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Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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FYI, I did The Cremator for the May MotM. An essential horror movie.

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Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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My plan is to watch one movie per day, working my way in order through the They Shoot Zombies Don't They entries I haven't seen, plus the Fran Challenges. The stricter I am on myself, the more fun these challenge threads are.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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It's very easy to accidently watch Evil Dead II.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#1

Witchfinder General
Michael Reeves, 1968



I've seen Vincent Price in dozens of movies yet he never fails to surprise me. Here he plays against his typical hamminess and delivers a serious, evil performance. This might be in contention for my favorite Price role ever. This is DARK poo poo for 1968. We've got murders and gore, hangings, stabbings, shootings, and burnings. We've got torture, rape and nudity. And we've got an overall morbidity and hopelessness that I've rarely seen in movies this old. I can't imagine what the reaction to this was back in the day.

But despite the darkness, it's a beautiful looking movie. Movies of this ilk tend to be shot on sound stages with matte paintings (there's absolutely nothing wrong with that), but here it's all real locations. The English landscapes burst with light and colors and energy and it's just awesome. I liked everything about this. The witchfinding stuff is brutal and frustrating just as it ought to be. I'm a sucker for films about the atrocities committed in the name of god, and this movie delivers in spades.

4.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Yeah Stereo is a slog. Crimes of the Future is just as bad.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#2

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Wallace Worsley, 1923



I very recently watched the 1939 version with Charles Laughton, so I couldn't help but compare the two throughout. Overall I like them about the same. This 1923 version benefits from a slightly less complex story (despite actually having more characters). It also presents a very different thematic focus, and one I happen to enjoy a little more. While the '39 version is about tradition vs modernity, this version is about the strife between classes. It's a theme that's inherently better at producing compelling drama, in my opinion. I haven't read the novel so I can't speak for which is more faithful to the source.

But the most interesting thing to compare between versions is the star of the show. Lon Chaney and Charles Laughton present two very different takes on the character of Quasimodo. I like them both about equally, just for different reasons. Laughton's is the more sympathetic of the two, while Chaney's is more mischievous and monster-like. Chaney gained much of his initial fame from this role and I can see why. His willingness to transform into unrecognizable creatures is laudable. And he does it so well. Here he possesses a physicality that's almost inhuman. His mannerisms and body language, combined with the ghastly makeup effects (which I believe he created himself), absolutely sell it.

3.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#3

The Devil Rides Out
Terence Fisher, 1968



Christopher Lee takes on a cult of devil worshipers to save the soul of his friend from the clutches of evil. There's lots of juicy occult imagery and some fun set pieces, such as an attack by a giant spider, a car chase with some supernatural complications, people performing nefarious acts while under mind control, and an appearance from a horse-backed angel of death. All the actors deliver commendable performances, especially Lee who excels at playing this kind of shlock with a completely straight face. The plot gets a bit muddled in the last act, but overall it's a fun time and another solid outing from Hammer Studios.

3.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#4

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Albert Lewin, 1945



I read the novel way back in college and liked it, and I've seen the incredible Ivan Albright painting at the Chicago Art Institute. So why has it taken me so long to watch the movie? No idea. But I'm glad I've finally seen it because it's great. It's darker than I was expecting given its age. It has a somber, moody, sinister vibe. Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian Gray with a sterility that I could see mistaken for wooden, but I found it to be just the right amount of coldness the character needs. I really liked George Sanders too. In fact I think he was my favorite part of this. His callous, cynical philosophies of life (and the reactions they invoke from the other characters) were super entertaining.

Another detail I really loved was how a few shots of the painting were in gorgeous technicolor! That surprised the hell out of me, and it makes for a startling reveal near the end when we see the corrupted version of the painting for the first time. Such a great idea.

4.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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bitterandtwisted posted:

4: Witchfinder General (1968)
I'm not sure how to feel about very last scene where Richard is ultimately denied his revenge and he's screaming and Sara's screaming and I guess they all live unhappily ever after. It's frustrating, but maybe that's the point. There is no justice in this time period.

That's how I read it. Justice is an erroneous concept. The murdering of the alleged witches being "justice" is obviously bullshit, and the notion that justice is a foregone result of a misdeed is equally misguided. It's a cynical view, but I loved it.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Iron Crowned posted:

5) The Cellar (1989, Blu-Ray)

I popped in this Vinegar Syndrome disc and was greeted with something I hadn't seen before from VinSyn, the choice between the Director's Cut, and the Producer's Cut (website lists this as theatrical). Having had no previous frame of reference, I stared for a minute and then went with the Producer's Cut.

The Cellar is about some sort of monster in the basement that was created by the native Americans to kill white people, but it doesn't only kill white people. This film is about 75% padding. There's a bunch of things that get setup then forgotten, such as the villainous land owner. The native chief who only seems to serve as exposition, but at least had a decent enough scene taking the piss out of pop culture depictions of natives.

All in all, kinda boring, and could have used some more polish instead of just tooling around some nowhere town in Texas. The monster was ok, if generic IMHO.

Is the director's cut better? I'll probably give that one a go in a few years when I'm having a dull Saturday afternoon

2/5

These VS releases always look so tempting, but then I read reviews of the actual films and remember that they're probably not worth dropping $30 on. (though that Home Grown Horrors set is still calling my name...)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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MacheteZombie posted:

They have a sale coming up at the end of May, I recommend dabbling in a few titles you barely know anything about to get a taste of their releases. It's a top tier release house imo, up there with Arrow. They also sell other labels like AGFA which has some neat stuff.

The only VS titles I own are Christmas Evil and Body Melt, and I'm impressed with both. Any suggestions for the safest blind buys? I do like the looks of Cthulhu Mansion.

e: feel free to take this conversation to the physical media thread.

Spatulater bro! fucked around with this message at 18:34 on May 4, 2021

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#5

Who Can Kill a Child?
Narciso IbŠŮez Serrador, 1976



This is the first movie I've ever seen where the opening credits have a major impact on the tone of the entire film. For the first eight minutes, we're subjected to real archival footage of atrocities committed to children throughout the 20th century. It's graphic, heartbreaking and exceedingly difficult to watch. Mercifully, the credits eventually end and we jump into the movie proper, but the feeling of those images linger in the mind throughout the rest of the film, forcing us to reconcile their meaning with the events of the plot.

And what a plot it is. I've never seen anything quite like this. An English couple travels to a small sparsely populated island off the coast of Spain. When they arrive there they find only children. And the children are acting a little strange... I won't say much more outside of spoiler tags because this is a movie you should go into as blind as possible. It's a little bit of Village of the Damned and a touch of Lord of the Flies, with the vibe of a zombie movie. But even that doesn't quite describe the strange atmosphere. Combined with the weight of the intro, there's a "wrong-ness" in the air through this whole thing. And it's kind of spectacular.

4.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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gey muckle mowser posted:

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.

It's out there...

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#6

The Raven
Lew Landers (credited as Louis Friedlander), 1935



Here's another Poe adaptation where the word "adaptation" needs to be in quotation marks. I think the opening credits said something like, "as suggested from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe". The characters talk about Poe and his poem extensively, so I guess it's kind of a meta adaptation?

Bela Lugosi plays a mad doctor (is there any other kind in these '30s horror films?) who becomes obsessed with a girl whose life he saves, and subsequently on exacting revenge for not being able to have her. His revenge involves a convoluted plan to use the aid of a fugitive played by Boris Karloff, who he blackmails by loving up his face and then promising to fix it if he cooperates. The plan comes to a head down in the doctor's secret dungeon, which is accessed, naturally, by a rotating bookcase and is filled with torture devices inspired by a myriad of Poe's stories.

This reminds me a lot of The Black Cat from the previous year, not least of all because both Poe adaptations star Karloff and Lugosi and result in Lugosi's character torturing people in his dungeon... I liked The Black Cat a little more than this. The plot here is pretty sloppy, with the climax making very little sense (why exactly DID the doctor need Karloff's help? And why carry this plan out with so many other people in the house? What sort of stupid loving plan was this?). Though there's no denying the fun of watching Karloff and Lugosi share tons of screen time hamming it up together, and the torture device conceit is amusing. At only an hour long there's not a whole lot of substance here, but any film with Lugosi pointing a gun at a disfigured Karloff and laughing maniacally while another man is about to be sliced in half ala The Pit and the Pendulum gets at least three stars from me.

3/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#7

A Bucket of Blood
Roger Corman, 1959



I had a blast with this. It hit a perfect satirical tone with the pretentious beatniks and it made me laugh on more than a few occasions. I went in blind, so the main plot conceit came as a pleasant surprise. Dick Miller is an absolute treasure, and it's great seeing him young and in such a fantastic role. And it's the rare ~60 minute film that doesn't feel rushed. It told its story in just the right amount of time with just the right pacing. It's short, sweet and fun as hell.

4/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Basebf555 posted:

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!

I believe this is also the reason it's common to see a brief drop in quality immediately before and after a fade transition.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#8

The Curse of the Werewolf
Terence Fisher, 1961



Boy does this movie spend a ton of time on setup. By the time Oliver Reed appears, the film's halfway over and something like 25 years have gone by. Fortunately it's all very enjoyable setup. It's filled with colorful characters and intriguing scenarios so I was glued in even when I wasn't seeing any werewolf action. Said werewolf action does take its sweet time getting here, but once it does it's quite satisfying. The makeup effects aren't exactly An American Werewolf in London quality, but they're far better than the 1930's Universal iterations. And Oliver Reed totally sells it.

The most impressive quality about this is how epic it feels despite being only 93 minutes long. By the time poo poo hits the fan we feel like we've experienced an amazing journey. I found myself caring about the fate of the main character more than I usually do in movies like this. Color me impressed. This is one of the best Hammer Horror films I've seen. Probably top three at least.

4.5/5



#9

Hunter Hunter
Shawn Linden, 2020



An unrecognizable Devon Sawa protects his off-the-grid family from a wolf. Nice premise and I'll say this about the movie: it did a great job keeping me wondering what the gently caress was going on. Unfortunately once the question is answered, I looked back on the film and wondered if it was all worth it. It's slow, methodical and ambiguous, which is all fine as long as the payoff supports it. But even with a shockingly violent finale, I was left feeling "so that's all it was?". I think this would have worked way better as a 30-minute short film.

2.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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When might we expect to see the Fran Challenges?

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Shaman Tank Spec posted:

Movie #5: The Innkeepers (2011)

Have you seen House of the Devil? Same director. It has that same "nothing much happens for a long time and then BAM" thing going on, but it works a lot better. Though for the record I also really like The Innkeepers, but House of the Devil is a lot stronger.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#10

Letís Scare Jessica to Death
John D. Hancock, 1971



Don't let the title or the poster fool you. This isn't schlock. It's a mature, atmospheric, technically excellent psychological horror film akin to Polanski's early work. Zohra Lampert plays Jessica, a kind, optimistic woman who recently suffered a mental breakdown and is attempting to reboot her life by moving with her husband and friend to a small town. They move into an old house with a sordid past and meet a girl named Emily, who they invite to live with them. Jessica begins seeing some scary things, and we're instantly in doubt whether it's real or in her mind. The film does a fantastic job maintaining ambiguity while still remaining tense and at times genuinely scary.

You can tell early on that Jessica is sort of a broken person. Lampert plays her beautifully. She's almost always smiling, yet there's a constant glimmer of desperation in her eyes. It's just a wonderful performance. The movie's oozing with atmosphere. Much like The Tenant, it keeps us in a constant state of unease without telling us exactly why. There's something not right. We get some clues and hints, but even if we think we've figured something out, the unstable mental state of our protagonist keeps us at arm's length from any grounded answers. It's mesmerizing and awesome.

This is one of my new favorite 70's horror films.

5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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I'm going to make the challenges even tougher on myself and use the They Shoot Zombies list entries I haven't seen as my bank of options. Obviously it won't be 100% but I'll get as close as possible.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#11

Prince of Darkness
John Carpenter, 1987



There are some neat ideas here, namely the confluence of science and religion, satanic holding chambers being kept secret for millennia, and dudes with bugs for guts. And I appreciate the ominous tone the film establishes in its first act. Unfortunately it all unravels in the second and third acts. The film draaaags. And there are way too many characters, and with the possible exception of Pleasence they all exist merely to vomit out exposition and/or get turned into demonic zombies. I have a beef with scripts that rely on characters' speculation to explain the plot. Where the characters' best guesses are meant to be taken for granted as accurate and true. I get that these are physics students, but pulling a hypothesis out of your rear end doesn't instantly make it correct. The film does this constantly.

I didn't hate this movie. Like I said there's some good stuff here. But consider me underwhelmed.

2/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987)

2/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), 7. Mother's Day (Who Can Kill a Child?)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Hollismason posted:

Oof Prince of Darknesss is one of my favorite Carpenter films.

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.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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What length is considered to be a short film for the purposes of Fran Challenge #1?

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Would these two qualify:
https://letterboxd.com/film/the-signalman/
https://letterboxd.com/film/whistle-and-ill-come-to-you/

I'm SO close to successfully shoehorning the Fran Challenges into the TSZDT list.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Is a movie based on a video game considered a tie-in? (looks like it might finally be time to see Resident Evil)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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gey muckle mowser posted:

Pieces of Talent

I want to add some support to this suggestion. A fantastic no-budget flick with a great main villain.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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American Movie is so so so loving good (jesus told me so).

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Fran Challenge #10 - Behind the Mask

#12

What We Do in the Shadows
Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, 2014



A film crew sets out to document the lives of some vampires living together as roommates in New Zealand. Why the hell have I put off watching this for so long? It's the funniest thing I've seen in ages. Granted I don't watch many comedies because they rarely make me laugh and usually feel like a waste of time. But not here. I laughed constantly. The dialogue is insanely funny and the jabs at horror tropes are pitch perfect. Plus it's pretty gory and the effects are solid. Man what a great movie.

5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

3/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), 7. Mother's Day (Who Can Kill a Child?), 10. Behind the Mask (What We Do in the Shadows)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#13

The Devilís Advocate (rewatch)
Taylor Hackford, 1997



It'd been well over 20 years since I'd seen this. It holds up. Keanu Reeves give one of his best performances, and Pacino chews the scenery like a voracious hyena. The courtroom stuff and the characters are all compelling, and the finale is pretty wild. +1 for the anti-lawyer sentiment.

4/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devilís Advocate (1997)

3/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), 7. Mother's Day (Who Can Kill a Child?), 10. Behind the Mask (What We Do in the Shadows)

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Fran Challenge #8 - Dead & Buried (RIP Barbara Shelley)

#14

Dracula: Prince of Darkness
Terence Fisher, 1966



This is almost the quintessential Hammer Dracula movie. All the characteristics are in place, from the ominous castle to the red-eyed Christopher Lee to the horse-drawn carriages to the gorgeous Technicolor. It is, however, missing the great Peter Cushing, so that's one big mark against it. The characters are all solid, if a bit uninteresting. The cast do a good job, and Barbara Shelley (RIP) is just gorgeous. My favorite character is the fly-eating, Renfield-esque Ludwig. Christopher Lee doesn't utter a single line in this film, which you'd think would be a detriment but it kinda works. My biggest complaint is the climax, which I won't spoil but will say it's probably the lamest way I've ever seen Dracula taken down. Good thing he'll return for like five more of these movies.

3.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

4/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 10. Behind the Mask

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Class3KillStorm posted:

Was this streaming anywhere, or did you just happen to have a physical copy? I was thinking of watching it for that very Fran Challenge, but for the life of me I can't find it anywhere.

I couldn't find it streaming anywhere either. There is a physical release, but I don't own it.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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The Berzerker posted:

20. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1980)
I watched this specifically to cross it off my watchlist, as it was the last of the top 100 movies from the TSZDT list that I had yet to see. So, that sub-challenge is complete. Anyway, the film - it's notorious. I knew what I was getting into, so I skipped all of the animal cruelty, which means all I was left with was a plodding, poorly made movie full of rape and racism. Guess what, it sucks.

0.5/5


Did you at least like the music?

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Fran Challenge #3 - Camp BLOOD

#15

Madman
Joe Giannone, 1981



It's your standard teens-murdered-at-camp early '80s slasher. Nothing more, nothing less. I liked the killer. He's a big lumbering monster-like dude. Though the rest of the characters are varying degrees of terrible. The kills are solid with a decent amount of gore, and the ending left me a bit surprised. There's nothing particularly special about this, but it fits just fine into the F13-inspired slasher cannon.

3/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), 15. Madman (1981)

5/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 3. Camp BLOOD, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 10. Behind the Mask

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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Fran Challenge #12 - Cavalcade of Creepiness

#16

The House That Dripped Blood
Peter Duffell, 1971



Amicus has yet to let me down. The studio is the king of horror anthologies and The House that Dripped Blood further solidifies that. Of the four stories there isn't a dud in the bunch. Each one is fun, original, full of spooky atmosphere and relatively unpredictable. If I had to pick a favorite it's probably the one with Christopher Lee. What a terrifically macabre ending. The Peter Cushing one is my second favorite. I like how all the stories are based around a common setting, including the framing story. All in all this is an excellent film that I had a lot of fun with.

4/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), 15. Madman (1981), 16. The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

6/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 3. Camp BLOOD, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 10. Behind the Mask, 12. Cavalcade of Creepiness

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

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#17

The Evil Dead (rewatch)
Sam Raimi, 1981



First off the 4k UHD looks spectacular. Of course an early 80s horror movie shot on 16mm is never going to look pristine, but the effect of the ultra high resolution and HDR gives it a film-like quality that home video simply hasn't been able to produce until now. It's really something.

One thing that stuck out to me on this rewatch is how narratively sparse the movie is. Raimi and gang had zero fucks to give about creating three dimensional characters, backstories or narrative through lines. The Evil Dead is simply 85 minutes of gore, goop, demons and crazy pov shots. And it's glorious.

Something else that I appreciated even more on this watch is the wonderful gore. There's SO much of it, especially compared to the sequels (even EDII pales in comparison in terms of quantity), and it's the gnarly, nasty sort of gore I love. As much as I love EDII, nothing in that film makes me cringe like the eyeball gouge. And those stop motion effects near the end are killer.

It's interesting to think back to horror films ca. 1981 and consider just how markedly different The Evil Dead was from anything else being produced at the time. In an era where horror filmmakers were beginning to settle into the safe space of generic Friday the 13th ripoffs, Sam Raimi made something truly unique and memorable. Seeing this in the theater upon its release must have been an absolute trip.

5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), 15. Madman (1981), 16. The House That Dripped Blood (1971), 17. The Evil Dead (1981)

7/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 3. Camp BLOOD, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 9. Scream, Queen!, 10. Behind the Mask, 12. Cavalcade of Creepiness

Spatulater bro! fucked around with this message at 19:49 on May 15, 2021

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Great writeup DDD. Looks like I picked the right version to watch. Those color shots of the portrait were just incredible.

And my dumb rear end didn't make the LGBTQ connection, so I am retroactively counting it for FC #9.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Debbie Does Dagon posted:

Thank you! And I'm glad I wasn't the only person who was shocked by the colour reveal, I literally did a double take. It's amazing that those techniques are still so powerful 76 years later.

When the decrepit version was suddenly revealed, it actually gave me a jump. I love that painting. I probably mentioned it in my review but I saw it on display in Chicago years ago and it was my favorite piece in the entire museum. I couldn't stop staring at it.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Fran Challenge #11 - Myths & Legends

#18

Alligator
Lewis Teague, 1980



It plays off the urban legend of flushing an alligator down the toilet and (with the aid of a shady pharmaceutical company) it mutating into a giant man-eater. Robert Forster - whose receding hairline is inexplicably a point of interest of everyone he meets - plays our hero, and he does a good job helping us take this shlock seriously. The mid section drags a bit, but when the alligator action starts up it's pretty great. The filmmakers opted to use scaled down models to make the gator appear larger, and it's a mostly successful technique. Combined with a decent looking creature puppet, the effects work. I'm glad they stayed away from blue screens and composition shots. I liked this. It's stupid fun.

3.5/5



#19

The Terror Within II
Andrew Stevens, 1991



It's pretty much just like the first one in terms of filmmaking adeptness (read: low), though the budget appears to be higher as the creature effects are more convicting and more abundant. It also has both the best looking beard (R. Lee Ermey's) and the worst looking beard (Andrew Stevens') I've ever seen.

Good beard:


Bad beard:


2.5/5



Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), 15. Madman (1981), 16. The House That Dripped Blood (1971), 17. The Evil Dead (1981), 18. Alligator (1980), 19. The Terror Within II (1991)

8/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 3. Camp BLOOD, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 9. Scream, Queen!, 10. Behind the Mask, 11. Myths & Legends, 12. Cavalcade of Creepiness

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Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



#20

Homicidal
William Castle, 1961



This is the first William Castle film I've seen which aims to be legitimately frightening. Sure House on Haunted Hill made me poo poo my pants when I first saw it, but I was only 8 years old at the time. Homicidal is a legit horror movie. It ditches (most of) the camp of the director's previous horror fare and goes for a more Hitchcockian approach. And it succeeds. Of course it's no Psycho, but it's surprisingly close! It's genuinely mysterious throughout, and pretty drat violent. There's an early murder that took me by complete surprise. The characters' motives and relations with one another aren't clear until the very end, and the movie does a wonderful job keeping my mind racing with possible theories. And adding even more fuel to the fire of mystery is the introduction of a particular character who just seems a bit... off.

And no Castle film would be complete without a gimmick. In this case it's the "Fright Break". Just before the climax, the film pauses and displays a countdown clock of about 45 seconds. Anyone too scared to watch the ending of the movie had the opportunity to leave the theater and receive a refund. The only caveat was that they had to stand in the "coward's corner" until the movie finished and be mocked by the remaining theater goers. According to interviews, very few people took the film up on this offer. I mean who could leave without seeing the incredible payoff?

And it IS pretty incredible. I won't spoil it, but suffice it so say it's something Hitchcock would be proud of.

4/5




Films watched: 1. Witchfinder General (1968), 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 3. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 4. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 5. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976), 6. The Raven (1935), 7. A Bucket of Blood (1959), 8. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), 9. Hunter Hunter (2020), 10. Letís Scare Jessica to Death (1971), 11. Prince of Darkness (1987), 12. What We Do in the Shadows (2014), 13. The Devil's Advocate, 14. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), 15. Madman (1981), 16. The House That Dripped Blood (1971), 17. The Evil Dead (1981), 18. Alligator (1980), 19. The Terror Within II (1991), 20. Homicidal (1961)

8/13 Fran Challenges completed: 2. Sometimes They Come Back, 3. Camp BLOOD, 7. Mother's Day, 8. Dead & Buried, 9. Scream, Queen!, 10. Behind the Mask, 11. Myths & Legends, 12. Cavalcade of Creepiness

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