Ben Wheatley, 2012)
Also watched for the Bracketology Tournament thread. Tina, a woman who seems to have some issues but mostly wants to be loved, goes on a road trip with her new boyfriend Chris. Unfortunately, a few bodies drop, and while it's initially played as accidents, Chris is a killer with a temper. Tina gets into it and even murders a few people herself, seeking validation, while they continue their road trip around the countryside. This was fine - it has a few great moments but a fair amount of drag, I didn't find it very memorable but it wasn't bad or anything. I liked the ending.

3/5

Challenge Count: 26/31
Fran Challenges: 1 (Various) 2 (Suspiria 2018) 3 (Cheerleader Camp) 4 5 (Tigers Are Not Afraid) 6 7 (Goodnight Mommy) 8 (The Clown at Midnight) 9 10 (Video Nasties) 11 12 (Tales of Halloween) 13 (April Fool's Day)


Likely voting for The House that Jack Built, surprisingly. Also, both films have weirdly jaunty songs over the end credits.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I voted for The House that Jack Built and The Wild Boys but I thought all four films this week are pretty good at minimum.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I think Scanners is fine, maybe even good, but Creature is fantastic. This round only has one movie that's new to me (not complaining) but I might rewatch Hellboy, it has been a while.

The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




I like both of those films quite a bit, I'll have to think about that one, though I am leaning American Psycho.

The other two are new to me. Glad they're easily available. I'll probably watch both this weekend.

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The Berzerker
Feb 24, 2006

treat me like a dog




First match-up down, Ghosts of Mars is really mediocre and felt like a Resident Evil movie. Fran's post as always is a great analysis. The Sacrament was interesting, I knew nothing about it and once I realized it was Jonestown but pretending it isn't Jonestown I was interested, not offended. However knowing the majority of the Jonestown story I kind of knew everything that was going to happen, which made it a bit boring. Overall I still thought The Sacrament was a better movie and the only one of the pair I'd watch again, Gene Jones was great. Sorry Carpenter, trying to be unbiased here.

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