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gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Didnít think this would start until tomorrow! Setting a goal of 31 movies, and will be trying to wrap up a couple of Top 100 lists Iím close to completing. My posts might be shorter than usual at first because my PC is on the fritz and typing out anything more than a few sentences on a phone or tablet sucks.

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gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



1. White Zombie (1932)
dir. Victor Halperin
Shudder

Madeleine and Neil, a young American couple, reunite when Madeleine arrives in Haiti, and they are to be married immediately. They encounter the sinister voodoo master ďMurderĒ Legendre (Bela Lugosi) who takes an interest in the young woman, and then meet with a wealthy plantation owner named Charles who is hosting their wedding. Charles is not-so-secretly in love with Madeleine and enlists Murder to turn her into a zombie so that she will be his forever, but things donít work out as planned. Itís almost as if you shouldnít trust someone named ďMurderĒ!

Lugosi is definitely the highlight here, and his signature creepy stare is used to great effect. There are also some great atmospheric sets throughout, especially Murderís castle at the end of the film. Also notable is the genuinely chilling screech of the vulture that appears periodically - pretty sure itís just a person screaming really loud, but itís effective anyway.

Unfortunately thatís about all this has going for it. Itís kind of dull and hokey anytime Lugosi isnít on screen, and even at only 67 minutes it drags. I canít say Iíd recommend this - it might be worthwhile if you like pre-code horror but there are much better examples of this type of movie out there.

2.5 vultures out of 5



2. M (1931)
dir. Fritz Lang
HBO Max

In Fritz Langís first sound film, Peter Lorre plays a disturbed child murderer who becomes the focus of a city-wide manhunt in Berlin. All of the cityís citizens live in fear, and the police are unable to make any progress in solving the case. He leaves no clues behind and eyewitness accounts are entirely unhelpful. Eventually the leaders of the criminal underworld decide that they too will join in the hunt, but the mob wants a different kind of justice.

This is a tremendous film and absolutely deserves its classic status. It feels decades ahead of its time - apart from the clothing this could easily be mistaken for a film from the Ď50s. The camerawork and lighting are especially impressive. Lorreís performance is fantastic and itís easy to see why it launched his career.

This had been on my ďto watchĒ list for years, and for whatever reason just never got around to it. Iím glad I finally did, because itís a legit masterpiece.

5 strangers with candy out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 95/100
TSZDT 2020: 666/1000

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

I think Iíll rewatch The Neon Demon this week, I remember not really feeling it even though it shouldíve totally been my jam. I may have just been in the wrong mood at the time.

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



3. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)
dir. Brian Clemens
Hulu

After several young girls are found dead and rapidly aged in the English countryside, Dr. Marcus calls in the help of a vampire hunter, the titular Captain Kronos. Kronos explains that the killer is a vampire who drains the youth from its victims instead of their blood. They set out to track down the creature before it can claim more victims.

I could watch Hammer vampire films all day, and this is a pretty solid one. There are a lot of fun ideas in this, like that different types of vampires feed on different things, and that the method needed to kill them varies as well. Lots of neat shots involving dripping blood and all that too, just general vampire-y stuff that I can't help but love. Even though most of the action takes place in the third act, I actually enjoyed the atmosphere of the first parts of the film more. The end felt a bit strange to me - it involves a vampire hypnotizing several people at once, which is fine I guess but in practice meant that the majority of the characters just stood there doing nothing during what should've been an exciting climax.

It seems like the premise of a traveling sword-wielding vampire hunter who fights all different kinds of creatures could've made for some fun sequels, but I guess this wasn't successful enough to warrant any. It's definitely got some flaws, but I had fun with it. Also I absolutely love with characters in period films like this have trendy modern haircuts.

4 dead toads out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 95/100
TSZDT 2020: 667/1000

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



4. The Demoniacs (1974)
dir. Jean Rollin
blu-ray

Dreamy pacing, haunting atmosphere, decrepit ruins, excessive nudity, Satan, a clown... yep, this is unmistakably a Jean Rollin film. Set in the 19th century, the movie focuses on a seedy group of pirates called "wreckers" who cause shipwrecks, salvage the loot, and kill any survivors (how they cause the wrecks in the first place isn't really explained). After one such wreck they encounter two young women dressed in pure white, who they promptly brutally rape and leave for dead. The girls make a deal with the devil (who is conveniently trapped in some nearby ruins) to gain his powers for one night in exchange for freeing him, and they take their revenge on the pirates.

I generally really dig Rollin's films. The moody atmosphere and haunting visuals are fantastic and I love the surreal and dreamlike feel of the stories. I've come to accept the nudity as par for the course - it is definitely unnecessary and gratuitous and often borders on softcore porn - but this one gets a little too rape-y for me. Actually, it's VERY rape-y, with two extended rape scenes that felt pretty gross. I guess the first is sort of justified (even if it goes on too long) since it kicks off the revenge plot, but there is another towards the end that felt even longer and served no real purpose. Is it supposed to be titillating? To me it just felt uncomfortable and dull at the same time.

Had this toned down the rape stuff I would give it a much higher score, because much of it is classic Rollin weirdness that I love. I'm still giving it a decent rating because I did enjoy it overall, but don't be afraid to fast forward through the rape-y bits.

3.5 boobs out of 5



5. The Addiction (1995)
dir. Abel Ferrara
blu-ray

Kathleen, a student working towards her PhD in philosophy, is attacked by a vampire in a dark alley and soon finds herself thirsting for blood. As the title implies, this film uses vampirism as a metaphor for drug addiction (heroin specifically). It's not subtle about it either - at one point Kathleen uses a syringe to draw blood from a homeless man and then injects it into her own arm. Stylish grimy films about vampires and drugs are extremely my jam, so I loved this.

It's hard to imagine a worse hell than being constantly in the throes of heroin withdrawal, and Lili Taylor really sells it. Her suffering seems so excruciating that you can more or less sympathize with her even as she continues killing innocents (or converting them into vampires themselves). As you might expect, Christopher Walken steals the show in the few scenes he is in, but the whole cast is really solid.

There is a lot of philosophy discussion and some of the dialogue comes across as pretentious, but that didn't really bother me much. I loved the film's vibe and I was fully on board, even for the parts that I didn't fully understand. The black and white cinematography is often stunning, and the climax features one of the best vampire feeding frenzy scenes I've ever seen. I'll revisit it at some point to see if I can unpack the deeper themes a bit more, but on this viewing I really loved it.

4.5 Sartre quotes out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 96/100
TSZDT 2020: 668/1000

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Spatulater bro! posted:

#5

Who Can Kill a Child?
Narciso IbŠŮez Serrador, 1976



Did you watch this on disc or is it online somewhere? Itís on my list but doesnít seem to be streaming anywhere I can see.

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



6. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
dir. Jean Epstein
YouTube

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
Shudder

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

Total: 7
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

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



8. Warlock (1989)
dir. Steve Miner
blu-ray

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
UHD
(re-watch)

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

Total: 9
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

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

TheBizzness posted:

5. Ghoulies

The gently caress is this poo poo? Ghoulies seems like someone was making a movie about Satan Worship and then Gremlins happened and they felt the need to change the name and shoe-horn in some small creatures. This is unfortunate because the Ghoulie puppets are gooey and awesome, its just that they are barely in the movie and make almost no difference to the film itself.

The film itself is ok.... I guess? It feels extremely rushed which just makes the Ghoulies being an afterthought even more strange. As far as special effects in the early 80s go you could do worse and the film does have some cool gooey parts as I mentioned. The titular Ghoulies are by far the best part but unfortunately too small a piece of the pie to really save it.

Ghoulies 2 is way better and more like what you wouldíve expected the first one to be. Itís goofy as hell of course but I really like it

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

I'm a couple movies behind on writing these up, I actually watched this on on Thursday...



10. A Record of Sweet Murder (2014)
dir. Kōji Shiraishi
blu-ray

Soyeon, an investigative journalist, is unexpectedly contacted by a childhood friend named Sangjeon who is wanted for the murders of 18 people. He wants to grant Soyeon an exclusive interview, on the condition that she does not report him to the police and that she brings only herself and a Japanese cameraman. They meet in an abandoned apartment building, where Sangjeon explains that God has told him that if he kills 27 people, a friend who died in an accident 17 years ago will be brought back to life along with all of the people he has killed. He also confesses that he has actually killed 25 people so far, and wants his last two murders to be documented so the world can witness the miracle and know that he isnít crazy. I wasnít quite sure what to expect from this, but the story goes in some unexpected directions that I loved.

Directed by Kōji Shiraishi (Noroi: The Curse), this is a found footage style film where everything is seen through the camera being used to record the interview. Itís mostly presented in one long unbroken shot - Iím sure there are edits, but they are well hidden. It takes place almost entirely within a single location too, giving it a sort of intimate feel as it puts you in the shoes of these people trapped in a room with an unstable killer. Itís tense and really effective. Films like this can often feel sadistic and/or unpleasant, but this mostly avoids that feeling by making Sangjeon sympathetic despite being dangerous.

I thought this was excellent and Iím glad I picked it up on a whim. Scary, clever, and original. I definitely need to check out more of Shiraishiís films!

4.5 out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 669/1000

Total: 10
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 | A Record of Sweet Murder

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



11. The Neon Demon (2016)
dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
blu-ray
(re-watch)

I liked this much better this time around than the first time I watched it. It's a gorgeous movie full of stunning shots, and Refn makes great use of stylish and colorful lighting. It's light on action but heavy on atmosphere, and the plot is rarely spelled out for us.

I still didn't love the ending. I think the first time around I didn't really understand what happened, and even though it made more sense to me this time it still felt unsatisfying. I could see myself giving this a 5/5 if things had played out differently, because I really loved the first 80-90% of the film, but the ending just left me cold.

4 mountain lions out of 5



12. The Day of the Beast (1995)
dir. Ńlex de la Iglesia
UHD

A Catholic priest deciphers an ancient code that reveals the date when the antichrist will be born. It's somewhere in Madrid on Christmas Eve, but he doesn't know the exact location. In order to find the child and kill it, he must commit as many sins as possible to seem evil, and then summon the Devil and trick him into revealing the birthplace. He teams up with a metalhead and a TV psychic to perform the ritual and save the world.

This was a blast! It's a clever and darkly funny inversion of the nativity story - three not especially wise men looking for the birthplace of the anti-savior on Christmas Eve. Ńlex Angulo is especially good as the priest, but everyone in the cast is solid.

Highly recommended!

4.5 tabs of LSD out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 96/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 670/1000

Total: 12
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 | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Retro Futurist posted:

I'm not big on documentaries so this part here appeals to me, but I can't seem to phrase it in a way Google understands and all the ones I can think of (Diary of the Dead, One Cut) I've already seen. Any recommendations?

Shadow of the Vampire
Incident at Loch Ness fits maybe?
Pieces of Talent

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



13. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
dir. Terence Fisher
blu-ray

When the Duc de Richelieu (Christopher Lee) discovers that an old friend has gotten involved with a Satanic cult, he must face the forces of evil to save the souls of the cult's victims. Directed by Terence Fisher and written by Richard Matheson, this is one of the best classic Hammer horror films I've seen. It features everything I love about Hammer films, including lavish production values, great acting (from Lee of course, but also from Charles Grey as the charismatic cult leader), and some really fun (if dated) effects. Love it!

5 goatmen out of 5



Fran Challenge #7. Mother's Day
14. The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
dir. Adam Robitel
Shudder

For her thesis project, a grad student is making a documentary about Sarah Logan and her mother Deborah, who is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Deborah's symptoms start off mild - memory lapses and disorientation and the like - but she becomes increasingly unstable and even violent. Soon, inexplicable events begin to occur around the house, and both Sarah and the film crew fear that something supernatural may be happening.

I liked this, but didn't totally love it. It's presented in a documentary/found footage style that mostly felt unnecessary, and I think it could've worked better if it were shot like a normal film. Too many "why are they filming this?" moments and cheap tricks like the camera glitching for no reason. Also there are a lot of scenes where it's clear that the actors are improvising and it always comes across as awkward and fake.

It does have some legit creepy and scary moments though, even if it does move away from the horror of seeing a loved one's mind deteriorate and into more standard horror movie territory. I enjoyed it well enough, but Relic is much a better take on similar material and I can't see myself wanting to revisit this one again.

3.5 scary old ladies out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 97/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 671/1000

Total: 14
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 | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7)

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Also because I don't know what I'll have an opportunity to watch later this month, I'm going to retroactively count a couple films for the challenges:

Fran Challenge #2. Sometimes They Come Back
The Queen of Black Magic (2019) - remake of a film of the same name from 1981

Fran Challenge #13. Horrible Holidays
The Day of the Beast - Anti-nativity story set on Christmas Eve

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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Gripweed posted:

A word of warning, there is a rape scene. It is not tasteful and it does feel very uncomfortable. But not at all in the way you would expect. I can't really explain it without just explaining the back half of the movie, but I do feel an obligation to do a content warning for a movie I'm recommending that has a rape scene in it, but I do want to stress that it does not hit like a regular rape scene in most horror movies.

I shouldíve mentioned that too. When that part started I had my finger hovering over the fast forward button, but just like the rest of the film itís like an inversion of what youíd normally expect. But yeah, itís still a rape scene regardless of how it plays out.

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

if anyone is looking for short films for the challenge I canít recommend Possibly in Michigan enough. It was brought up the last time Fran did a short film challenge and itís bonkers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLJNSD3H5sg

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

15. Fran Challenge #1. Short Cuts

Total Runtime: 1h 52m (technically I could've stopped after the first three but there are a billion shorts on YouTube and I didn't feel like going to bed yet!)

Hominid (2014)
19m

Two cryptozoologists hunting for evidence of Bigfoot find... evidence of Bigfoot. This isn't great - I think it tries to include too much backstory and emotional weight into too short of a runtime, and not much of what happened made much sense. Decent production values though I guess.

Zygote (2017)
23m

Like the third act of an action/sci-fi/horror film that doesn't otherwise exist. The creature reminds me of something out of Bloodborne and is super cool and creepy. I had to turn closed captions on because I couldn't understand what the male actor was saying, he kind of mumbles and rasps everything and combined with the loud background noises it was completely unintelligible for me. Otherwise a really cool and fun short.

The Black Tower (1987)
23m

A man notices a strange black tower in his neighborhood and wonders what it could be, but soon realizes not only that other people can't see it, but it never seems to appear in the same place. This has an experimental feel to it, being mostly just narration over either a totally black screen or static shots of the tower, with some occasional abstract sequences and repeated imagery. The story has an early weird fiction vibe to it that I really dug. Loved it!

The Ten Steps (2004)
10m

A decent low budget short from Ireland about a girl who is afraid to go into the cellar to turn the power back on. Feels like a spooky campfire story or urban legend sort of thing. Not sure it's totally effective, but it's a neat creepy idea.

Death Metal (2016)
5m

A lovely metal guitarist inherits a cursed guitar from his father, but it comes with rules that must not be broken... a fun and silly short with a whole lot of blood and gore crammed into its less than 5 minute runtime. Certainly worth the time to check out!

Foxed! (2013)
4m

A very short animated film about a girl held captive by humanoid foxes. Has a Coraline vibe to it. Too short to be much more than a creepy idea, but I liked the style.

The Video Store Commerical (2019)
4m

Another silly short, this one about a video store owner filming a commercial. One of the crew accidentally breaks an old VHS tape and unleashes an evil force... This is fine and I liked the '80s horror vibe and the effects, but you can't do much in only 4 minutes. A feature length version of this with the same style could be fun though!

SCP-096 (2020)
24m

An entity identified as SCP-096 escapes containment and runs at high speed towards a specific faraway victim. If you look at it's face you will... die I guess? That wasn't really clear to me, but it's definitely something you don't want to do. The story is presented as a scientist being debriefed about the event by a representative of the SCP Foundation, which is mostly just the agent delivering awkward dialogue explaining what happened and the scientist protesting that it's not his fault. There's a neat idea buried in here I think, but it hurts that the creature looks like a super generic movie monster and that the film focuses way more on the behind the scenes foundation stuff than it does on the actual creepy parts. High production values but probably the least interesting of all the shorts I watched today.

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 97/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 97/100
TSZDT 2020: 671/1000

Total: 15
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

twernt posted:



29. 1988. The Vanishing
Directed by George Sluizer
Available on Criterion

A loved one just disappearing like that is way scarier to me than the premises of most horror films. Great movie!

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



Fran Challenge #5. Cinco (this film is in English but is a Mexican film in all other ways - director, cast, crew, production company, setting, filming locations, etc)
16. Don't Panic (1988)
dir. Rubťn Galindo Jr.
Shudder

Michael and his friends unwittingly summon an evil spirit named ďVirgilĒ when playing with a Ouija board. He begins having visions warning him that his friends are going to die, but he is powerless to stop it (or maybe he just sucks at it). This is kind of a low budget Mexican rip off of A Nightmare on Elm Street, except it doesnít really make sense and isnít especially well made.

I did like this though and had a lot of fun with it. Itís paced well and has some pretty decent practical effects, and lots of silly moments that may or may not be intentionally funny. Watching Michael ineffectually blunder around in his adult dinosaur jammies is great dumb fun even if the movie is not great in general. It also has a very lame theme song that I thought was funny.

If you like cheesy low budget Ď80s movies I suggest checking this out.

3.5 dino jammies out of 5



17. The Hitcher (1986)
dir. Robert Harmon
Amazon

While driving cross country, a young man named Jim picks up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer) who quickly reveals himself to be a deranged killer. He manages to escape, but soon finds that the man is following him and killing others along the way. Jim tries to contact the police, but they accuse him of committing the murders and place him under arrest, and now he must prove his innocence while still evading the killer.

This is a pretty good movie! Rutger Hauer is fantastic and every scene with him is great, but I liked the stuff with the cops less. Cops being ignorant murdering assholes isnít all that fun to watch, thatís just the news. Still, this is tense and thrilling, and Hauerís creepy and fun performance alone is worth the price of admission.

4 knives in your crotch out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 97/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 672/1000

Total: 17
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



Fran Challenge #6. Playing With Power
18. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
dir. Paul W.S. Anderson
Amazon

After the events of the first three Resident Evil films (which this movie helpfully recaps for us), Alice finds herself trapped in an underwater research facility. In order to escape, she must travel across a bunch of video game-y levels while battling zombies and other nightmare creatures. She has help in the form of a strike team of action movie clichťs who come in from the surface to extract her, with the additional goal of destroying the facility before the creatures within can escape. Or something like that, I dunno, this is a mess.

I liked the other films in this franchise well enough as middling mindless action movies, and I wasn't expecting anything more than that from this one, but it's even worse than I imagined. Constant green screen and ugly CGI, stupid slow motion fight scenes, and some truly awful acting from most of the cast (Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez are fine despite the awful dialogue). The first act of this movie is incredibly stupid and just painful to watch.

As it goes on, it gets even more game-like and actually improves a bit as it leans into the fighting and monsters and explosions and such. If the cast wasn't so bad it might've been kind of fun. Maybe. There are a lot of very positive reviews on Letterboxd about how this is a clever inverse of the franchise or whatever, but I just don't see that. Lame and dumb.

1.5 slow motion bullets out of 5



19. Saint Maud (2019)
dir. Rose Glass
Hulu

Maud, a young nurse with a traumatic past, begins palliative care for Amanda, a former dancer who is suffering from a degenerative illness. Having recently had a religious awakening (seemingly in response to the trauma), Maud attempts to save the dying woman's soul, but is frustrated by Amanda's attitude and hedonistic lifestyle. With her own mental health declining, Maud takes things, uh, a bit too far.

I've been dying to watch this for well over a year, and I'm glad to say that it was worth the wait! Morfydd Clark is really excellent, and her performance as Maud is disturbing but also sympathetic. It's a pretty slow burn, but it's tense and creepy and I never thought it dragged. It's also relatively short, which I think really helped the pacing.

It's not quite a masterpiece, but it's an extremely solid and original horror film. This is the first full length feature from director Rose Glass, and I very much look forward to whatever she does next.

4 religious experiences out of 5



Fran Challenge #9. Scream, Queen!
20. Stranger by the Lake (2013)
dir. Alain Guiraudie
Shudder

At a secluded beach that is a cruising spot for gay men, Franck encounters the handsome and charming Michel, who he is immediately taken with but who seems to be involved with someone else. Staying late one night, Franck witnesses Michel drowning his partner, but his feelings won't go away and he finds himself drawn to Michel anyway. As the police investigate the crime, Franck is torn between love, loneliness, and the facing the truth.

On paper this is a thriller, but it's a very loose and relaxed one and often feels more like a love story. A messed up love story for sure, but it spends a lot of time exploring relationships, both sexual and platonic, healthy and unhealthy. Also there's a LOT of unsimulated sex - I've seen several people describe it as gay porn with a plot. I don't think that's fair - sex scenes can be erotic without being pornographic - but it does show actual blowjobs and handjobs that end in orgasm, so just be aware of that going in. Maybe not a great choice for family movie night.

I liked this a lot, although with the very slow pacing and the sexual content it's probably not going to be everyone's cup of tea.

4 s out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 97/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 672/1000

Total: 20
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

twernt posted:

Cat People (1942)
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Available to rent on the usual services



One of my all-time favorite movies. I love that scene in particular, the lighting is so great.

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



21. Frenzy (1972)
dir. Alfred Hitchcock
Amazon

A serial killer and rapist known as the "Necktie Murderer" is plaguing London and leaving the police baffled. The scandalous crimes have captured the attention of the media and the public (I suspect the title is referring to this frenzy rather than the actual killings), and when Richard Blaney is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, everyone is quick to blame him for the murders while the real killer works to frame him. Like the protagonist of many Hitchcock films, he must evade the police while attempting to prove his innocence.

This was Hitchcock's second to last film, and it has a much more modern feel to it than I would normally associate with his work. Out of context I think you could easily mistake this for a Brian De Palma film. It's kind of crazy that over the course of his career Hitchcock went from directing silent films to this very modern (and borderline sleazy!) thriller. Nipples, in MY Hitchcock!? It's more likely than you think. There is some levity among the heavy material too, even though I don't think the British have any right to be making fun of the cuisine of any other country.

This is extremely solid and I really enjoyed it! It has some genuinely creepy and even disturbing moments - the image of a naked corpse falling out of the back of a potato truck will stick with me. I don't think it's up there with Hitchcock's best thrillers, but it's still quite good and shows how talented a filmmaker he was, even this late in his career and life. Barry Foster as the killer is probably the highlight - he's just so sleazy and easy to hate - but everyone is excellent.

Highly recommended for fans of Hitchcock/De Palma or other classic thrillers.

4.5 potatoes out of 5



Fran Challenge #12. Cavalcade of Creepiness
22. Spirits of the Dead (1968)
dir. Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, Federico Fellini
Criterion Channel

This is a French portmanteau/anthology horror film with segments by three different directors (Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini) that are all loose adaptations of Poe stories. As is the case with nearly all anthologies, they vary in quality, but here I think all three have some value despite being uneven.

In the first (by Vadim), Jane Fonda stars as a hedonistic Countess who burns down the stables of a relative who is rude to her, accidentally killing him. Some spooky and extremely Poe-like stuff happens. This is the most conventional of the three and could more or less fit in a Hammer or Amicus anthology from the same period. It meanders a lot in the second half, but it's decent enough.

In the second (by Malle), a cruel and sadistic man confesses his sins to a priest, describing how throughout his life he has been repeatedly foiled by another man that shares his name and face. This is fairly traditional as well and very well shot, but the story wasn't particularly exciting to me.

Finally, Fellini directs a bizarre and surreal segment about a washed up alcoholic movie star who travels to Italy to accept an award. This was the highlight of the film for me - I'm not sure if it's GOOD or not, but it's extremely weird and memorable. A significant portion of the segment is just the main character driving around in a Ferrari and seeing weird poo poo. What story is present was kind of hard to follow, but there is some striking imagery and it has a unique nightmarish feel to it that I really liked.

Overall I liked this well enough, and it has a much more artistic feel to it than most anthologies do. However I think all three segments have their weaknesses, and I'd call this more interesting than it is good. Still absolutely worth checking out if you like classic horror anthologies.

3.5 black stallions out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 98/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 674/1000

Total: 22
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Iíd rewatch Halloween 6 before 4 or 5 any day

like none of them are very good in my mind, but 6 is just so bonkers that I canít help but kinda like it. 4 is ok but mostly a retread of 1/2 and 5 is just boring to me

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



23. Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)
dir. Darren Lynn Bousman
theater (!)

Chris Rock plays an honest cop who is disliked by the rest of his precinct for turning in a corrupt officer years ago. He is assigned to investigate a series of murders that appear to be committed by a Jigsaw copycat, but soon finds that there may be a personal element to them. Like much of the Saw series, this is a solidly OK film that's bogged down by an overly complicated plot. At least here the twists don't require ret-conning stuff that happened in previous films, but they still grind the film to a halt while the characters deliver lots of convoluted exposition.

I did enjoy it for what it was though. Rock isn't a stellar dramatic actor but he's likable, and Samuel L. Jackson is always fun even if his character doesn't get a ton of scenes. The trap/kill scenes are ridiculous and even more unfair than in many of the previous films (let's play a game, and all you need to do to survive is SEVER YOUR loving SPINAL CORD!), and there aren't a ton of them, but they're still appropriately hosed up and gross.

I feel like this could've been improved by leaning into the topical subject matter a bit more - it's about corrupt cops murdering innocent people and our lead character is black, but the subject of racism is never directly breached and most/all of the cops' victims are white. Then again I'm not sure that a Saw film could handle this material well, so maybe it's for the best. A smarter script could've gone a long way though.

If you like the Saw series, you'll probably like this too. It's not a great film by any stretch but it's fun enough to be worth a watch for fans of the franchise.

3 plot twists out of 5



24. The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971)
dir. Riccardo Freda
blu-ray

An Italian giallo set in Ireland. When the corpse of a murdered woman is found in the trunk of a car owned by the Swiss ambassador, everyone in his household becomes a suspect - and of course the murders continue. Because the ambassadorís diplomatic immunity complicates the investigation, the local police bring on a former detective who is willing to bend the rules to solve the crimes.

This is kind of incoherent. The plot is complicated and hard to follow, which is pretty standard for a giallo and not necessarily a dealbreaker for me, but itís also just not interesting enough to even try to decipher. A lot of the characters kind of run together and their motivations arenít very clear. The kills are a lot more graphic than I expected, but there arenít all that many of them.

It looks pretty nice though - lots of shots of Irish towns and cliffs and such. The acting is also above average for a film like this, but the relatively high production values donít really make up for the fact that itís just not a very good or interesting mystery. Far from the worst giallo Iíve seen, but if it werenít for the Irish setting it would probably be entirely forgettable. The title is by far the best part.

2.5 sunglasses out of 5



Fran Challenge #3. Camp BLOOD
25. Madman (1981)
dir. Joe Giannone
YouTube

Kids at a summer camp are told the story of "Madman Marz", a local man who went crazy and killed his family. Legend has it that he still prowls the woods, waiting for someone to say his name... of course, the camp counselors begin dying one by one in horrible ways.

This is just about as simple and straightforward of a summer camp slasher movie as you can get. There isn't a whole lot of plot and what's there mostly just serves to get the characters in situations where they can be picked off by the killer. The special effects are good and there are some tense and creepy scenes. The madman himself looks kind of lame when you get a good look at him, but there are some creepy shots where he is silhouette that I really liked. I don't think there is anything exceptional here but it's a pretty solid slasher film all around.

If you like '80s camp slashers, I think you'll like this one. It's not the best at any one thing, but it works overall and I enjoyed it.

3.5 axes out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 98/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 675/1000

Total: 25
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

so much delicious horny goop I could barely contain myself

new thread title please

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Iím definitely gonna check that one out. Scott Schirmer also directed Found which I remember liking a lot, I believe it was recently added to Shudder.

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



26. Dream Demon (1988)
dir. Harley Cokeliss
blu-ray

Shortly after moving into a new house, Diana begins having incredibly vivid nightmares about her upcoming wedding and her fiancť Oliver, who is a well-known war hero. Two tabloid journalists begin harassing her, and at the same time she also meets Jenny, an American from LA who grew up in Dianaís new house. Jenny has blocked out all memories of her childhood, but it seems that her traumatic past is linked with Dianaís nightmares.

This was surprisingly excellent! I say ďsurprisinglyĒ because I never hear anyone talking about this film, but itís very solid and fun and should be better known. It definitely owes a lot to A Nightmare on Elm Street, but itís not as much of a ripoff as you might expect from the title and synopsis. Dianaís nightmares are cool and creepy and there are really fun practical effects throughout the film. The plot gets messy, especially as the details of Jennyís backstory get filled in, but since so much of the film takes place in nightmares I can forgive the loose logic.

If you like Ď80s horror at all I highly recommend this. Itís a great looking movie with a lot of excellent (and gross) special effects and I thought it was really fun despite the messy plot.

4 severed heads out of 5



Fran Challenge #4. Movie of the Month
27. Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1931)
dir. Rouben Mamoulian
Amazon

A very horny pre-code adaptation of a story that pretty much everyone is familiar with, if only through cultural osmosis. Dr. Jekyll believes that man has both a good and evil side, so he invents a potion to prove his theory. Mostly though it's because he's super horny because he can't marry his fiancťe for another 8 months, so he turns into Mr. Hyde so he can act out his baser impulses. Of course Hyde is TOO evil, and soon Jekyll is unable to control when he changes into the other man.

This has some really great camerawork, especially for a film from 1931 - impressive shots involving the main character's POV and mirrors, and some really neat transformation sequences that I'm not quite sure how they pulled off - either with expertly disguised edits or extremely fast makeup changes. Other than Hyde's makeup looking pretty goofy, this is a great looking film. The cast is great too.

I'd say this is on par with Universal horror films like Dracula and Frankenstein, which both came out in the same year. Actually, it feels more modern than either of those two, mostly due to the camerawork. I don't think it's quite as much of a classic as those other films, but it still deserves to be mentioned alongside them.

4 gross teeth out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 98/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 675/1000

Total: 27
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

twernt posted:



35. 1994. Tammy and the T-Rex

Such a bonkers movie and I love it

STAC Goat posted:


41 (45). Paganini Horror (1989)

I like how the song was supposedly written by Paganini but it sounds like a cheesy Ď80s Billy Joel tune instead of classical music

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



Fran Challenge #8. Dead & Buried - RIP Christopher Plummer
28. Wolf (1994)
dir. Mike Nichols
Criterion Channel

Jack Nicholson stars as the very un-Jack Nicholson-like Will Randall, a mild-mannered editor at a publishing house who is being forced out of his job due to a merger. After being bitten by a wolf, he develops not only enhanced senses of hearing and smell, but also gains a ruthless edge in business that he uses to salvage his career. Of course all this comes with a price. In most ways this is a fairly standard werewolf movie, except that it focuses more on drama and characters than it does on the horror aspects. There arenít a lot of actions scenes or special effects (despite the involvement of Rick Baker), and the werewolves mostly just have glowing eyes and bushy sideburns and they jump around a lot.

This has some things going for it - mainly an excellent cast and a good score by Ennio Morricone. Christopher Plummer (RIP) plays Randallís boss, and he was always the best at playing evil rich old white guys. James Spader is great as Randallís office rival, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his love interest. But good performances alone arenít enough to carry the film, and I didnít find the story all that compelling. Like I said, at its core this is a pretty standard werewolf movie that fancies itself as highbrow but instead comes across as kind of toothless.

The cast makes this worthwhile I think, but as far as werewolf films go it isnít anything special.

3 pissed-on suede shoes out of 5



29. The Last Broadcast (1998)
dir. Stefan Avalos, Lance Weiler
Amazon

*(this was going to be my pick for challenge #11 because the synopsis made it sound like a film about the Jersey Devil. It isn't really at all so I'll be watching something else.)

A pre-Blair Witch found footage film about the murder of a television crew who were out in the woods investigating the Jersey Devil. Itís presented as a true crime style fake documentary, with the footage from the event edited together with interviews from people involved with the crime. Itís an extremely low budget indie film and it mostly feels like it, although most of the acting is surprisingly ok. Not good, just not as terrible as the cast of many similar films.

I thought this was going to be about the Jersey Devil, but itís really about how the presentation of information can affect how people interpret and respond to it. The way that the media and the authorities can control the narrative surrounding an event by what they choose to show (or not show) is very relevant and an idea thatís worth exploring, and I think this movie does a fairly admirable job with it. The first 2/3rds of the film sometimes feel amateurish and repetitive, but itís mostly effective.

That ending thoughÖ oof. It has a stupid twist and it totally drops the found footage angle for it. It doesnít make sense and tanked a lot of the goodwill I had towards the rest of the film. I can ignore the filmís weaknesses when it has something interesting to say, but it drops all that for lame shock value. It was a real let down.

There are certainly worse found footage films out there, and I do think this has some value to it, but unless youíre really into the genre I canít give this a very strong recommendation.

2.5 IRC chatrooms out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 98/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 676/1000

Total: 29
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

Explosion of a Motor Car (1900) - 1 min
Directed by Cecil M. Hepworth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHYb0D1PPv0

The first film today to actually get an audible belly laugh out of me. A car races down a street, only to explode, and the investigating policeman is showered with falling gore and body parts. Just wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
4.5/5

lol that was funnier than I expected, the way he just casually inspects severed limbs and jots stuff down in his notebook made me laugh

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

hit my goal of 31! Still have a couple of challenges left though.



30. Army of the Dead (2021)
dir. Zach Snyder
Netflix

When a zombie-like creature escapes a government facility, it starts an outbreak in Las Vegas that quickly grows out of hand. Unable to defeat the hordes of the undead, the US government instead quarantines the entire city, successfully containing the threat. However because the city was abandoned so rapidly, everything was left behind - including hundreds of millions of dollars in casino vaults. One such casino owner hires a team to perpetrate a heist to recover the money before the military nukes the city, but when they enter they discover the zombies arenít quite what they thought they wereÖ

I thought this was really fun! It follows pretty standard heist movie beats for most of the film - assembling a team, putting together a plan, having things go horribly wrong, etc. In the final act it becomes more like what you might expect from a zombie action movie, but it does have some interesting twists on the formula. I liked that the ďalphaĒ zombies behaved more like vampires. Not everything about the film is totally original - in fact it is full of action movie clichťs - but itís all put together in a fun way that I donít think has quite been done before.

Itís maybe a little on the long side, but itís paced well enough and I never thought it dragged. Dave Bautista makes a good lead, and most of the cast is solid. Some of them arenít much more than stereotypical tough guy/gal types, but I like Tig Notaro in everything and I thought the relationship between Dieter and Vanderohe was actually kind of sweet in a way you donít normally see in movies like this. I wish so many of the effects werenít CGI, but they mostly looked decent enough.

As someone who really enjoys both heist movies and zombie movies, I really enjoyed this. Itís often dumb, but itís a really fun kind of dumb, like one of the later Fast and the Furious movies if you took out the cars and added zombies.

4 zombie tigers out of 5



31. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)
dir. Narciso IbŠŮez Serrador
blu-ray

This Spanish film opens with actual newsreel footage of atrocities committed against children - genocide, famine, disease, etc. It's trying to drive home the point of how children always suffer the most for the sins of adults, and it is very effective in that, but it's also a bleak and disturbing way to start a genre film. It sets an interesting mood I guess.

The actual plot concerns two British tourists, Tom and Evelyn, who travel to an isolated Spanish island for a vacation. Evelyn is quite pregnant and spends most of the movie very uncomfortable, so I'm not sure why they thought traveling in her state would be a good idea. They aren't the most rational people. When they arrive at the island, it seems almost deserted - there are no adults around at all, and the few children they meet behave strangely and with hostility. They soon realize why - the kids of the children all at once decided that the adults all deserved to die, and went around at night murdering them one by one. The adults tried to flee but were unable to aggressively fight back, because, well - who can kill a child?

This is mostly pretty good. There are some genuinely scary parts and I like the premise of it a lot better than most of the other "killer kids" movies I've seen. Everything from the strange behavior of the kids to the emptiness of the streets gives the film a really creepy and effective atmosphere. The characters are insufferable though - Tom refuses to be honest with Evelyn about what's happening, and as a result she spends most of the film oblivious to the danger and whining about her feet being tired or whatever.

If the characters had been written better this could've been a stone cold classic, but I really didn't like them and it put a damper on the experience a bit. Still, if you like '70s European horror I think this is very solid and worth a watch.

4 canned hotdogs out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 99/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 677/1000

Total: 31
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast | Army of the Dead | Who Can Kill a Child?
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



32. The Shining (1980)
dir. Stanley Kubrick
UHD
re-watch

Iíve seen this many times, but this was my first viewing of the UHD release, and WOW are the opening aerial shots stunning! Of course this is a wonderfully shot film and many scenes really pop in 4K, but the shots as Jack drives up the mountain are simply gorgeous and maybe the best thing Iíve seen on the format so far.

Anyway this has been written about to death already and I donít really have anything to add to the conversation. Nicholson chews the gently caress out of the scenery and Shelley Duvall is so drat good at looking terrified. I donít think the film would be half as scary if she didnít do such a great job selling it. And the music in the last hour or so is amazing, all the dissonant chaotic string parts really add to the feeling of unease. Just a fantastic film all around.

5 hedge mazes out of 5



Fran Challenge #11. Myths & Legends
33. Demon (2015)
dir. Marcin Wrona
Shudder

On the night before his wedding, Piotr discovers a human skeleton buried outside the house where they will be holding the ceremony. His friends and soon-to-be father in law brush it off and tell him not to worry about it (ďthis whole country was built on a graveyardĒ), but it disturbs him anyway. During the wedding, Piotr begins acting strangely, and over the course of the night it becomes clear that he has been possessed by some sort of spirit.

This is a Polish film, and I had to get a little cultural context from the internet to fully understand the themes. Itís about how Poland as a country ignores its history and its past treatment of Jews, especially during the Holocaust. The spirit turns out to be a dybbuk, a wandering spirit from Jewish mythology, and at one point as things continue to escalate out of control the father character stands up in front of the wedding guests and basically says ďdonít worry about this because itís not real, this is a collective hallucinationĒ. Indeed, the wedding guests seem content to continue dancing and getting drunk instead of face whatís happening right in front of them.

I liked this, although even beyond the cultural things I found it a little hard to understand. Itís bookended by scenes on a ferry that I didnít understand the significance of at all. Itís not a particularly scary film - in fact I donít think there are any actual scares in it at all - but itís effective in showing how Piotr loses control of himself over to this spirit. More tragic than frightening, but of course the themes are horrific.

It has some issues and it meanders a bit but overall I recommend it if you like slow burn supernatural horror. I hadnít heard of it before picking it out on Shudder and I was pleasantly surprised.

3.5 vodkas out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 99/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 677/1000

Total: 33
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast | Army of the Dead | Who Can Kill a Child? | The Shining | Demon (FC#11)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

All challenges done! And I'm well past my goal of 31... I may slow down a little but I'll watch a few more films before the end of the month for sure.



34. Targets (1968)
dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Amazon

Boris Karloff stars as Byron Orlok, an aging horror film star (literally himself but with a different name, as clips from Karloff's actual films are used throughout) who decides he is tired of acting and wants to retire. His brand of horror - gothic castles and spooky monsters - just can't compete with the real-life horrors of violence and terrorism that fill the newspapers. Meanwhile, a young man named Bobby shoots his wife and mother and then goes on a killing spree with the intention of killing as many people as possible before the police catch him. Using a sniper rifle, he terrorizes the audience at a drive-in theater where Orlok is set to make a public appearance.

This was really great! I love Boris Karloff in everything, and his performance here is excellent. The film is frighteningly prescient too. I guess I sort of think of mass shooting as a relatively recent thing in American life, and they are certainly more prevalent now, but even in the '60s they were on the public's mind. Bobby in this film is based on an actual mass shooter that killed 15 people in 1966. It's depressing how much worse things have gotten since then.

Highly recommended, especially if you love Karloff as much as I do.

4.5 Karloffs out of 5



Fran Challenge #10. Behind the Mask
35. Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist (2019)
dir. Alexandre O. Philippe
Shudder

This documentary about The Exorcist is really just an extended interview with William Friedkin where he talks about the film and about his approach to filmmaking in general. He shares a lot of interesting behind the scenes info, and his passion for film and art and music really shows through. If you're a fan of The Exorcist I give this a strong recommendation, and even if you aren't completely wild about that film I think he still shares enough interesting insights to make this worth watching.

4 actual priests getting punched in the face out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 99/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 678/1000

Total: 35
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast | Army of the Dead | Who Can Kill a Child? | The Shining | Demon (FC#11) | Targets | Leap of Faith (FC#10)
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord



36. Skull: The Mask (2020)
dir. Kapel Furman, Armando Fonseca
Shudder

At an archeological dig site in the Amazon, a creepy skull mask is unearthed that the locals identify as an ancient evil demon. It is transported to a museum, but before it arrives the evil force is awakened and people start dying in incredibly gory ways. The plot actually gets pretty complicated for what is basically a silly gory slasher - thereís a cop investigating a string of missing children as well as the mask killings, an evil corporation that wants the mask for themselves, and a priest who has dedicated his life to defeating this demon, although he no longer believes the stories. Also another guy who sells fruit or something and was a guerrilla fighter along with the priest. And the cop was involved with some kind of massacre or something and now no one trusts her, and something about a femur of another godÖ ok itís actually a VERY complicated plot and I donít think I really followed it all that well.

Messy plot aside, this is fun and the highlight by far is the insanely goopy and gory special effects. Hearts ripped from victimsí chests, heads cut clean off, intestines spilling onto the floor, and buckets and buckets of blood. The design of the mask creature is wonderful and there are some fun sequences involving ancient gods and such. Also lots of pro-wrestling moves that seem kind of out of place, but they are fun so who cares? I didnít care for most of the characters though - the priest was probably the most interesting one, but he didnít get all that much screen time.

If you like goopy gore and fun special effects, I absolutely recommend this, but I donít think it has much to offer beyond that.

3.5 busted rib cages out of 5



37. 29 Needles (2019)
dir. Scott Philip Goergens
traveling blu-ray

This film follows Francis, a man with some serious psychological issues that lead to a fixation on sex and pain. He must go to increasingly extreme lengths to control his hallucinations, and basically does a lot of hosed up poo poo. That's pretty much it.

This is, uh... something. There are a LOT of unsimulated sex acts, most involving BDSM and/or violence. This makes up so much of the film that it sometimes feels like hosed up porn, except that there's nothing erotic about what's happening on screen. It's straight body horror, and the fact that much of it is real makes the fake stuff seem more authentic and disturbing. Not for the faint of heart for sure.

There are a couple of moments I thought were creepy, but the majority of the film didn't work for me at all. It's extremely amateurish - and given that it's this director's first film and probably had a budget of $10, that's understandable to a degree, but that doesn't make it less painful to watch. I don't know if anyone except maybe the lead is an actual actor. Maybe casting options are limited when the part requires you to get fisted on screen.

This is certainly as extreme as it claims to be (at least at times), but it's also mostly really dull. Pretty much everything that isn't a sex scene felt like padding, and even those aren't all that interesting. If the director is trying to say something meaningful about the boundaries of pain and pleasure or whatever, I was too bored to understand it.

I liked the giant penis monster though.

1.5 needles in your taint out of 5

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 99/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 678/1000

Total: 37
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast | Army of the Dead | Who Can Kill a Child? | The Shining | Demon (FC#11) | Targets | Leap of Faith (FC#10) | Skull: The Mask | 29 Needles
Fran Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Obligatory wrap up post:

37 movies, 3 of which were rewatches. Completed all the challenges! Best new-to-me was probably M, other highlights were The Addiction, The Devil Rides Out, and A Record of Sweet Murder. The Fellini-directed segment of Spirits of the Dead was also a favorite. Worst was definitely Resident Evil: Retribution.

Made a fair dent in the lists I am working on, although Iím having trouble finding the last few Iím missing in each. If anyone knows where I can watch Trouble Every Day, hook me up!

As always it was super fun, thanks for running it Fran!

Edgar Wright's Top 100 Horror: 99/100
Slant Top 100 Horror: 98/100
TSZDT 2020: 678/1000

Total: 37
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) (FC#2) | Warlock | Prince of Darkness | A Record of Sweet Murder | The Neon Demon | The Day of the Beast (FC#13) | The Devil Rides Out | The Taking of Deborah Logan (FC#7) | Short films (FC#1) | Don't Panic (FC#5) | The Hitcher | Resident Evil: Retribution (FC#6) | Saint Maud | Stranger by the Lake (FC#9) | Frenzy | Spirits of the Dead (FC#12) | Spiral: From the Book of Saw | The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire | Madman (FC#3) | Dream Demon | Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (FC#4) | Wolf (FC#8) | The Last Broadcast | Army of the Dead | Who Can Kill a Child? | The Shining | Demon (FC#11) | Targets | Leap of Faith (FC#10) | Skull: The Mask | 29 Needles

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gey muckle mowser
Aug 5, 2003

Do you know anything about...
witches?





Buglord

Servoret posted:

Trouble Every Day is on Hoopla, if your library uses it.

Oh sweet, my library does use it but I never think to look there. Thanks!

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