The Annual October Horror Movie Watching Thread - 2015 Edition!!!

Discussion in 'General' started by maskull, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    2015 Round-Up:

    Total Films Watched: 16 +1 watched twice.
    Total First Time Viewings: 10
    YoY: -6% from 17 viewings in 2014.

    So, even with a move I still managed to watch a decent amount of fun films and some truly terrible ones as well. I didn't watch Waxwork or any Evil Dead films, which is a rare miss in October for me.

    First time viewing highlights:
    • Kung Fury
    • Oculus
    • American Werewolf in London (swore I've seen it before but guess I confused it with Paris.)
    First time viewing lowlights:
    • Poltergeist (2015)
    • Seventh Son
    I really enjoyed reading through this thread this year--great participating that went beyond simply posting lists. Taking the time to share your thoughts--no matter how brief--on what you watched goes a long way. Thank you, horrordvds posters, for the effort!
     
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  2. ImmortalSlasher

    ImmortalSlasher Active Member

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    Only movies that I've seen for the first time. I watched others that are the usual Halloween movies like Halloween (Original), Halloween 3, and Night of the Living Dead (Original & Remake). But either I've reviewed those before or people know they are good movies to view during the Halloween month. I didn't watch anywhere near as much as I wanted to and thought I would be cleared up for this Halloween month. I missed watching many like It Follows. But I'm already planning ahead this time so next year will be a movie a day or at least three for the weekend.


    Evil Dead (Original) - I wrote this review before watching Evil Dead 2.

    I was surprised that this was Sam Raimi's first full movie. It has tons of crazy effects and camera shots. It's a really impressive first release. After seeing this movie I get why some don't like the remake. I don't understand changes to remake. And I was expecting things to happen because I saw the remake and some notable imagery from those older movies like poster artwork. When those things didn't happen I was confused. Anyway, it's a very dark, graphic, and gruesome movie. Even more than the remake at times. I can see where a lot of Cabin in the Woods came from with Evil Dead. Definitely a movie all horror fans need to see.


    Evil Dead 2 -

    I didn't get the opening to this one. At first I thought Ash was taking another girl to the cabin. Then I thought it was a dream sequence. But it seems to be a retelling of the original movie. I don't know why they didn't go the Friday the 13th Part 2 route. Or just start right where they left Part 1. They also added comedy to Part 2 which was strange and made me think why am I watching this at times. However after seeing it, I now get what the Evil Dead remake did. They tried to do something similar to the Friday the 13th remake. Combine what they thought were the best elements and add their own touch. I think it was kind of a good idea. As Evil Dead 1 & 2 go to places that seem kind of odd and lean towards more horror, comedy, and sci-fi. Where the remake is straight horror. I still like the remake. At least I wasn't as offended by it like many people I've seen review it on horror forums. The remake is more in the spirit of the original Evil Dead and the overall themes than the Friday the 13th remake. I think in some ways Evil Dead isn't a movie that needed a remake. It's so out there that it's best left alone. I haven't seen Part 3 yet. But it's not something I'm really looking forward to.
     
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  3. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

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    ** = first time viewing
    10/01 - Shakma (1990) 3/10 **
    10/01 - You're Next (2011) 1/10 **
    10/01 - The Angry Red Planet (1959) 3/10 **
    10/02 - The Blob (1958) **
    10/02 - The Stuff (1985) 4/10 **
    10/03 - Beware! The Blob (1972) 7/10 **
    10/03 - Ghosthouse (1988) 4/10 **
    10/04 - Witchery (1988) 4/10 **
    10/04 - The Eerie Midnight Horror Show (Enter the Devil) (1974) 6/10 **
    10/05 - The Wicker Man [Theatrical Cut] (2006) **
    10/06 - Quatermass 2 (Enemy from Space) (1957) 7/10 **
    10/07 - Quatermass and the Pit (Five Million Years to Earth) (1967) 6/10 **
    10/08 - X: The Unknown (1956) 5/10 **
    10/09 - Cellar Dweller (1988) 7/10 **
    10/09 - Catacombs (1988) 6/10 **
    10/10 - Dolls (1987) 6/10 **
    10/10 - A Candle for the Devil (It Happened at Nightmare Inn) (1973) 8/10 **
    10/11 - The Enchanting Ghost (Gui wu li ren) (1970) 2/10 **
    10/11 - Come Back to Me (2014) 5/10 **
    10/12 - Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) 9/10 **
    10/13 - Murderous Intent (1986) 4/10 **
    10/13 - Fright House (1989) 4/10 **
    10/14 - The H-Man (1958) 6/10 **
    10/15 - The Space Children (1958) 6/10 **
    10/16 - Demons 2 (1986) 6/10 **
    10/16 - Attack of the Morningside Monster (2014) 2/10 **
    10/17 - Tentacles (1977) 3/10 **
    10/17 - Deadly Blessing (1981) 8/10
    10/18 - Countess Dracula (1971) 6/10 **
    10/18 - Countess Dracula [Kim Newman & Stephen Jones commentary] (1971)
    10/19 - The Uninvited (1944) **
    10/20 - The Vampires' Night Orgy [Uncut] (1974) 5/10 **
    10/21 - Lone Wolf (1988) 2/10 **
    10/22 - Witchtrap (1989) 5/10
    10/23 - The Godsend (1980) 3/10 **
    10/23 - The Entity (1982) 7/10 **
    10/24 - Night of the Seagulls (1975) 6/10 **
    10/24 - Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) 3/10 **
    10/25 - The Blob (1988) 7/10 **
    10/25 - Crypt of Dark Secrets (1976) 3/10 **
    10/26 - Contamination .7 (The Crawlers) (1993) 2/10 **
    10/27 - The Loreley's Grasp (1974) 5/10 **
    10/28 - Santo vs. The Killers from Other Worlds (Santo contra los asesinos de otros mundos) (1973) **
    10/28 - Elvira's Thriller Video: The House That Bled to Death (1980) **
    10/29 - Elvira's Movie Macabre: Tormented (1960) **
    The Hitchhiker: Face To Face (12/4/1984) 6/10 **
    The Hitchhiker: Dead Heat (1987) 4/10 **
    The Hitchhiker: The Curse (1986) 8/10 **
    The Hitchhiker: Out of the Night (1985) 6/10 **
    10/30 - Halloween [Theatrical Cut] (2007) 9/10
    10/31 - Halloween II [Theatrical Cut] (2009) 6/10




    Masters of Horror S1: Homecoming (2005) 1/10 **
    Hated this. Not made for me.



    Halloween [Theatrical Cut] (2007) 9/10
    This my first viewing of the Theatrical cut and I prefer it over the longer Unrated version. It’s the most brutal and tense slasher film I’ve seen. I find myself slinking into my couch and clinching my teeth as Myers eviscerates his victims. Tyler Mane’s Michael is the most imposing villain in cinema history. He is a force like no other. I enjoy a lot of the little touches in the film as well, especially the familiar faces and nods to the original. Loomis and Brackett in particular are a real treat.


    Halloween II [Theatrical Cut] (2009) 6/10
    Once again Tyler Mane’s Michael is terrifying. Even as a hobo. I hate the ghost mommy crap and every time young Michael is on the scene. If they couldn’t get the same kid, they should have told a different story. I do love the Dr. Loomis stuff. Brad Dourif and Malcolm McDowell are terrific. I find the Theatrical Cut to be more pleasant so that’s the cut I prefer. This sequel isn’t great but its still worthwhile.




    I wanted to mention a funny thing that happened a few weeks ago. My kids are 7, 6 and 3. The only exposure to horror my two youngest kids have had are cartoons like Alvin and Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein. My oldest has watched the original Universal Monsters films and some 50’s Sci-fi like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE BLOB. None of them have ever seen anything like FRIDAY THE 13TH or any other modern horror franchises. We don’t have cable TV so I doubt they’ve seen them as part of pop culture either. When we went to the Halloween store to pick out some costumes they were all freaked out by some of the scary masks. All of them had nightmares that night. My oldest was staring at a wall of the most gruesome zombies and franchise figures (eg. Ghost Face, Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, werewolves). I asked him what mask was the scariest. To my surprise he quickly pointed to the Michael Myers mask. I ask him why and in a somber tone he said “there’s nothing behind his eyes”. My jaw about hit the floor. I would have guessed that to someone with no knowledge of Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN, a Michael Myers mask would be about as scary as a William Shatner mask painted white. But for some reason my son started channeling Dr Loomis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  4. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Oct. 30th
    [​IMG]
    Blood Brothers
    (1989) - VHS (Rewatch)
    Blood Brothers is a glorified home movie, shot by underground artist Mike Diana and his young siblings and friends in Florida in 1989, and would three years later lead to his arrest for "obscenity charges" when an undercover cop bought a copy, a couple of 'zines Mike self published, and another video project called Baked Baby Jesus. Blood Brothers centres around two friends (kids who can't be any older than 12 years old) who, after snorting (or blowing around) a pile of cocaine that would make Nikki Sixx OD, cut themselves with razors and perform the 'blood brothers' ritual and go on a neighbourhood killing spree killing kids and adults alike. This is one of those rare home made gore movies that delivers in spades, featuring hammers to hands, pliers pulling out tongues, eye gouging, beheading, disembowelling, a coat hanger abortion, and the final Blood Brother being stabbed to death with a safety pin and then resurrected as a Christ-like figure which then leads into a hallucinatory sequence, which is really footage from another earlier Mike Diana home made film called The Shed, that's chock full of more no-budget but effectively gory excessive violence and death. Running only 50 minutes, Blood Brothers is a video assault that gives Dead Alive a run for it's money in the gore department, and being made by kids still has a weird charm for it despite the fact that it shatters taboos and crosses many lines. Blood Brothers is an essential DIY underground horror home movie cult classic! Rating: 5/5

    Oct. 31st
    [​IMG]

    Ernest Scared Stupid (1991) - Blu-ray (Rewatch)
    Ernest (Jim Varney) awakens a curse when he builds a treehouse where a troll is buried, unleashing onto the town and its children pure terror when the troll turns them into wooden statues that when placed into the tree bring forth a whole troll army. Can Ernest save the day? Ernest Scared Stupid is my Halloween tradition, and brings back fond memories for me as it holds a special place being the first 'horror' film I saw in the theatre. After many, many repeat viewings it never gets old, and retains its charm, humour, and heart, as well as a few good scares and amazing practical effects from the Chiodo Brothers! Essential! Rating: 5/5

    [​IMG]
    Scream
    (1996) - Blu-ray (Rewatch)
    After their friends and classmates are brutally murdered, a group of teens with a connection to a previous year old murder in the sunny town of Woodsboro are targeted by a killer with a penchant for prank calls and scary movie trivia. Wes Craven's Scream revived the slasher film in the '90s and turned the genre on its head with a self-referential humour that supplemented the scares while breaking the rules. Shot in the style of television at the time, which offered a safe, well lit environment, it gleefully smashes that safety with its bloody and violent death toll that contrasts and comments on society and violence in a satirical way while still being smart, funny, and scary after all these years despite looking somewhat dated. Rating: 3.5/5

    So there we go, that rounds out 2015's October Madness with a final toll of 69 horror films during the month, 40 of which were first time views. And for shits and giggles, here's what I dressed up as this year - went to two events so two different costumes:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Friday night as "The Fiend" from Science Crazed. Saturday night as "The Brown Knight" from Murder Party.
     
  5. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I'm going through horror withdrawal. Let's start the Official November movie watching thread. Although December may be better since there are so many X-mas themed horror films.
     
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  6. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

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    My thanks to all of you that participated. I enjoyed reading all of your impressions and got some great recommendations.

    I didn't get to watch near as much as I wanted to as the Royals kept me busy watching baseball. Not complaining and I hope they make a yearly tradition out of playing on Halloween.

    MorallySound did you create all of those screenshots? If so, great work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
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  7. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Yup, all were taken on my phone as I watched the movie (aside from the theatrical viewings as of course no phones allowed, so those are just grabs off the net) then edited afterwords.
     
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  8. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    33 10/23 Mystery Science Theater 3000: Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1985)
    Not much of a horror film, and not much for the season, but a dopey monster movie none the less and one of the best MST3k episodes out there. The boys find a nice balance riffing this one, when they usually struggle against the less serious ones like this one. The skits mimicking the legend status of the skunk ape with Bobo has some of my favorite moments and Perhl's interaction with the "small one" patting his head is a fav of mine.

    34 10/23 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
    Oh Bill Rebane, what posses you to make these films? While the scenes with live tarantulas are all relatively acceptable that fake giant spiders are worse than any fake spiders in cinema history. They go a bit more out of their way for the skits here and as usual Kevin Murphy shines as Bobo, which is a tricky thing to do with such a simple character.

    35 10/23 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
    An absolute top tier effort from the boys here and a prime example of what makes this series so great. The film itself is endlessly fun and the unique way the crew just sorta goes along with all of it, hardly picking on the film itself (except in the skits) and instead focusing mostly on expanding upon the characters and on screen action. Joel's voice for the Gila Monster is knee slappingly spot on and some of my all time favorite MST3k moments. Great fun.

    36 10/23 Count Dracula ( El Conde Drácula ) (1970)
    Dedicating the last week to Sir Christopher Lee, I kicked it all off with perhaps Lee's best portrayal of his most iconic character. Lee has a great turn with his divergence on the history of the Dracula's. It's an opportunity none of the other Dracula roles offered him and a bit of a shame that ever here there moments are all short live. I think he especially relished give the brides the baby to snack on instead of Harker. But it's especially a shame as none of the other actors gave an ounce of effort here with all concerned parties particularly sleepwalking their way through this; especially Kinksi who most have agreed to do it only on the condition that he not speak a word of dialog.

    The sets are beautiful however and a lot of Franco's tendencies are in check; which to an extent is it great downfall. Franco fans aren't going to find much to like and others are going to find even less. I do like the more ghostly apparitions of the vampires here and the taxidermy scene is both kinda cool and rather hooky. But once you get past what this film isn't and meet it half way with what it truly is then one can appreciate more and more that is remains quite a few steps up from the average Dracula adaptation.

    Unfortunately I was way too tired to watch Cuadecuc, vampir (1971) as I had hoped too. I'll save that for Severin's upcoming Blu-ray release now I guess, which this showing has convinced me is worth purchasing after all.

    37 10/24 Mystery Science Theater 3000: Monster a Go-Go! (1965)
    Even more Bill Rebane. This time he's combined resources, or squandered, with Herschell Gordon Lewis. Whenever anyone claims such-and-such is the worst movie ever made, even other MSt3k movies like Manos, just dust of this chestnut and see how long that opinion holds. I can only imagine the pure film itself would be insufferable. The boys too seem as dumbfounded as us and while perhaps not their best riffs they do make this somehow worth sticking with until the bitter confused end.

    38 10/24 Svengoolie Presents, The Cat and the Canary (1939)
    Lighting struck twice with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard between Ghost Breakers and this their first pairing. From the pitch perfect production design, eerie nuances (like the light fixtures) and the wise cracks, this has quickly become a favorite of mine of the past few years. And once again Gale Sondergaard is marvelous.

    39 10/24 Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins (1987)
    The boys went full force with the worst movie ever stick on this one. And honestly it's not THAT bad at all, infact on its own it's a rather enjoyable time waster all things considered. One of the view MST3k films with a reputation as being one of the worst that you can easy enjoy on its own. And it has a surprisingly well done sequel to boot. But that doesn't change the fact that the riffs here are all killer, well placed and well delivered. An absolute favorite of mine and I don't got more than a year without indulging at least onces in seeing it.

    00 10/24 Halloween Is Grinch Night (1977)
    Always a crowd favorite at my Halloween party, the fact that there's a Grinch Stole Christmas equivalent still seems to blow minds. I'm still blown that Dr. Seuss was able to sneak 666 so blatantly into a song. And that this is essentially the tunnel sequence from Willy Wonka all over again. They just don't make scary stuff like this for kids. Sure they'll put some spooky sequences into things, but this is some fucked up shit. No way in hell anything remotely like this gets made these days.

    00 10/24 A Disney Halloween (1983)
    Speaking of messed up sequences, this Disney clipshow special includes the Heffalumps and Woozles nightmare sequence from Winnie the Pooh and is quite simply one of the most captivating sequences Disney ever assembled. There's a very short clip from Lonesome Ghosts (1937) which is an absolute laugh riot and it's too bad so very little of it is included here for my friends to see. I have it on a VHS and I'm just start with that next time instead.

    When looking up some spellings I found out there's a Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie which I'm going to have to check out now.

    40 10/24 Planet of the Vampires ( Terrore nello spazio ) (1965)
    Being the fourth year of my Halloween movie night I went with a space theme in honor of Leprechaun IV: In Space. And so Plant of the Vampire instantly came into my mind. However it became clear early on that people quite appreciating this the same way as us horror fans do. As a Mario Bava fan it did burst my bubble a bit and we all can forget what we love about horror might not translate as well to modern viewers. The 'ahead of its time'-ness was truly lost on the viewers who were mostly baffled by its simple yet somehow confusing for them plot. I constantly had to explain things that were only briefly and visually expressed throughout the film. Today's audience just don't understand plot points if they're not dialog expositions. And the fact that something isn't explained upfront becomes something of a negative instead of a positive. Truly the art of a good mystery may be lost for good on future generations. With all that said Bava's technical work still won the day and there were a lot of EFX shots I know in my head how they were done but many didn't even still didn't know they were looking at forced perspective and other simple tricks. Plus it appears to us that the laser beams were just flame throwers and that fucking rocks!

    41 10/24 Wild Zero (1999)
    Surprisingly went over much better. Someone guessed the twist right away and couldn't keep his mouth shut so that rather irked me. But the metal fans amoung us really digged Guitar Wolf's sound, a favorite band of mine since my own introduction to this film. The green zombies also went over real big and we don't really see fun zombies anymore do we like Return of the Living Dead? At least mainstream that is. Unfortunately zombies have become a bit too standardized for my liking since the Dawn of the Dead remake.
     
  9. Rft183

    Rft183 Member

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    I enjoyed everyone's posts too. I'd never heard of a lot of those movies, and so it's great for recommendations (pro or con!). I also didn't get to watch near as much as I'd like, but it's because my wife isn't as big of a horror fan as I am. I can only force her to watch so much! We have been watching Twin Peaks throughout October, and I think it counts as horror :)
     
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  10. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    42 10/25 Ben Mankiewicz Presents, Dracula (1931) [theater]
    First time seeing this in the theaters, and was rather relieved that is was the original soundtrack and not the Philip Glass score. I was surprised to be greeted by Ben Mankiewicz; I fully expected Robert Osbourne (not a horror fan? Mank did Psycho too, which didn't surprise me too much at the time.)
    Mank gave some nice details on Lon Chaney Sr. originally set to do the role, and put the math together that Chaney died on August 26th, while shooting started on Dracula on September 29th. I've felt now that Todd Browning was still deeply mourning during the shooting of this film. Mank also notes though that Lugosi had been playing the character since 1927 on the stage and so this is very much a well refined and well rehearsed performance from Lugosi. His phonetic days were behind him at this point.

    43 10/25 Ben Mankiewicz Presents, Drácula (1931) [theater]
    I'm not much of a fan of this one and Carlos Villarías portrays Dracula very much in an old world boogie man character way. A top hat villain characteristic of the silents of the previous era; with bug eyes, a toothy grin, and cartoonish rage. It really helps show how Lugosi's portrayal radically changed the way horror "villains" would be performed there after. One sequence I do prefer here is the spider web scene. We're given an establishing shot of Renfield closely following Dracula, a reverse closeup of Renfield turning away for a moment, then a reaction shot, and an establishing shot of Dracula through the web. It's handled much more cinematically here, whereas in the English version this sequence can be a little confusing. It also occurs to me now that the script is very different here. Not simply changes that could be made by editing as there's staging and transitional dialog that is just simply not there in the English version in any form. A good example is Renfield cuts himself on a staple or paper clip in the English version, but in the Spanish version he cuts himself with the bread knife JUST like Harker in Nosferatu. This also helps reinforce the fact that Universal had obtained a print of Nosferatu and the film makers referenced it in the making of both films. About half of the small crowd left after the opening act in Transylvania, can say I blame them. But if I paid for two movies I'm going to see two movies damn it

    44 10/26 Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)

    Getting back to Christopher Lee I decided to bridge the past few weeks with this film co-staring Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele. This was a first time viewing for me but while I suspected Steele wouldn't feature much I was still disappointed with what they gave her to do here. I mean, with green skin and that head piece you could have had some great stuff. Instead the dream sequences are timid while the reality of the film is pretty intriguing. The plot unravels with a degree of mystery and mixes in some appetizing exploitation to good effect. Karloff I must say steals the show here and outshines Christopher Lee I'm afraid. Even the finale which was Lee's chance to finally chew some scenery yet he seems to be sleepwalking more here than any other time throughout the film. A fine film that could have been much approved upon me thinks.

    00 10/27 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Nightmares" (1997)
    This is a rather cool episode and they take the opportunity to go more in depth with all the main characters. One carry over is Willow's stage fright which was also well illustrated in the "The Puppet Show." Buffy's fears were well thought out, well suited and well done. The final reveal is a brave choice of the production and I'm glad they were allowed to do it. This really solidified the show in my mine as a genuine great show. To be honest I never imagined it would go this far and I'm very glad my lark has made me a big fan.

    00 10/27 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" (1997)
    What was I saying again about this being a genuine show? This episode is a bit by the numbers here, with all the mystery sucked out early on and a lot of poorly thought out plot decisions. There's a lot of good stuff on paper in here but the execution is seriously lacking and it just unfolds as disingenuous. But then every show will have a few episodes that are flops and this episode did aim high. A few more polishes may have made the difference here.

    45 10/27 The Devil Rides Out (1968)
    I don't think I appreciated it last time, but this film keeps its foot on the gas throughout and is a cool little bit of film. The spiritualism of the period is an interest of mine and so all the ingredients found here satisfies me greatly. Christopher Lee is excellent here, especially during the climatic sequence in the protected circle. It reminds me very much of Viy, another favorite of mine and the fact that it holds up so well to it is in testament to its power. The final act does kinda fizzle a bit by comparison and the finale is a bit of a WTF? but with the way the audience shares the experience with the characters it would seem harsh without the happy ending.

    46 10/28 Dracula (1931) [theater]
    The theater did not show any of the TCM bumpers during this showing; which is too bad because that's half the fun with these TCM showings. It's gotten to the point that even when I play some old movies on DVD I'm waiting for Robert Osbourne to close it out after the credits roll.
    Any ways, the producers' edits of the film re-arranging sequences from the shooting script become much more apparent when going back to the English here. Watching this now again after the Spanish version I can see that for Renfield the original gag where he's menacing the fainted maid was probably originally shot with the same resolution of the Spanish version. However there's no fly wrangler on this one, nor in the parlor when Renfield first encounters Van Helsing for the first time. It was seem that the Spanish version uses a translation of an earlier script and it was somehow allowed to evolve more in the English version. I suspect the dialog between the Maid and the Guard was Browning but it's difficult to say who prompted the other changes.

    47 10/28 Drácula (1931) [theater]
    There wasn't an intermission, and the theater lights went up too early during the ending of the first Dracula, so I went to the staff and got them to correct the system's programming. After almost 20 minutes they got it going again, fast forwarded through Ben Mankiewicz's opener, and started the Spanish one cold instead.

    After watching the three previous showings, this is the only viewing that got snickers from the crowd. Which I think is pretty damn good, as if we're being honest there's plenty to snicker about on this one. What's especially interesting is getting a new perspective on the sets and for example seeing that the tapestries in Dracula's castle has ghostly faces all down it; and that it shares set space with the crypt. It's kinda sureal somehow to get to see all that. Also there's more footage used from The Phantom of the Opera from the Stage 28 sequence. Which is kind of a nice tributre considering Chaney's almost involvement.

    We did get the epilogue from Mank though, wishing me a Happy Halloween so that's nice. He mentioned Lupita Tovar, who played Mina's role, is the grandmother of Chris Weitz director of The Twilight Saga: New Moon which for the past few years I've almost watch the Rifftrax of but haven't managed. Could have made a nice feature of that if I had the lead time.
     
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  11. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    00 10/29 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Prophecy Girl" (1997)
    The Finale of Season 1. A great pay off to what's set up in the "Nightmares" episode with both Buffy and Giles. There was always a well done theme of a reluctant Slayer throughout the first season and its well handled here. Not too whiny but a real human understandable reaction from Buffy. I like where they're going with Xander now, and he's become very Bruce Campbell-esque to me. I was surprised by how much Cordelia was included here too. I wasn't expecting this much of a resolution so I'll be interested in seeing where they take the show after this.

    Overall this was a very strong season, with only a few clunkers and even though the vampire episodes at first seemed the dullest of the bunch they soon picked up and were able to keep the true meat of the show on the bones here.

    00 10/29 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "When She Was Bad" (1998)
    Season 2, Episode 1. There's some nice continuity here with Buffy more or less still stuck in "kickass mode" from the end of Season 1. There
    was a bit of a change with how SMG acted after her comeback in the Finale and it carried over to the season opener. So it's a nice bit of
    acting here that I even noticed a switch a flicked at the end of last season, but this episode really helped drive that home. That they
    dedicate this first episode to almost entirely being a character study of Buffy is telling of how important getting this right is to the show
    runners.

    48 10/29 The Mummy (1959)
    Even if these aren't the first things that come to mind, I had to go with thee classics as a tribute of Christopher Lee running up to Halloween.

    It's easy to shrug this off as Lee just wrapped up in bandages, but he does a lot of work in the flashbacks as Kharis and much of it is in his wheel house using that commanding voice of his. Plus his physical work as the Mummy is good too, with his body reaction and just with his eyes seeing Yvonne Furneaux. Speaking of whom, compared to Zita Johann in the '32 Mummy, Yvonne Furneaux purely wasted here. Which is too bad as a duel roll as a reincarnated princess is a plum role any actress would love and Zita hit it out of the part so well. I'd like to have seen what Yvonne could have done with it.

    00 10/30 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Some Assembly Required" (1998)
    As a Frankenstein fan I must say that I was ultimately satisfied with this episode. It does come out more like the later Bride chapters of
    Mary Shelly's book which is great. While there are some of the usual stereotypes within I somewhat chalk that up to both executive's
    influences and the simple fact that this is set in a high school; you have to use some of these tropes. So I think the balance is fairly
    well done. The ramifications however goes rather unremarked; especially compared to "Out of Mind, Out of Sight." The only thing
    really missing is the whole creation sequence, which for any show runner is the reason why you do an episode like this. Surprised they
    didn't give it at least a flashback or two.

    00 10/30 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "School Hard" (1998)
    This is a fun episode for SMG and I'm glad they did this as a way to expand upon her character's progression while giving us something more
    of a light turn. And finally Spike appears, whom I was expecting to show up third season at least. As a Billy Idol knock off I'm somewhat
    perplexed what possessed them to place him in here; although his female counterpart Drusilla I feel is a genuinely creepy addition that
    borderlines on too wrong but keeps it well enough inline. It also hints at something more with the Mom and new principle that I'm
    interested in seeing revealed as the show continues.

    00 10/30 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Inca Mummy Girl" (1998)

    Like a lot of my planning this year, in hindsight I could have shifted these around a bit out of airing order to make for better double features. But no matter it was all in good fun anyways.

    A nice re-imaging of the traditional plot and a good story arch for Xander AND Willow. That they were able to tie it well into Buffy's plight as thee Slayer is a good thought but I think they didn't reflect enough on that in the Finale. I snuck in Robot vs. The Aztech Mummy this year too so I've ended up with a lot more mummy than I originally bargained for. The peak at Oz is kinda fun too and it's about damn time I would say.

    49 10/30 The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    I'm not much of a Hammer fan, but I adore Peter Cushing and I love their Frankenstein series almost purely because of the character Cushing has crafted. No matter how poor the productions get in this series the character of Frankenstein remains indelible. And Hazel Court is able to bring a lot of life and liberty to an otherwise forgetful part. But then who can forget a redhead? But this is all a tribute for Christopher Lee, and he too is excellent here. He gives a very uncharacteristic performance as the victim; alternating between a lost soul or a wounded animal to a angry brute or a hungry beast. Pantomime that I'm sure Karloff would have been very proud of. I would place this above his Mummy and Dracula, as there's a complex human/inhuman portrayal here that carries through despite the heavy makeup, short screen time, and all the expectations we place on Frankenstein's Monster. Here he is truly a Monster of Frankenstein's creation, a twisted creature formed by its narcissistic parent.

    50 10/30 Horror of Dracula (1958)
    And as the pinnacle to the Hammer repertoire I've gone with the much lauded role of Sir Christopher Lee's, the prince of blood himself. There is an interesting urgency to Lee's portrayal of Dracula. A man of quick decisive action; no slow creeping 'round found here! One thing the Hammers did consistently was rev up the characters, increase the action, and accentuate it all with loud bombastic colors. And to a very real degree that's why the Hammers really fail to capture me. I enjoy the darker, slower ones, "what take their time." I'm not much a fan of the book either but the changes made are more bewildering than bringing anything truly interesting to the table. I guess in final tribute to I can say neither Lee nor I much like the way Hammer treated him and his Dracula; so we are very much simpatico.

    00 10/30 Snow-White (1933)
    I remembered I had this in the first few minutes of Frankenstien, and decided to power through the night and put this on just before midnight. So my first film of Halloween. I almost did a Brothers Grimm theme this year and was going to put cartoon shorts in front too, so I had originally penciled this in long ago but erased it. So it was quite the surprise to see this as the opener on the Bowman Body DVD for Horror Hotel. It also surprised me to see this is yet another spooky inspired Cab Calloway short from the Fleischer Brothers.

    It's rather surreal to see Koko the Clown, a silent star, singing; none the less "monkey music" like this! And for it to be such a spooky short with a funeral dirge may make this one of the first true coulrophobia horror themed films ever made.

    51 10/30 The Bowman Body Presents, The City of the Dead (1960)
    While the previous live recording of House on Haunted Hill came off as exceedingly amateurish and slapped together, this production came off much more polished both in script and in performances. With each skit Bowman slowly puts together the pieces of a haunted hotel with a natural build but the comedic foresight to have everything being relatively simply but made overly difficult by the characters Bowman has to deal with. It's surprising to see this presentation be practically the mirror opposite of the previous production. Especially since they were made back to back! I highly recommend picking this one up, and if you like what you get round off the pair with House on Haunted Hill.

    This was an excellent print, I wonder where Bowman got the transfer from? They could have easily gone Blu-ray from what I can tell. For the film itself the atmosphere is laid very thick; the town exterior is more fog than anything else (I suspect because it was stage bound). It may have a simplistic step-by-step plot without too many surprises but the eerie setting is well done to the satisfaction of most any classic horror fan. Christopher Lee is practically trapped in a room throughout the entire film, although oddly pops up on the altar set so I wonder why they didn't more a bit more prominent use of him. It's another workman like performance out of him and maybe a little to bad this would be the last I see of him this season but it was a most enjoyable turn.

    It doesn't take much to get into this show does it? I made a big mistaken when I turned away from it after watching pieces of the mantis episode. I didn't enjoy what I saw in it, but for some reason decided this type of monster as the exception not the rule and never tuned in again. The fact that the one episode I saw left such a strong mark almost twenty years later is a testament I think to a good show.
     
  12. othervoice1

    othervoice1 Well-Known Member

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    BTVS is my favorite television show of all time. Game of Thrones is close though- but I will always love BTVS . Angel was pretty darn good too
     
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  13. Rocker10

    Rocker10 Well-Known Member

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    Just when I thought everyone was done with the thread...more posts! Can't believe it's around a week past Halloween already. Great thread and I too enjoyed reading everyone's posts!
     
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  14. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I'm telling you, we gotta do a Christmas thread. All holiday related horrors.
     
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  15. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    It's funny to see people praising this thread's longevity, when the fact is I'm just weeks behind in my reviews. :D It's been a good year and I look forward to backtracking through the thread and reading what everyone else said when I get time. Again, these last few posts of mine are something of a ramble, as I just want to put something down for each film.

    52 10/31 The Grudge (2004) [Rifftrax]
    My only Rifftrax this season. And no horror related Rifftrax Live in October either. So I ended up having to watch both Maimi Connection showings in theaters and then watch a horror film for those days in October! Brutal, but I managed.

    I tried fitting this in over most of the month but finally shoehorned it in on the last possible day. Turns out this is just a Mike and Kevin track, before Bill joined in on the fun. As much as I did enjoy The Grudge series I could see where the weak points are and Mike & Kevin nailed them all, and then some, like the true professionals that they are. This is an early one and so their banter is rather rusty. A bit surprising since these two have worked side by side for ten or so years at this point. But they're have their little internal skits for gags but never revisit them throughout. Mike said he use to be called "The Grudge" before Kevin emphatically proved in wrong (in universe of course) but it's never brought up again, in spite of Mike making future riffs that Kevin could have pounced on if so inclined. Now in the modern Rifftrax era (and the MST3k days too) they will revisit such gags throughout.

    53 10/31 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Creeping Terror (1964)
    I almost want to call this film worse than Monster a Go-Go on principle alone, as it has such seedy production history, but damn it's just too much goofy fun to watch so you can't do that. This has the dopiest of dopey monsters along with the dopiest set of teenage victims ever assembled on celluloid. It's also an oddly poignant plot, and well thought out with something akin to biological drones. Add the cynical ending and you have something purely unmatched in cinema history. Mike and the boys are well on their way by this season and we've got the standard horseplay, but the skit where Mike just listens to the Creeping Terror soundtrack on his hi-fi system is the kind of risky gags MST loves to take so I salute them for that.

    I usually like to watch Bride of the Monster now too, but I just ran outta time. Especially since it it originally aired fourth season back to back with...

    54 10/31 Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Manos" The Hands of Fate (1966)
    It's become a true tradition for me to watch "Manos" on Halloween, as much a necessary part of the holiday as everything else. It's occultist, has a satyr and some old world sensibilities too it. So many of the set pieces that I like to indulge in during October. Plus its one of the best if not thee best of MST. And Joel. Don't forget Joel. We had a rainy afternoon but it cleared up by the time I put this on so a lot of kids were coming to the door now so I don't have many distinct-to-this-viewing observations. But I did wonder if some re-editing would help. There's a couple of scenes with the kids making out drawn out later in the movie, which could possibly have been interjected more early on and with some trimming in between made better suspenseful narrative with the cops; if they cops actually had any kinda payoff to the film that is. I'm half tempted now to do a Phantom Edit of the new HD workprint to see.

    I watched the round table discussion the Cinematic Titanic group (basically) had on it and I have to agree with the majority opinion that its a captivating film that has some really great concepts but none of it works. Yet somehow it all does. It occurred to me that I now could watch the MST3k version, the Rifftrax Live version, the "Hands of Felt" puppet version and the full uncut version in HD from Synapse. Think how disturbing that would be?

    00 10/31 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Reptile Boy" (1998)
    Snake gods are some of the oldest on record, so to have an episode where the powerful and elite are still worshiping one is goodie. Xander solidifies himself as Ash her too for me, trying to save the girls for purely selfish reasons only to end up being humiliated in the most Ash-like way. It's like Raimi himself designed it. And with this occult setting this kinda makes for a nice transition from "Manos."

    00 10/31 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Halloween" (1998)

    So to have such a build up, all month, cramming in episodes on long nights, just to finally get to THIS episode, is a bit of a risk. Double down on that for a horror show's first Halloween episode and that really ups the stakes. But it was great, and I'd say the concept itself was awesome and one that Halloween III should have really used instead. It was also a challenge for the writers to keep Buffy relevant while making a nice side road for his character, while also lifting up Willow and Xander. Especially Willow. I also like what they did with Spike here and he's starting to grow on me a bit. He's more of a dope like the Scooby-Gang and that makes for a pretty good fit for the show. Plus he allows the writers a way to shake things up a lot. The build up to Oz is pretty cool and I think Willow deserves it after a season and a half of not much at all. And so what's the deal with The Anointed One now? (No I don't want that answered) I'm interested now to see where they go with Giles, as this plot development.I'm letting myself get way too involved with these characters aren't I?

    So I've already given a pretty good wrap up that seeing these episodes of Buffy for the first time has been a blast, and I hope to continue with it soon. (I'm taking a small break for now) From what I've read the series stays strong until about the last season (typical) so I've got plenty of catching up to do!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    55 10/31 Svengoolie Presents, Frankenstein (1931)
    Last year the Illinois State Congress has declared October 31st as "Svengoolie Rich Koz Day." And by god, this year, Sven showed both Dracula and Frankenstein on this day of days, the day when I traditionally show both Dracula and Frankenstein (and then Bride of Frankenstein). Perfect right? Well I stayed up way too late the night before, partied too hard, and slept right through the 11AM showing of Dracula! Horror of Horrors! I didn't get to see the '31 Dracula a third time this year (or a 7th time if you count the other adaptions). But I didn't miss Frankenstein, my absolute favorite, and Sven gave a nice opening slug wishing everyone a Happy Halloween. This was mostly the same updated version Sven made in the last year of so but added the costume contest from this August's Flashback Horror Weekend. It'd be cool for the season if they dug up a real old episode from the Son of Svengoolie days, or even Jerry G. Bishop days if they could.

    Frankenstein is in the upper echelon for me, one of my 10 ten film of all time. I was talking with a friend who first say Frankenstein this year and remarked that while it isn't scary and it is clearly old that there is something intangible about it that still makes it so good. I've often considered it the fact that many of the filmmakers were involved in the horrors of WWI, especially James Whale who fought in trench ware fare. There was an understanding of real horror that went into this golden age of film making, with so many of the hands the production passed through who were involved in the world war and the depression. So there's this truism to these films that I think crosses over and captivates us still to this day.
    [​IMG]

    00 10/31 Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (1965)
    I always like to slip in this Spook Show staple on Halloween. As incredibly low budget as this is, it's pretty well done with some nice sets and a lot of actors giving fairly good performances. Watching the opening credits it states the actor who played the mad scientist also played one of the detectives, so watching more closely I can definitely tell it's the same guy. But he does look radically different and even his inflection is very different. After watching this for years now I never noticed that before. It's just one of those things where you think the actor himself is some kinda kook but in reality they're just acting.

    56 10/31 Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

    Another absolute favorite of course, it shares the same spot with Frankenstein in my top ten. But to continue where I left off discussing Frankenstein, I think Bride really drives home the fact it's not just the lives the filmmakers lead but the fact that they treated these films as a true art form. A notion that's somewhat lost today. This was considered a performance art not unlike a stage performance, everyone in the industry thought as much at the time. You were paid a flat fee for this performance, it went out to the theaters for a month, like any stage bound performance, and that was it. It was never to be seen again. So they took risks, they followed their hearts, and they didn't hold anything back. Because you weren't trying to make a blockbuster that broke the bank, or gave you residuals from TV airings, or warranted a sequel where you could ask for twice as much. Those things just weren't considered back then. It was more than entertainment, it was art. You watch something like Dracula Untold or '99 Mummy or '04 Van Helsing and the differences are vast. Not just because of technology or audiences today want something faster. But because filmmakers today have nothing to say, no hard earned life lessons to pass on, nor artistic bone in their bodies.

    [As a side note, had I done my planning I would have realized that on November 1st we fall back, so you could say have argued that October 31st had a thirteenth hour! And if I had saved Horror Hotel for after Bride of Frankenstien, I probably wouldn't have stayed up too late Friday, causing me to miss Dracula Saturday, and I still could have slipped in Christopher Lee on Halloween plus synced a major plot point of Horror Hotel having the thirteenth hour! Damn it, and I can't even say "Maybe next year!" And Crap, I forgot to watch Frankenstein 1910!]
     
  16. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    X-Human, I'm enjoying your Buffy write-ups. As others have said, it's my favorite show. I want to rewatch "Some Assembly Required" again!
     

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