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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I'm in for at least 13, probably more. Gotta hurry up and watch The Leopard Man and Curse of the Cat People tonight because for some reason Shudder's losing them after only a month.

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


The Leopard Man

Having seen Cat People, I knew to expect something a little more interesting than just a half-man half-leopard creature and I wasn't disappointed. The film presents you with a pretty classic mystery scenario and invites you to play along and try to solve it. While in the end it was fairly predictable, I appreciated the ride in getting there and the Tourneur/Lewton combo seems to always deliver something visually striking and spooky.

A black leopard is definitely loose in this movie though, so that's great, it's not like there's no leopard in the movie. But you find out pretty early on that there are other potential threats than just the leopard and that's where Tourneur puts an interesting thematic twist on the whole thing. The characters are sort of blah and some of the acting is bad so it's not perfect but still very solid and it's only about 70 mins.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


The Curse of Frankenstein

I've seen this movie a bunch of times so this is more of a review of the recent blu ray release than the movie itself. I picked it up last month and it's been tough waiting for May because the reactions to this release were very positive and I knew it was going to high quality.

Now having finally watched it, I can definitely say that it's the best looking Hammer film I currently own and it has to be one of, if not the best on the market. Unfortunately when it comes to Hammer, the majority of what we've seen have been somewhat random box sets often released by Mill Creek and while a lot of them are perfectly fine, there aren't a lot of standouts in terms of the quality of the restoration. This release of Curse of Frankenstein(https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Curse-of-Frankenstein-Blu-ray/146200/) is the template for the care that I'd love to see given to every Hammer film. You have not one, not two, but three different aspect ratios, and from what I've read they're all excellent in their own way. Apparently a lot of people grew up with this film on television in 1:33:1, and so as a special feature a version of the film in that ratio is included. For this first viewing I watched it in 1:85:1, and it's hard to imagine seeing it projected in 1957 would've been much better than this.

The big draw of Hammer in 1957(and 1959 when they did Horror of Dracula) was that for the first time these classic monsters were getting the full color treatment. And so you can see how little bursts of color were used in almost every scene, and color was utilized to give the setting and the characters a more fantastical quality. There's a reason why every Frankenstein adaptation seems to reference the lab from this film in one way or another, in some ways this version of Frankenstein became just as iconic and important as Whale's. The clarity and definition on the blu ray are excellent too, if maybe a little inconsistent just due to the source itself being a bit fuzzy at times. But there are scenes where I absolutely noticed extra detail, including the big reveal scene of the creature and Christopher Lee's makeup.

As far as I know, The Curse of Frankenstein isn't already included in any of the existing Hammer box sets, so this is a perfect opportunity for adding a keystone piece to your Hammer collection. But even if I had to double dip for this, I'd still be extremely happy with it because most other Hammer blu rays don't look nearly this good(Shout Factory has put out a few that are close).



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


The Old Dark House(1963)

This is a film that was just completely under my radar until now. I'm going through a recent Hammer blu ray set for this challenge, and this has to be the biggest new discovery that's come out of it so far. Directed for Hammer by William Castle(!), this basically does for The Old Dark House what the other Hammer films did for black and white horror classics. I fell in love at first sight with this one, when the animated opening credits hit. I love animated/illustrated credits in 60s films like Vertigo and A Fistful of Dollars.

Like the original film, this remake is a horror/comedy, and with more emphasis on the comedy. I found it to be legitimately funny and also like the original it's packed with endearing characters. Most of the movie takes place inside the house on a few sets, but this is Hammer so of course the sets are a joy to look at and they're packed with atmosphere. The lead is an actor named Tom Poston, who is someone I'm not very familiar with(he apparently was most known for the t.v. show Newhart), but he really does an excellent job with facial acting and overall goofiness. Another standout is Peter Bull, maybe best known as the Russian Ambassador in Dr. Strangelove. But really the whole cast is great and they all nail their roles. That, along with the Hammer aesthetic makes this a big hit with me and probably a new go-to option for October viewing.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


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

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

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.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

WeaponX posted:

How dare you besmirch Jameson Parker whose defining character traits were “has mustache” and “creepily stalks and pressures women into sex”

I mean he would go on to star in *checks notes* zero theatrically released films after John Carpenter presented him to the world!

Excellent jawline though. Very square.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3

I love how many of these old beat up VHS covers are easily accessible on the internet, one October a few years ago I used them the whole month for my Challenge posts.

Anyway this was not a movie I was particularly excited about, more just a box to check because it's (I believe)the only TCM film I hadn't seen yet. Not sure how it escaped me all these years but I've never heard all that much about it, positive or negative, and I guess I assumed it was just forgettable and not really necessary.

And I was correct in that assumption. It's not bad, but it's not particularly good either. No movie that prominently features Ken Foree can be all bad, and it's also fun to see Viggo Mortensen in such an early role. But there's just nothing here that hasn't been done better by Hooper in the first two films, and this one is sort of caught in the middle which is almost never a good place to be. It's obviously not nearly as intense and disturbing as the original, but also not nearly as bonkers and entertaining as Hoopers TCM 2. The director, Jeff Burr, actually has a pretty respectable horror resume as far as these things go(this is a genre where Mick Garris is considered an icon so that's the bar we're working with here). He worked with Vincent Price, directed two Puppetmaster sequels, and also Pumpkinhead 2. I think his work here is pretty solid, it's a decent looking film and it has style and visual flair to it, but the material itself isn't very original or memorable.

Another issue is Leatherface himself. He just doesn't do it for me in this one. Both actors who played Leatherface in the first two films were better, and there's just something about his movements here that for whatever reason stand out to me and clearly signal that this is not the "real" Leatherface. He's just a pro wrestler doing his best to act like Leatherface.

As a sequel you could do a lot worse, the movie has it's moments and like I said it's not outright bad, but I'm also not really that upset about not having gotten around to it until now. And I probably won't revisit it unless I decide to do like a complete TCM marathon at some point in the future.

1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 17:28 on May 7, 2021

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Also a huge shout out to the cinematography. The movie looks gorgeous in high contrast black and white, and there were tons of inventive shots that make the house feel alien and distorted. The Blu-ray transfer also looks nice and crisp aside from the establishing shots of the house, which look like they were filmed on a World War II era handheld camera. What the hell's up with that?

Sometimes with older films, for shots using optical effects(credits sequences are a common one) they can't match it to the rest of the movie for a 1080p blu ray release because the effects were finished in a lower resolution.

Really enjoying your reviews, keep them coming!

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I like how #11 is "Watch a movie about a mythical creature(YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THE LURE FOR THIS ONE GUYS, MERMAIDS COUNT! WATCH THE LURE!)"

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

For the Mother's Day challenge I encourage people to watch Serial Mom if they haven't seen it yet.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Spatulater bro! posted:

Yeah I seem to have the minority opinion on this (it has an impressive 3.5 on Letterboxd). Generally I've really liked Carpenter's minor works like Christine and The Fog. This one just didn't do much for me.

Opinions on Prince of Darkness are pretty varied. I mean, it's still a Carpenter films starring Donald Pleasance so I don't think anybody outright hates it but there are definitely people who would rank it pretty low in their Carpenter rankings.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Well the second vaccine shot kicked my rear end for the past 48 hours. The good news is I got one of the Fran Challenges done, the bad(or maybe also good?) news is that I was shivering under a blanket for this whole movie and may or may not have invented a whole different movie in my feverish mind.


Mother's Day

I know bringing up names like Joe Bob Briggs and Eli Roth is not exactly the best conversation starter around here, and for good reason. But Joe Bob showed Mother's Day for one of his recent episodes and brought Eli Roth on for commentary. It turns out that Mother's Day is actually one of key horror films of Roth's childhood and the one that he says influenced him the most when he started directing. So between him and Joe Bob the depth of knowledge on this particular film was really nice to have while watching it, and even more useful for me in this case because it was hard for me to totally focus and have my own thoughts about it so I appreciated the ongoing dialogue.

Tonally Mother's Day is all over the place. It's directed by Lloyd Kaufman's brother so I expected goofy but then at certain points the film is genuinely disturbing. The fate of one particular character is actually very haunting and affecting, much moreso than you'd think it would be in a movie like this. The characters are actually pretty drat good all around, although most people are probably going to single out Beatrice Pons as the real standout performance that makes the movie memorable. Apparently she wanted this role very badly, but because it was a non-union film she had to use a fake name in the credits to avoid getting into trouble.

All in all I think Mother's Day is one of those films that's like, right on the edge of greatness and just falls short. So I can totally see why a young Eli Roth would've latched onto it and why it's become a cult favorite, it has unique and entertaining qualities that you don't often find in a typical backwoods slasher type movie, but of course it was never going to be a mainstream hit and was always destined to collect dust on video rental shelves until a kid walks by and the cover catches their eye.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge #2) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge #7)

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 15:12 on May 11, 2021

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Oh, thanks for mentioning that Day of The Beast is set on Christmas Eve, I had it on my list to watch already so that's an easy choice.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I'm gonna watch Madman too because there's only so many camp slashers I haven't seen and Madman is readily available.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Yea I think you're definitely meant to lose track of which twin is which as the movie goes on, just as they themselves are losing their own individual identities and sort of merging into one.

I was surprised after I saw Dead Ringers to find out that Irons didn't get any major awards nominations for it(he did win a Canadian Oscar though!), the performance is stunning.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

graventy posted:

Yeah, I feel like my only real options for fresh movies here are Madman or Cheerleader Camp, and neither is too exciting.

I'd like to find a good option for videogame movie that isn't just Silent Hill 2, I've seen most of the obvious ones.

I'm gonna do a rewatch for the videogame challenge(Fran isn't requiring first time watches for a lot of the challenges this time around), because yea with video game tie-ins we're talking about mostly mainstream series/franchises that I've already seen.

I did find one that has a video game that I didn't know existed, and that I'm due for a rewatch, Nightbreed.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Movie #10: Friday the 13th Part II Fran Challenge #3: Camp Blood

I also have to say that while the classic hockey mask is awesome, sack head Jason is also cool and extremely menacing.


Friday Part 2 has, for my money, the scariest moment in the entire series when Ginny notices that there's someone else(spoiler alert:it's Jason!) in the room with her and Paul.

Ahh, meant for that to be an edit to the previous post, sorry for the double post

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Made good progress on these challenges over the weekend...


Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood)

This is a straight-ahead classic summer camp slasher and I really enjoyed how it really ticked all those boxes of what you'd expect from the subgenre. I'm actually surprised I'd never really heard about it before, I'd have thought something that fits so neatly into the camp slasher catalogue would be often brought up in the same conversations of stuff like The Burning and of course Friday the 13th but Madman never seems to have reached that level of cult status.

The film starts with that great nostalgic scenario of an old timer telling a scary story to those sitting around a camp fire in the woods, so I was all-in pretty much right away. I was reminded of Zeke the Plumber, for those of us that were the right age to be watching Nickelodeon in the early 90s. So this was a great mix of something newly discovered but also very strong nostalgia from all of the similar things I've seen over the years. The kills are pretty strong too, and the slasher is very imposing and I think potentially very scary if a kid was discovering this late at night on cable. I don't really have anything negative to say about it other than some of the usual 80s slasher issues like clearly inexperienced actors and a very thin story but all of that is to be expected. If you feel like you've seen all the "important" slashers then Madman would be a great place to go to start exploring that next tier.





The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends)

I expected this to be a lot more dated and hokey than it turned out to be. It actually was, with a few exceptions, extremely well done and very restrained in how it framed the monster. The narration may be the best part, I'm a sucker for that sort of old-school Texas Chainsaw Massacre style narration. The actors(from what I understand many of them were actual residents of the town) hit the right balance between amateurish and rehearsed, to where it actually does feel like a documentary being filmed about actual monster sightings.

I heard Joe Bob talking about this recently and he was saying that it wasn't a widely known film on the coasts, but in some of these Mid-Western states where life was similar to what's presented in the film, it was hit. And I can understand why that would be. If someone lived up against the woods in an area like Fouke, and they drove into town and saw this movie and then went back to their property that night, it would have the potential to be one of those all-time memorable movie experiences. So I assume that's why the film has been remembered so fondly, people in the right situation at the right time probably felt like they'd seen one of the scariest movies ever made.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask)

As someone else mentioned, this documentary isn't so much about behind the scenes stories from the movies Tom Savini worked on, it's really more of a biography of Savini himself. And that's fine, most of Savini's famous special effects have been examined and dissected in multiple other documentaries, but all I knew about the man himself was that he was a veteran and saw a lot of real-life violence during his time in Vietnam. Here there's a lot more information about his family life growing up, and the path he took to eventually working in the movie business.

As a documentary it's not great in that the story being told isn't all that compelling on it's own, you definitely need to already have an interest in Savini to get much out of it. But Savini has lived an interesting life and it was nice to fill in some of those details after having been entertained by his work for so many hours over the years.


Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power

I guess it's not all that surprising that Nightbreed would have a video game tie-in, in the early 90's basically any property with a variety of visually interesting characters was going to get a video game deal. The game appears to be some sort of action/adventure thing? I can't tell if it's a pure adventure game or if there are action elements. Anyway I'm guessing it was bad.



The film, on the other hand, continues to grow on me. This is I think my third time watching it, and I guess what tends to happen when I rewatch movies is that I kinda let go of my regrets for what I want the movie to be, and embrace it for the things that it does do well. And there's a lot to like about Nightbreed. It's really an epic story with a huge scope to it, which of course was a double edged sword because Barker only had a certain amount of resources to work with. But the ideas are undeniably strong, and my imagination couldn't help but run with ideas of what is around that corner or hidden in that shadow, etc.

If anything the main character is holding the movie back. I wonder how different it could've been if the audience was trusted to just jump right the world of Midian without having this wide-eyed audience insert character but the human side of the story also brings us Cronenberg in his best acting role ever so it's hard to complain too much. Nightbreed really does bring a lot to the table so the fact that it doesn't quite live up to it's potential shouldn't ruin anyone's enjoyment of the things it does do well. Barker is a unique artist and Nightbreed is a unique film.

1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends) 9. Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask) 10. Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe



Fear(s) of the Dark(Fran Challenge: Cavalcade of Creepiness)

It's not easy to find new anthologies to watch these days, we only seem to get maybe one per year around Halloween time. Anyway, this was a neat little find that I hadn't heard of before, but it's definitely worth checking out. Four main stories, mostly in similar but not identical animation style, with a particularly bizarre wraparound. Each story is directed by someone different.

A few of these stories will definitely stay with me for a while, particularly the first one where a lonely college student meets a girl. I did feel like there was an attempt to pull everything together thematically, and I'm not sure I really understood the thematic connections being made but overall I enjoyed most of the stories and you don't get a fully animated anthology very often so this was unique. One of the great things about anthologies is how they keep things interesting and never allow you to get bored, so an anthology where the visuals are also part of that variety is even better.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends) 9. Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask) 10. Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power) 11. Fear(s) of the Dark(Fran Challenge: Cavalcade of Creepiness)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I know you've said you haven't seen a lot of these movies but I guess I still didn't quite understand that you hadn't known about Laurie being Michael's sister. You're so pure, so unspoiled

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

I genuinely had no idea and it was a huge disappointment for me

Halloween III is a completely unconnected story without Michael in it, and it's really good so definitely check that out. But beyond that the whole Samhain/Michael thing only gets worse in 4, 5, and 6 so don't bother with them.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Yeah, the movie with the super awesome happy happy Halloween song. I know the gist of that one but definitely watching it!

I feel like with Halloween III, even if you know the basic outline of the plot it will have a few absurd twists and turns that you didn't expect.

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

E: oh wait, the dumbest most clichéd guess about the Samhain thing: Michael is actually possessed / a reincarnation of the big dark lord Samhain the doctor mentioned

Yea in one of the later sequels, an actual Samhain druid cult is after Michael because I guess they need him to understand Pure Evil so they can reproduce it in other kids or something, it's pretty dumb.

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 18:09 on May 18, 2021

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Wait... but he also exploded the gently caress up?

Yes but you see he now has a scar on his face from the burns. Makes total sense.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Carpenter did everything in his power to make sure Halloween 2 was the last we saw of Michael and Loomis but the Evil was just too strong I guess.

I do wish I could go back to 1982 and hear some of these dumbasses complaining about no Michael Myers firsthand so I could tell them to go gently caress themselves.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

While the transformation in American Werewolf in London is all-time great, The Howling has the better actual werewolf. The werewolf from American Werewolf in London isn't particularly good.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


Witchboard: Fran Challenge: Dead and Buried

Well, R.I.P. Tawny Kitaen and all that, but this movie was....not great. On paper it sounds like it should be some good old-fashioned creepy fun but in execution it's a boring slog that seemed endless despite only being about 100 minutes. I recommend figuring out another option for this challenge if you can, but that was the issue, there weren't any prominent horror actors who passed away since October. Which is great, because it seemed like we lost a bunch of people last year, but for this challenge it was pretty limiting.

Anyway there's no denying that Tawny Kitaen has some rad hair in this movie, so there's that.



1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends) 9. Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask) 10. Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power) 11. Fear(s) of the Dark(Fran Challenge: Cavalcade of Creepiness) 12. Witchboard(Fran Challenge: Dead and Buried)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Tarnop posted:

I've got some bad news for you about the rest of Ben Kingsley's career

It really is a very strange career. He bursts onto the scene in 1982 with Gandhi, and all the sudden he's a household name and an Oscar winner. But then somehow an entire decade goes by and he really doesn't do anything of note until Schindler's List, where he basically regains all of that cache he lost because Schindler's List was a huge movie. Then somehow just two years later he's in Species.

And I love Species, but like, who is making these career decisions? Who is the agent who is telling Kingsley in 1994 only a year after winning a BAFTA for Schindler's List, that it's a good idea to be in a movie like Species?

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Franchescanado posted:

I'm pretty sure, just by the amount of names in the cast, that everyone involved thought that it was going to be the Alien of the 90's.

The other names make more sense though, as far as the reasons why they would've decided at that point to be in the movie. Alfred Molina hadn't done a whole lot up to that point, this was years before he even did Boogie Nights, let alone Spiderman 2. Michael Madsen was a known character actor but really never got lead roles, it's not like he was an A-lister, and Forest Whittaker was similar to Molina in that most of the stuff he'd come to be known for came after Species.

So it totally make sense why they'd all be in the movie and I think you can argue all of their careers were boosted by Species because it was a pretty big hit. Kingsley is the only one who I'd say really didn't need it, and would've definitely had plenty of other offers due to Schindler's List. He was probably the highest paid in the cast though, so I assume that had something to do with it.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

I was tempted to just watch Viy again for the challenge because it's awesome but technically I'm supposed to at least try to watch something new which means I'm going with Punishment Park.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


Punishment Park(Fran Challenge: Motm)

This was very refreshing in how up front it was about it's message and themes without having to filter it through a sci-fi scenario or some sort of tortured metaphor. There are multiple scenes where the victims of the oppressive police state basically look straight into the camera and argue their case, and for a very low budget film the acting is actually pretty impressive. For 1971, it's surprising to see some of this stuff just put out there without any sugar-coating whatsoever. America is built on violence and genocide, and those that have the power have always wielded violence to maintain their position while acting as if defensive violence on the part of the oppressed is vile terrorism. Punishment Park openly states this fact and doesn't shy away from it like so many other films.

Honestly I don't see the scenario presented as all that unrealistic, as sad as that may be. We worship police in this country(at least a certain contingent of us do) to such a ridiculous extent, would it be outlandish to say that a law could be passed allowing police to summarily execute those that are deemed to be "terrorists"? Especially if it's deemed to be an important part of their training? I wish I could say it could never happen but sometimes it feels like we're only a step or two away from that already. Police execute people all the time and are rarely held accountable, the only thing left is to make it official by passing a law.


The Being(Fran Challenge: Horrible Holidays)

I chose this just because it's something I hadn't seen and it features Easter(the movie isn't about Easter, but it takes place on Easter and there is an egg hunt scene). But actually it was a lot of fun. It's about a creature stalking a small town, and when it picks people off it leaves a tell-tell puddle of slime behind. And we all love slime don't we?

It sort of turns into a Jaws situation where the town wants to cover it up so that it doesn't get bad press, and somehow Martin Landau is cast as the guy putting the cover story together. Apart from him, nobody really stands out but the Being itself is a great bit of goofy 80's creature work and really that's all I need. I do wish there was a nicer version of this available though, the one in Prime is not great and I think the movie would actually benefit quite a bit from a proper 1080p transfer, if one exists somewhere.

1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends) 9. Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask) 10. Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power) 11. Fear(s) of the Dark(Fran Challenge: Cavalcade of Creepiness) 12. Witchboard(Fran Challenge: Dead and Buried) 13. Punishment Park(Fran Challenge: MotM) 14. The Being(Fran Challenge: Horrible Holidays)

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

It's really an infuriating documentary, you're right. It's very effective in that way, I feel like a lot of people probably decided to watch it thinking it was just going to be a surface level look at the production of NOES 2 and then they get somewhat blindsided by the issues it's dealing with.

I don't think anyone really came out unscathed, even Englund. Like, obviously Englund isn't a bigot or anything I think that much is clear but on the other hand he was the star of the franchise and I think there must have been opportunities for him to step in and improve the situation but he never did. And he doesn't seem to really have any regret for that inaction, he's basically like "oh wow it's terrible that Mark was treated that way, that's messed up" without any consideration for how powerful his voice could've been.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

WeaponX posted:

Can you claim two Fran challenges for one movie or is it one each?

Just one for each challenge.

Although one of these years we should take that rule out and challenge people to hit as many of them as they can with the smallest possible # of films. See how low people can go, like if you can somehow find a movie that checks all 13 boxes you win.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Did I even really recommend Nightbreed? I guess I just try to be as positive as I possibly can about the stuff I watch but it's definitely a deeply flawed movie. No argument there.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

TheBizzness posted:

Not specifically but it was your review that got me to search it out and you’ve never done me wrong.

Sometimes I feel like I brute force my way into liking a movie, or at least appreciating it. I ended up giving Nightbreed like 3 or 4 chances just because of my love for Barker and Hellraiser and so I've started to enjoy it more than I did initially. At first I was much closer to where you are, having trouble finding any redeeming qualities in it other than Cronenberg.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe


We Are What We Are(Fran Challenge: Cinco)

This is apparently like a spiritual sequel to Cronos? Or is it really? I dunno I'm a bit confused about that, my sense from watching it is that they cast the guy from Cronos as more of an easter egg than anything really meaningful. But I only saw Cronos once several years ago so maybe there are some thematic connections here that I'm not seeing other than the obvious similarities between vampires and cannibals.

The thing that stood out to me in We Are What We Are was the family dynamic. The family's patriarch dies in the opening scene, and so they're left to fend for themselves, which would be difficult for any family. Of course, it's even more difficult for this family because the father was the one in charge of obtaining the "meat" for their cannibal rituals. So there's a compelling power struggle that goes on where you're not sure exactly who's calling the shots, and whether they're going to stay together as a family with the increasing pressure of committing horrific murders to fuel the ritual.

There are some genuinely disturbing scenes, although the film is actually not as graphically violent as you might expect. It builds to an appropriately intense climax and a nice and creepy ending. I can't say it blew my mind or that the movie is a masterpiece, but it does what it sets out to do very well and I'm glad I watched it.


Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde(Fran Challenge: Scream Queen)

Found this on several lists of important LGBTQ films and I can see why, although of course it was made in 1971 so it's not exactly the most enlightened approach to the subject matter. But still, it's a surprising film in that it really does examine the experience of Jekyll as he starts to enjoy and then even prefer his female identity. Of course, he has to commit murders to keep the experiment going, and those murders are exclusively of young women, but the message is a bit muddled there I suppose.

There's also a lecherous male gaze character who creepily stares at every attractive woman he encounters, and he finds Sister Hyde to be particularly alluring. So we can see here that the movie's thesis is that gender is truly a fluid thing, the creepy toxic masculinity dude doesn't somehow "sense" that there's something off about Sister Hyde, all he sees is a beautiful woman and he doesn't realize anything is amiss because there really isn't. She's actually a woman.

The big thing that's tough to get around is that Sister Hyde is a murderous psycho. Obviously that trope has a long history in film that has been very damaging and so like I said, this is a mixed bag but I can definitely see why it's seen as a queer film. The very concept of gender fluidity is something that I wouldn't expect to see in a Hammer film from the early 70s, let alone as the core concept of the entire movie.

1. The Leopard Man 2. The Curse of Frankenstein 3. The Old Dark House(Fran Challenge: Sometimes They Come Back) 4. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 6. Mother's Day(Fran Challenge: Mother's Day) 7. Madman(Fran Challenge: Camp Blood) 8. The Legend of Boggy Creek(Fran Challenge: Myths & Legends) 9. Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini(Fran Challenge: Behind the Mask) 10. Nightbreed(Fran Challenge: Playing with Power) 11. Fear(s) of the Dark(Fran Challenge: Cavalcade of Creepiness) 12. Witchboard(Fran Challenge: Dead and Buried) 13. Punishment Park(Fran Challenge: MotM) 14. The Being(Fran Challenge: Horrible Holidays) 15. We Are What We Are(Fran Challenge: Cinco) 16. Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde(Fran Challenge: Scream Queen)

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Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

For the first time I didn't complete every Fran Challenge, although I did complete the basic challenge of watching 13 films. Similar to what STAC said, my heart just wasn't in it this past week and it was hard to get motivated to post stuff. But these horror threads are my lifeblood throughout the year so I'm definitely not going anywhere.

I did check some pretty big boxes this month though(Legend of Boggy Creek, Texas Chainsaw 3, Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde) and also hit on a few really good unexpected discoveries(The Old Dark House, and to a slightly lesser extent Madman and Mother's Day) so as always the challenge was worthwhile and I thought the reviews and variety of selections by other posters was particularly good this time. Thanks to all who participated and for anyone who was doing their first challenge you definitely need to come back for the October thread which is an even bigger event.

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