11. 1970. Equinox
Available on HBO Max, Criterion
This one is a little weird. It was originally released in 1967 as The Equinox... A Journey Into the Supernatural. Then, additional footage was added and it was re-released in 1970 as Equinox. I was mostly interested in watching this because I remember seeing it on my local TV station’s Saturday afternoon matinee show when I was a kid, but I could really only remember bits and pieces of the end.
Equinox starts with a bang, literally. There’s an explosion. Susan may be dead. Our intrepid hero runs through the woods and… it’s a flashback! David, our hero, is in an asylum and he tells the story of how he ended up there.
Four friends venture into the woods and/or mountains to visit their geology professor pal. Along they way, they meet a park ranger named Asmodeus, which is a very normal name for a very normal park ranger. They also spot some large, two-toed footprints in the sand and discover a spooky cave full of spooky cackling.
Equinox is fun and punches way above its weight. It apparently had a budget of about $8000 and I’d say they definitely got their money’s worth. The effects are, of course, 100% practical and include some nice miniatures and stop-motion pieces. The acting is not great — only one of the leads was ever in anything else — but it gets the job done. Overall, I think Equinox is what you would get if Ray Harryhausen and Sam Raimi made a creature feature together in high school.
I'd say it's a very respectable
Time Travel Challenge: 11/31
Watched: 1. Jigoku (1960), 2. The Curse of the Doll People (1961), 3. The Burning Court (1962), 4. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), 5. The Long Hair of Death (1964), 6. Planet of the Vampires (1965), 7. Daimajin (1966), 8. Viy (1967), 9. A Quiet Place in the Country (1968), 10. The Cremator (1969), 11. Equinox (1970)
|# ? May 5, 2021 18:40|
|# ? May 6, 2021 18:23|
6. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
dir. Jean Epstein
Based on the Poe story of the same name, this silent film is heavy on mood and atmosphere and light on action. I thought it was actually a little too slow sometimes, in particular there are some shots of the interior of the house (with billowing curtains and such) that look nice but that I thought went on for too long. The score on the version I watched (by Jay Woelfel) was great and appropriately haunting.
The only version of this I could find to watch was on YouTube, and the quality wasn't great. There are a lot of shots that I could tell would be gorgeous if they weren't quite so dark or blurry, but even so this looks pretty nice. I don't know if there is a better version available somewhere, but if there is I'd like to revisit this and see if my opinion would change.
Overall it's moody and creepy but it didn't quite knock my socks off.
3 owls out of 5
7. The Queen of Black Magic (2019)
dir. Kimo Stamboel
When he learns that the headmaster of the remote orphanage where he was raised is on his deathbed, Hanif and his family travel there to pay their respects. On the drive in he hits something with his car - just a deer, but something about the incident doesn't sit well with him. When they arrive, he is reunited with three other former orphans (and their wives) who are there for the same reason, but before long they discover that buried secrets are resurfacing and sinister forces are at work.
This is very loosely based on the 1981 Indonesian film of the same name, but all they really share is a woman practicing black magic and an affinity for gross effects involving bugs. I can't really say if I liked this more or less than the original - it's unquestionably a better made film, but it lacks the goofy charm of '80s Asian horror cinema.
The story here is pretty decent - it takes a bit to get going, but once it does it really takes off and gets pretty wild. It's occasionally a bit too heavy on the exposition but it's paced well enough that the momentum is never ruined. Not everything makes perfect sense, but it's fun enough that I didn't care. There are lots of fun and creepy moments and some scares that I thought were really effective. I love anything to do with the occult/black magic, so this was right up my alley. Some of the effects are a bit heavy on the CGI and are worse for it, but for the most part everything looks great.
If you're interested in international horror or just like gross gore, I recommend giving this a shot. Personally I am totally on board with the recent wave of Indonesian horror films that have made their way to the US. I still haven't seen Joko Anwar's remake of Satan's Slaves, but I will fix that soon.
4 missing orphans out of 5
Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 669/1000
Watched: White Zombie | M | Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter | The Demoniacs | The Addiction | The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) | The Queen of Black Magic (2019)
gey muckle mowser fucked around with this message at 19:45 on May 5, 2021
|# ? May 5, 2021 19:41|
4. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
"Send More Paramedics"
Quentiessential 1980s horror comedy. If you've not seen this then what are you doing ? Go watch it right now. Stay for the goopiest zombies and Linnea Quigley graveyard dance. I love this movie everything about it is perfect. The Zombies, The humour, the music. It has probably one of the best kicking rad sound tracks of any zombie movie ever made. Anyway its a perfect horror comedy.
|# ? May 5, 2021 19:50|
1. Body Melt (1993), Australia
Body Melt is a pretty apt name even though the film has somewhat fewer actually melting bodies than the name suggests but more than it's fair share of contorted, torn, imploding, and writhing with seemingly sentient mucus bodies. Body Melt is part of a small subgenre of body horror sometimes called Melt Movies or even "Meltsploitation" where the complete disintegration of the body is the main focal point. The most notable examples outside of this are of course Street Trash, The Incredible Melting Man, Slime City, and The Stuff. Some have also categorized Society as a Melt Movie but I think it's more melt adjacent than fully melt.
It doesn't really go as far with it's satire of the health/fitness industry as one would hope but it's good fun and has a weird detour early on where two of the characters visit a service station run by yokels reminiscent of the mutants from The Hills Have Eyes but it all fits together pretty well in the end and has a lot more creepy hallucination/dream sequences than I was expecting from film that is otherwise mostly a showcase for schlocky gore effects all of whom look really gross in the best possible way. Not a good movie to pair with food.
Also anyone who has ever seen an episode of quintessential Australian soap opera Neighbors will recognize actor Ian Smith who played the fuddy-duddy mild mannered shopkeeper Harold on that show from 1987 to 2009 (with a five year break that one time Harold killed himself by walking into the sea) here Smith plays a very different character as the sinister Dr. Carrera. You can tell they knew people wouldn't expect Smith in this role because for the first few seconds Dr. Carrera is on screen we only see him from behind him turning around was probably a shocking reveal to Australian audiences in 1993.
The soundtrack is great fun and consists largely of extremely early 90s electronic music which sometimes fits the scene perfectly and other times clashes with it in just the right way.
It's a fun film even if , or maybe because, it's extremely mean spirited, vile, and generally sleazy.
FreudianSlippers fucked around with this message at 20:47 on May 5, 2021
|# ? May 5, 2021 20:43|
12. 1971. Lake of Dracula
Available on Arrow, Tubi
Toho does Hammer.
Akiko is a teacher who encountered a vampire when she was young and has been plagued by spooky dream visions ever since. When a mysterious coffin is delivered to her lakeside town, she is the only one who seems to notice all of the strange, vampiric things that happen.
Her sister tells her that she’s seeing things. Her boyfriend is skeptical and a bit condescending. The local fishing guy won’t even acknowledge that anything has happened. Eventually, though, Takashi the doctor boyfriend is forced to confront the truth. There is a vampire on the loose and something must be done.
Lake of Dracula features sporadic spooky action and occasional spooky atmosphere. I really wanted to like it more than I did but it all felt kind of flat. The main vampire is not terribly charismatic and the ending feels very forced. To be fair, when his motivation is finally revealed, it’s a doozy.
Hammer fans may find a lot to love here and I would consider revisiting Michio Yamamoto’s Dracula trilogy once I’ve seen more of the movies that inspired it.
I'd give it a because it was well done even if I didn't necessarily enjoy it.
Time Travel Challenge: 12/31
Watched: 1. Jigoku (1960), 2. The Curse of the Doll People (1961), 3. The Burning Court (1962), 4. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), 5. The Long Hair of Death (1964), 6. Planet of the Vampires (1965), 7. Daimajin (1966), 8. Viy (1967), 9. A Quiet Place in the Country (1968), 10. The Cremator (1969), 11. Equinox (1970), 12. Lake of Dracula (1971)
|# ? May 5, 2021 21:06|
9. The Orphanage (J.A. Bayona, 2007)
This GdT produced film was a good opportunity to practice my Spanish. Laura, along with her husband and adopted son Simon, move into the orphanage where Laura was raised with the goal of turning it into a facility for disabled kids. Simon has some imaginary friends who might be ghosts, and eventually he goes missing. I don't really want to say more than that, though I will say this was absolutely gut-wrenching. Light on scares, heavy on atmosphere, broke my heart. Belén Rueda was amazing.
10. The Funhouse (Tobe Hooper, 1981)
I'm a sucker for horror movies set at a carnival, circus, etc. and it's a good thing I am because the first half of this was so boring I wanted to turn it off. Then a Frankingstein gets a handjob and we're off to the races! It's pretty standard slasher stuff, and the kills are mediocre, but Gunther looks fantastic and I like that the hapless teens at least attempt to defend themselves. Nothing to write home about but it's a Tobe Hooper movie I hadn't seen, so I am glad I got around to it anyway.
Challenge Count: 10/31
|# ? May 5, 2021 21:36|
5. Return of the Living Dead Part 2 (1988)
It is just not as good as the first one. It still has some worth as a zombie movie , but for overall gore , special effects etc.. this sequel just doesn't live up to the first one at all. It also has a really annoying kid actor in it who I hate every time I see him on screen. It's a lot more goofier than the first one where as the first one had actual moments of terror this one really doesn't have that. Everything is played up for laughs pretty mcuh through out. Still worth checking out for some goopy zombies.
|# ? May 5, 2021 21:46|
6) Get Duked - Prime - 2020
This has to be the most Scottish rendition of The Most Dangerous Game in existence. It's fairly heavy on the humor compared to the horror, I did snortlaugh hard enough it hurt. But the heavy humor doesn't distract from the pure horror aspects.
Storyline's a group of boys are signed up by their teacher to do the Duke of Edinburgh award where they go off into the Highlands, navigate to a campsite with a paper map and demonstrate teamwork and outdoorsy skills. Of course it turns out their trip's not going to go as planned.
The shots of the Highlands are gorgeous, and do convey how isolated the boys are. The cast does a great job, though it was a little disconcerting for me to see Miss Higgins from Call of the Midwife as one of the hunters.
I would definitely include this in a marathon with Hot Fuzz. I enjoyed it a lot and highly recommend.
7) Arsenic & Old Lace - DVD - 1944
I know a few reading this are thinking "Wait...that's over in the comedy section.", but I'd say a black comedy with serial killers set on Halloween works just as well as horror.
Storyline is Mortimer Brewster's a writer who's denounced marriage as outdated and old fashioned ends up falling in love and gets secretly married. They both go to tell their respective families the news before going off on their honeymoon. Mortimer's family are his two sweet elderly aunts and his brother Teddy who's under the delusion he's really Teddy Roosevelt. While he's gathering a few things, he finds a dead body in the window seat and things get rolling from there.
It turns out that Mortimer's sweet aunts are serial killers. Luring in lonely old bachelors, they end their loneliness with some elderberry wine spiked with arsenic, strychnine and a pinch of cyanide. Their victims are buried in the basement by Teddy who's told they're yellow fever victims from digging the Panama Canal.
This film's one of my all time favorites. One of my Mom's favorites too. It was originally a Broadway play with Boris Karloff playing Johnathan. I wish I'd had the chance to see the play just to compare to the movie. The cast is excellent and the tight pacing keeps things flowing. It's got that fast pace organic wit that you just don't see in movies anymore.
I highly recommend this one even though it's kinda killed my interest in trying elderberry wine.
|# ? May 6, 2021 02:05|
Arsenic & Old Lace absolutely counts. I watched it recently, and loved it.
|# ? May 6, 2021 02:18|
4. Frankenhooker (1990)
I love Frank Henenlotter. I believe we both have very similar sensibilities. I understand this is basically calling myself a giant pervert.
But seriously, we both love grimey old-NYC, silly comedy in our horror/exploitation films, low-budget guerrilla style film-making, and I will forever appreciate Henenlotter’s efforts to preserve genre and sex film history with his work as a part of Something Weird Video Frankenhooker is his silliest film for sure but man I like it a lot. Patty Mullen’s delivery of her lines post-transformation will never cease to amuse me. It’s stupid and it revels in it’s stupidity.
On this rewatch I was surprised at how much this script makes me giggle, feel a little stupid for laughing at the joke, and then laugh some more. It’s really funny and very crude. But of course, you want to watch this film if you want to see some of the most gratuitous nudity and use of fireworks as pyrotechnic special effects you’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen the “super-crack explosion” scene you haven’t lived. Great puppets too.
I don’t know how I would rank this film, Basket Case, and Brain Damage but they make up the trash trilogy of a schlock auteur who, in my opinion, thoroughly explores the relationships between horror and sex, perversion and innocence, outsiders and mainstream society- in each of those three great films. He is never uninteresting and he deserves all the respect he gets around these parts.
Watchlist ranked Best to Worst
1. Bride of Re-Animator* 2. Frankehooker* 3. Victor Crowley 4. Jason Goes to Hell
|# ? May 6, 2021 02:34|
11) Them (Ils) (2006)
Overall incredibly slow and lackluster. Lots of shaky camera and flickering lights doesn't make for a "scary" movie.
12) Nina Forever (2015)
I had a blast with this movie, I really did. I'm sure there's an undertone to this that I need to think on for a while, something about not letting go of past relationships, but... even just watching this movie at a surface level, it's so good. It's the BLACKEST of black comedies. It's a slow burn, for sure, but so much fun.
1. Crawl (2019) / 2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) / 3. Vampyr (1932) / 4. I Walked With A Zombie (1943) / 5. Kwaidan (1964) / 6. Vampyres (1975) / 7. The Howling (1981) / 8. Torso (1973) / 9. Frankenhooker (1990) / 10. Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (2010) / 11. Them (Ils) (2006) / 12. Nina Forever (2015)
|# ? May 6, 2021 02:35|
6: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
This is one of the most infamous "video nasties" so I figured it was time to check it out
I looked at the runtime of the copy on Prime UK and it was a few minutes shorter than the "official" length so I figured it was the cut with the animal violence removed. It was not. I don't wanna see that poo poo. Why is Amazon even allowed to show a cut that to this day is not BBFC certified? Aside from the real animal cruelty, it's also probably the most sexually violent movie I've ever seen. Just full of extremely graphic, bloody, sexual attacks against women.
The structure was interesting. I'd heard it described as the first "found footage" film, but that's only part of it. The first half is the professor and his crew looking for the missing filmmakers and I was surprised that they all make it back and then the Prof pieces together what happened from the safety of New York. The "who are the real savages?" aspect was weak. There's very little build up or motivation for the filmmakers becoming sadistic monsters so they don't come across as a product of western society, but an aberration.
There was some catharsis to be had from these awful people getting what they deserved and the film was well made for what it is, but I did not have a good time watching this. It made me want to pick a new hobby.
Four Flies on Grey Velevet; Gods and Monsters; Alice, Sweet Alice, Witchfinder General; Street Trash; Cannibal Holocaust
bitterandtwisted fucked around with this message at 11:19 on May 6, 2021
|# ? May 6, 2021 11:16|
Lew Landers (credited as Louis Friedlander), 1935
Here's another Poe adaptation where the word "adaptation" needs to be in quotation marks. I think the opening credits said something like, "as suggested from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe". The characters talk about Poe and his poem extensively, so I guess it's kind of a meta adaptation?
Bela Lugosi plays a mad doctor (is there any other kind in these '30s horror films?) who becomes obsessed with a girl whose life he saves, and subsequently on exacting revenge for not being able to have her. His revenge involves a convoluted plan to use the aid of a fugitive played by Boris Karloff, who he blackmails by loving up his face and then promising to fix it if he cooperates. The plan comes to a head down in the doctor's secret dungeon, which is accessed, naturally, by a rotating bookcase and is filled with torture devices inspired by a myriad of Poe's stories.
This reminds me a lot of The Black Cat from the previous year, not least of all because both Poe adaptations star Karloff and Lugosi and result in Lugosi's character torturing people in his dungeon... I liked The Black Cat a little more than this. The plot here is pretty sloppy, with the climax making very little sense (why exactly DID the doctor need Karloff's help? And why carry this plan out with so many other people in the house? What sort of stupid loving plan was this?). Though there's no denying the fun of watching Karloff and Lugosi share tons of screen time hamming it up together, and the torture device conceit is amusing. At only an hour long there's not a whole lot of substance here, but any film with Lugosi pointing a gun at a disfigured Karloff and laughing maniacally while another man is about to be sliced in half ala The Pit and the Pendulum gets at least three stars from me.
Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935)
|# ? May 6, 2021 14:08|
5. The Girl in Room 2A (1974) dir. by William Rose
What a cool little giallo with some things I did not expect tossed in. The lead is great, I loved her backstory and the use of dreams tying it and the mystery closer. Frank is an interesting character and I liked that he's torn by what's happening, his death was pretty brutal.
It's a decent story about violence enforced morality and control albeit a bit simple. The religious connotations were a nice touch.
Some sleaze, blood, a cult, and an exciting finale make this a great time for giallo fans.
6. The French Sex Murders (1972) dir. Ferdinando Merighi
This has entertaining moments, like the Bogart Detective for no reason, but it is mostly boring. Has no real style and what style it does try fails. The kill scenes doing the freeze frame but changes color thing just felt unnecessary and an afterthought.
But it's not all bad, there's a very goofy kill, Bogart, and the killer reveal is memorable.
7. My Dear Killer (1972) dir. Tonino Valerii
Enjoyed this a lot. The opening scene is pretty brutal and sets up a pretty fun mystery. I really liked the lead, George Hilton, and his Detective work is well done. I got a good laugh from him making the hanging body sway to illustrate why it was a murder.
Theres some good twists and turns, the Morricone score is cool as hell, and there's solid set pieces.
Movie Count - 7/15
|# ? May 6, 2021 14:19|
The Curse of The Mummy's Tomb
This is one that I've technically seen before, but also I could tell right away that I hadn't seen a proper transfer that really does a Hammer mummy film justice. Not that these Mill Creek blu rays are mind blowing or anything, but it certainly looks better than it ever has before and the Egyptian setting is such a great fit for what Hammer was doing in the late 50's/60's.
There's really no connection between this film and the original 1959 version with Cushing and Lee, other than George Pastell as the standard Bey/Mummy's Helper character. There's always a Bey and there's always tanna leaves. Oh wait a second, here we have a Mummy film with no tanna leaves! Just a curse, and really, isn't a curse enough? The characters are a mixed bag, some are bland and boring and a few of them are actually very likable but I did really enjoy the Mummy himself in this one. He's less obviously pissed off than Lee's was, but still very physically imposing and he has a few really cool kills that go beyond just throttling somebody or tossing them across the room.
While watching this yesterday I found myself thinking more generally about the appeal of Hammer, and why I love it so much, and why maybe it doesn't click with everyone. Detractors sometimes say that Hammer films are too similar to each other, heavily feature old men talking endlessly in stuffy rooms, and often have lackluster stories with uneven acting. And I can't directly dispute any of that, and The Curse of The Mummy's Tomb certainly fits those criticisms as well. But for me they work perfectly as like the warm bath of the horror genre. Easy to slide into, extremely comforting, and just one of those small but good things that can make any given day a little better. So I don't often find myself making a Hammer film like, the Main Event of the evening, where I'm turning off all the lights and eating popcorn and turning off my phone. But they're my absolute favorite thing to fill in the cracks of the night, like to start a double feature off or to watch while cooking dinner, etc. I enjoy not feeling pressure to absorb every single line of dialogue or plot detail, and I could watch a Hammer film on mute if I needed to and I'd still have a great time with it because the aesthetic is consistent and the studio just seemed to always deliver on that aspect.
Anyway that was a tangent but I've watched a bunch of Hammer in the past month or so(not all of it horror) and really just appreciating how many films there are and how I've sort of neatly slotted them into my movie watching life in a pretty important "role". There's only a handful of subgenres/categories of horror that I'd say I value more than Hammer, and I doubt I'll ever see another October that doesn't have a healthy dose of Hammer in it.
1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House 4. Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
|# ? May 6, 2021 15:27|
#6. In Search of Darkness: A Journey into Iconic '80s Horror (iTunes)
A documentary about 1980s horror movies, starring notable actors, directors and media critics.
I'd been watching this in bits and pieces while working out at home, and I don't think that's a terrible way to approach a film this long, especially one so regimented in its construction. After about the first 30 minutes, you should know how the overall approach is going to go: 10-20 minutes of year-by-year movie breakdowns, followed by a 10-20 minute "interlude" going into a specific topic, all cut together with clips from films and interview snippets from notable talking heads. The talking heads are fairly varied - you have notable directors of the era (John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, etc.), notable actors (Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, Caroline Williams, Kane Hodder, etc.), a few notable craftsman (Rick Baker, Greg Nicotero, etc.), some media critics (Joe Bob Briggs, the Angry Video Game Nerd, the dude from "Dead Meat", etc.) and some randos (did we need to hear from the dude from Slipknot here? What about the dude who runs the Fright Rags horror themed clothing store?). However, there's not a lot of them that go into any appreciable depth, and it seems like few of them had much or anything to say about a lot of the movies on hand; there's a couple of the movie breakdowns that only get one minute of one person talking about them at all. I can't tell if something with that little apparent interest or enthusiasm is a good thing to have on hand or not; I don't know if that minute talking about It's Alive III is wasted time or not, even if it's in a documentary ostensibly pitched at horror movie fans.
That's probably the bigger deal with this whole production: it's going for breadth, rather then depth, so it feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity to spend so much time doing 2 minute summaries about so many of the films of the 1980s, whether they were all that notable or not. They go by (I believe) release order year by year, so it feels like you're tapping your feet waiting for some of the bigger guns to appear in the back half while wasting time on junk like Full Moon High and Howling II. The interludes going into detail about different topics - things like the special effects work, the scores, franchising, the roles for women, sex and nudity, etc. - were more interesting, because it seemed to give some of the commentators a chance to either get technical and specific or to do analysis on what all of those films were talking about as an aggregate.
Still, it's not a bad way to spend that time, and it works well as background noise or something you can pay half attention to. It's breezy enough - since it's moving through so many topics and films it can't afford to linger on any of them very long - and there's plenty of snippets of famous or forgotten films to pique your interest. It's just not something that deserves your full attention for 4 full hours; it can't possibly live up to such lofty requirements.
Watched so far: The Curse of the Cat People, Freaky, Vampires vs the Bronx, Rawhead Rex, Tarantula, In Search of Darkness
|# ? May 6, 2021 15:39|
7. The Cremator (1969)
Going to honk the way ahead of it's time horn here. Fantastic editing and transitions throughout, I had to keep checking when this was made. Mr K is a terrifying presence , he just does not stop and when he starts talking into the camera at me I'm trying to get out of the room to escape. This is a suffocating movie.
|# ? May 6, 2021 15:39|
OK I understand why this movie was not released on bluray. It is very much from the "glue some styrofoam to the wall and spraypaint it grey" school of spaceship interior design. At best, there are some parts filmed in closeup to try to distract you from the background which is just a wall with a tube stapled on to it. Beyond that, the set dressing is also questionable. More paper towels than you expect to see on a futuristic spaceship. Like, there's a lot of paper towels in this movie.
Bruce Willis was a little surprising here. When you watch a recent Bruce Willis movie you expect a piece of wood that looks like it wants to die. But in Breach, Willis actually moves around and expresses emotion through his face and tone of voice. There are multiple line reads that seem like choices he made. He actually acts. Not in every scene, but still. I don't want to overstate things, this isn't John McClane reborn. I do not believe that Breach marks the start of the Willisance. But he clearly gave more of a poo poo about Breach than he did about The Expendables or Surrogates.
A weird thing is that the monster isn't an alien. It was smuggled on board by somebody. And it's not like some kinda wild animal or something, it has intent. It messes with the ship to achieve not it's own goals, but the goals of the person who smuggled it on board. Which raises questions about the setting, where terrorists can get their hands on programmable zombie viruses. That's the only example of any kind of neat technology in the movie, all the other sci-fi stuff is just spaceship and cryopod.
The ending could have been neat. They arrive on the planet only to find out that the monster is there too. Humanity is doomed, there is no escape. And then the woman's water breaks. Handled well that could have been a really great extremely dark joke. But Breach tries to treat it as like, an exciting action moment? It makes no sense tonally, and even ends on an action line, like its setting up a sequel or something. Baffling. And unsatisying as an ending.
Over all I can't really recommend Breach. It's not as bad as I expected but it's still pretty bad. If you want a sci-fi horror action movie to have on in the background while you scroll Twitter, Breach is fine for that. But don't pay money for it.
|# ? May 6, 2021 16:39|
Breach pissed me off. I love a low budget sci-fi horror, but it was so lazy and uninteresting. It looked like the sets of Red Dwarf with the lights turned way down and obnoxious colour grading.
|# ? May 6, 2021 16:51|
Breach pissed me off. I love a low budget sci-fi horror, but it was so lazy and uninteresting. It looked like the sets of Red Dwarf with the lights turned way down and obnoxious colour grading.
yeah lazy really is the best word for it. On the DVD box they have these guns that look like they're just made of pipes, and I thought they were gonna have to make some weapons out of whatever they had on hand to fight the monsters. Which could be fun. But then it turns out that they just have some flamethrowers ready to go on the spaceship.
|# ? May 6, 2021 16:55|
8. Warlock (1989)
dir. Steve Miner
Fleeing execution at the hands of the church, a warlock travels from 17th century Boston to present day (well, late '80s) Los Angeles. He is pursued by a witch-hunter who aims to stop the warlock before he can collect the pages of an ancient grimoire and unmake all of creation. Sort of like a backwards version of The Terminator with magic instead of robots.
This is solidly okay. It's directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th part 2, Halloween H20) but often leans more towards dark fantasy than it does horror. It does have plenty of fun occult stuff though and the occasional gory effect, especially towards the end of the film. Most of the special effects have aged poorly - some in a charming way (the "fire" spells) but others, like anytime the warlock is flying, look terrible. The handful of practical effects do look good, there just aren't many of them.
Not a whole lot else to say about this one... it's decent fun but ultimately kind of forgettable I think.
3 spellbooks out of 5
9. Prince of Darkness (1987)
dir. John Carpenter
In the basement of an abandoned church, a secret order of priests have been guarding an ancient artifact for centuries. A research team made up of grad students is brought in to study the object - a locked cylinder full of glowing green goo - but it soon becomes active and some spooky poo poo goes down.
I've always thought of this as a B-tier Carpenter film, and I felt the same after this viewing. It has a lot going for it - great atmosphere, some genuinely creepy scenes, and of course a great score by Carpenter himself. And it has Alice Cooper stabbing a guy with a bicycle! What more could anyone ask for? B-tier Carpenter is still A-tier for many other directors, but to me this falls short of being great.
I think the main reason this film doesn't really work for me is that there are way too many characters and most aren't given enough screen time for me to even know who they are, much less care about them. The few that do get some character development are mostly unlikable, too. If the cast had been cut in half I think this could've been a much better film. If you're a fan of Carpenter I think it's definitely worth a watch, but it's not one of his best.
3.5 dream broadcasts from the distant future of 1999 out of 5
Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 669/1000
Watched: White Zombie | M | Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter | The Demoniacs | The Addiction | The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) | The Queen of Black Magic (2019) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness
|# ? May 6, 2021 17:23|
I said this before in the horror thread but making Dennis Dunn the lead character would've improved Prince of Darkness by leaps and bounds.
|# ? May 6, 2021 17:33|
|# ? May 6, 2021 18:23|
2. What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) Italy
The protagonist, Italian teacher Enrico Rosseni, is pretty off putting. He comes of as a creep (he's having an affair with a student) but isn't quite gross or assholish enough for it to be fun. Mostly he's just a bit dull.
The central mystery doesn't really get rolling until more than an hour into the film where the titular Solange is first mentioned and it soon becomes very clear just what is going on but it's still pretty well put together and if you enjoy giallo in general you'll probably enjoy this.
The sexualized nature of giallo violence is taken a step further than usual as the victims are all killed by a knife wound to the genitals. Basically the most explicitly phallic symbolism I've ever seen in a giallo or slasher and that's saying something.
This is one of several giallo films that while mostly Italian takes place in another country. Of the top of my head Death Walks on High Heels, Lizard in a Woman's Skin , and The Living Dead in the Manchester Morgue are three other Italian productions that take place fully or partly in England. Also notable is the masterful but underseen Short Night of Glass Dolls which takes place entirely in Prague. This is nothing unique to giallo or even Italian films. Anyone who has ever seen a European film will notice that even today every one of them starts with the logos of at least two production companies and five or more film funds from different countries. This is because there isn't quite as much money in the European film industry (or rather industries as each country and/or region has its own) as in the American one and if you want to make a movie on anything more than a shoestring budget you need to collaborate with someone across borders to ensure the maximum amount of grants and financing and to ensure the broadest possible release area.
One interesting sidenote is that while I'm pretty sure that like all Italian films of that era Solange was filmed entirely MOS (without sound recorded on set) and dubbed afterwards but from what I gather unlike most films where every actor would speak their own language on set regardless of what it was because it would be dubbed over anyway in this film everyone spoke English on set which has the effect that the lip movement matches the dialogue a lot more than it usually does in these sorts of film.
|# ? May 6, 2021 17:36|