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Old 08-26-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
shape22
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A proposal: 61 days of Halloween

31 days just isn't enough. I'm going to start my marathon 9/1 instead of 10/1. That will allow me to squeeze in even more films without monopolizing virtually 100% of my free time.

Who's with me?
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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I'm in for 365 days, but 61 is a start
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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Ah, it's not like I DON'T watch horror the other 11 months of the year. 31 days of October is quite enough, thank you, and actually, I get burned out after a couple of horror marathons anyway.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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I would be quite happy to read any reports/reviews from others who want to go for 2 months, but I usually am unsuccessful at even one month, so I don't think i'll shoot for 2 just yet.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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As it is, my life prevents me from watching a full movie everyday of the week, so now, I only watch full movies at the weekend and retro tv shows on weekdays... Miavi Vice is currently on every night.

So, I am also unsuccessful at one month.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shape22 View Post
31 days just isn't enough. I'm going to start my marathon 9/1 instead of 10/1.
You might as well. Most DVD / blu-ray companies start releasing their Halloween catalog in September anyway.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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I hit it pretty hard but 31 days isn't enough to fit in all of the films I'd like. That said, I'd get burned out if I added even an extra week. So count me out.

Last year I got in 45 films, 3 episodes of The Hitchhiker, and 3 Master of Horror episodes.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Part of the reason I'm going to try this is that it will allow me to work my way through my huge pile of unwatched discs without having to cram in 2 or more a day. I burned out last year because I forced myself to squeeze in too many flicks in too short a window. I think the slower pace will help me to enjoy this a lot more.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Maybe not an ideal answer to your predicament, but have you considered Walpurgis Night, as it's technically Halloween's sister holiday.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/boh/boh15.htm
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Maybe not an ideal answer to your predicament, but have you considered Walpurgis Night, as it's technically Halloween's sister holiday.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/boh/boh15.htm
Hmmm...

30 days of Walpurgis Night in April and 31 days of All Hallow's Eve in October

or

185 days of Halloween starting on Walpurgis Night and ending on All Hallow's Eve
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #11
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Either sounds good to me!
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:09 PM   #12
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I only watch one movie a night during October and I'm totally burned out Nov 1st. I always pencil in to watch A Nightmare Before Christmas just after but I can never bring myself to do it. Although Oct 31st I usually watch 6 or more movies so that might be part of it.

I started working on my daily schedule for October during the slow work week of the 4th of July.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:47 PM   #13
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thanks for the reminder to start my list for October (only doing 31 days, guys, but respect anyone who can double that!)
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:28 AM   #14
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Here are the first 30 days of my marathon:

9/1

1. Open House* 2/5--Laughably inept piece of 80s slasher cheese is pedestrian in every way. No scares or tension--and one of the least intimidating killers in the history of the genre. Opening scene with Morgan Fairchild's little sister features some painfully unfunny schtick before unintentional humor mercifully arrives. Her hysterical reaction shot goes on so long you can't help but laugh. Technical issues provide more yucks. The killer's footsteps sound like he's walking on a hardwood floor even when he's creeping on carpet. Scores some points for the most impressive weapon ever fashioned from a toilet brush handle and an appropriately broad, sleazy performance by Barry Hope. Other cast members are decidedly sub-par. Even Adrienne Barbeau turns in an unconvincing performance. Abundant nudity (including a brief topless shot of Barbeau) helps a little.

2. The Case Of The Scorpion's Tale* 4/5--Well shot Sergio Martino giallo features a good cast of genre regulars, an effective Morricone-esque score, lots of interesting compositions, and a more coherent plot than the genre usually offers. But despite a good body count and mostly impressive gore effects it never rises to the same inspired level as Martino's Torso. Broken bottle attack is a definite highlight. Good but undistinguished.

3. Husk* 2/5--Better than expected After Dark Horrorfest killer scarecrow outing makes sensational use of a dense, claustrophobic cornfield. Briefly overcomes the expected cliched characters and dull banter with some kinetic, well filmed attack scenes in the corn. But eventually bogs down with too much plot, needless flashbacks, and credibility-defying lunkhead behavior by the dwindling cast. Director Brett Simmons definitely knows his way around a camera.

9/2

4. Eaten Alive* 1/5--One of the most pointless, incompetently made, ugly, and excruciating films I've ever had the displeasure to sit through. No narrative to speak of--just a procession of shallow, idiotic characters getting sequentially dispatched by psycho motel owner Neville Brand and his pet crocodile. Countless scenes of Brand mumbling to himself seem intended to pad the film to an interminable length. Hard to imagine a worse misfire on the heels of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And proof-positive that a film can open with Robert Englund begging for anal sex and still have no redeeming qualities.

9/3

5. Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors 3/5--1st of the Amicus anthology films is solid entertainment. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee anchor a great cast of British stalwarts (including Sean Connery's boss Bernard Lee) and a young Donald Sutherland. Benefits from less jokey tone than some of the later anthologies and relatively consistent quality. No knockout story but only one real clunker (about voodoo).

9/4

6. Stakeland* 4/5--Somber tone, strong characters, and very atypical plotting make for a very satisfying film. Quickly shows a willingness to dispatch main characters, which establishes palpable feelings of danger and loss. Strong, unglamorous performance by Danielle Harris, who appears to wear no makeup for most of the film. Final reel is diminished by some plotting stupidity. But overall this is a memorable film--and a nice alternative to the typical cookie cutter Hollywood sexy vampire tripe. Ultimately a fairly depressing experience, which might decrease its appeal depending upon your viewing preferences.

9/6

7. The World's End* 3/5--Final film in the Cornetto Trilogy is a disappointment compared to its predecessors. Lacks the wit and sharp satire of Shaun and the nonstop laughs of Hot Fuzz. Mediocre premise is stretched WAAAAY too thin--especially in a few self-indulgent running and fighting scenes that should have been trimmed. Becomes a lot less compelling once the real plot kicks in. I found myself wishing they gave these characters a chance to stand on their own. Role reversal for Pegg and Frost seemed more interesting on paper. Pegg's character grows tiresome very quickly--a first for a protagonist in this series of films. And Frost's gift for scene-stealing isn't utilized for most of the running time. Feels somewhat self-congratulatory like lesser Kevin Smith efforts such as Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. It just isn't as funny as they clearly think it is.

9/7

8. Isle Of The Dead* 3/5--Extremely low-key Val Lewton outing will definitely try the patience of viewers who aren't fans of the classic horror films of the 30s and 40s. Boris Karloff is impeccable as always as a general battling superstition, paranoia, and mysterious deaths on a remote, cut-off island. But are the ever-escalating casualties really the work of the vorvolokas that are so prevalent in local mythology? Follows the usual Lewton blueprint of atmosphere over action--and full of eerie shots of the ominous wind sweeping across the landscape. Pace really picks up in the last 15 minutes.

9/9

9. Behind The Mask--The Rise Of Leslie Vernon 4/5--Perfect movie to watch during or after a slasher marathon. It cleverly explains away almost all of the genre cliches with a knowing wink. Early scenes are a little clunky. But great fun after the slow start. Bring on the stalled but much-discussed sequel.

9/10

10. Chopping Mall* 4/5--Extremely enjoyable trip back to the 80s. Partying fashion victims of my high school years battle malfunctioning security robots at their local mall. Gets great mileage out of the ridiculous premise and a better than average cast that includes cameos from Corman favorites Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, and Dick Miller. They all acquit themselves a lot better than Barbara Crampton, who gives a jaw-droppingly bad performance that has to be the worst of her career. Fast pace, abundant nudity, and an appropriately cheesy synth score keep the mood light and fun. Slap yourself if you don't deduce who'll be the last survivors by the time the party scene gets rolling.

11. Nail Gun Massacre* 1/5--Decent gore effects are the only remotely professional element of this cut-rate snoozer. But I was grateful for the truly awful sound recording. Background noise drowns out much of the inane dialogue. Painfully dull and slow despite a high body count. I started to fast forward during a protracted sex scene involving a hag who could pass for Margaret Hamilton at age 35. Misdirection involving the identity of the killer provides some unintentional laughs. In most scenes he's obviously being played by a very short, slight woman. His Darth Vader-like voice, Jabba-ish laugh, and terrible one-liners magnify the overall feeling of ridiculousness. Recommended only for director James Nguyen. Watching this might make him feel better about how Birdemic turned out.

9/11

12. The Beast And The Magic Sword* 3/5--Mediocre 7th entry in the Hombre Lobo series benefits from actual Japanese locations. Nothing else new to report--especially in a dull first half that features very little of the titular hairy one. Eventually picks up steam with some messy sieges. But the one real highlight is one of the best sequences in the series--an amazing mano y mano battle between Naschy and a real tiger. They smack each other around with scary intensity. And it's all the more amazing than it appears because there was no stunt double. From Naschy's autobiography: "Then came the day of the fight between Wolfman and tiger. After numerous inquiries circus lion tamers and animal trainers told me that the fight could be filmed with the realism I wanted using panthers, leopards, or lions but with a tiger it would be impossible. I was about to give in when I heard that the tigress from the TV show Sandokan was in Holland and it might be possible to use her. Her trainer arrived with three big cats in a huge cage. It was strange to see that the fierce beasts were kept under control by an intelligent dog of uncertain breed whose intervention was on occasion decisive. Before shooting the tiger has to be fed 25 chickens. If she'd been hungry the critter would have eaten me and the trainer for breakfast."

9/12

13. Waxwork II: Lost In Time* 3/5--The lower budget is apparent, particularly in terms of the ropey effects. One of the matte shots is the worst I've ever seen. But fans of the original should have a lot of fun with this one. Starts strong and offers a lot of funny references to other genre films before bogging down in overlong medieval segment. Highlights include hilarious short visits to the mall siege in Dawn Of The Dead, the final scene in Murnau's Nosferatu, and one of Godzilla's many rampages. Best of all is probably The Haunting section with the King himself, Bruce Campbell. Could have benefited from a shorter run-time, with the Alien sequence also overstaying its welcome. Regains momentum in final reel for enjoyable wrap-up. Recasting of Deborah Foreman isn't an issue. Monika Schnarre acquitted herself well.

9/13

14. Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives 3/5--Polarizing entry in the series is probably my favorite. Gags are much funnier than usual--and very few are as groan-inducing as the usual dumb teen hijinks that dominate earlier entries. Increased focus on humor might displease some. But at least the vast majority is intentional this time. Rivaled only by the relatively grim part IV in my opinion.

9/14

15. The Norliss Tapes 4/5--Interesting companion piece to the two Night Stalker TV movies. Widow Angie Dickinson is terrorized by a nocturnal prowler--her recently deceased husband. Director Dan Curtis can't match John Llewellyn Moxey's work on The Night Stalker. But Curtis's work here is a lot more accomplished than his helming of The Night Strangler. Boasts a couple strong shock scenes for a TV movie and effective makeup for the wild-eyed ghoul. Curtis's regular collaborator Bob Cobert proves once again that all of his horror scores recycle the same riffs. Fans of the Kolchak movies will recognize almost every cue. Unresolved story threads were intentional. This was a failed pilot. Well worth seeing if you like Curtis's other TV horrors.

9/15.

16. The Rider Of The Skulls* 3/5--Batshit crazy mid-60s Mexican export appears to be assembled from three separate episodes of a serial. The titular rider battles a werewolf, a vampire, and finally a headless horseman and his ghoul henchmen. The overall feel, cartoonish violence, and neat story resolutions are very reminiscent of the Clayton Moore Lone Ranger TV series. Day for night shooting is the most extreme example of the technique imaginable. "Night" scenes take place in broad daylight with zero manipulation of the exposure. And shots of the sun are substituted for the moon. Still great fun. Unconvincing rubber and paper mache masks do nothing to reduce the hilarity of the rider engaging in fisticuffs with monsters. He even throws in a few Mexican wrestling moves for additional yucks.

17. Kolchak: The Night Stalker - The Ripper 4/5--Debut episode of the TV series offers its typical blend of tepid scares and laughs. McGavin and Simon Oakland have some great moments sparring about Carl's temporary assignment substituting for Miss Emily. And Beatrice Colen gives a nice performance as Kolchak's colleague Jane Plumm. Their scenes together suggest that she should have been given a bigger role in the series. Builds to a funny climax with Carl hiding in The Ripper's closet.

9/16

18. Frankenstein's Army* 3/5--About the best low-budget film you could make by riffing on Castle Wolfenstein video games. Cornered Russian soldiers battle all types of zombie-like man/machine hybrids in a largely deserted town. Inspired creature design gives a kick to the initial siege. And the narrow underground passages are effectively claustrophobic. But the relentless shaky cam aesthetics and quick cutting quickly grow tiresome. Really falls apart in talky third act. Worth seeing once for the monsters. Some of them are truly impressive-looking.

9/17

19. The Last Vampyre 3/5--Fun to see the greatest on-screen Sherlock Holmes, Jeremy Brett, in a genre outing full of gothic atmosphere. But this is definitely one of the weakest feature-length films (there were five) in the long-running Granada series. Holmes and Watson battle the hysteria that results when a mysterious newcomer with disturbing family ties returns to the country town of his ancestors. Brett's ill health limited his screen time--and is painfully apparent in his bloated frame and deathly pallor. Worth a look if you're a fan of Holmes or this series.

9/18

20. World War Z* 3/5--Superb production values and Brad Pitt can't disguise the fact that this is a "B" movie tailored for the summer blockbuster audience. You can occasionally see a more thoughtful movie buried underneath. But the focus here is squarely on grand-scale zombie parkour action scenes--frantically edited in the same irritating manner that sullied Forster's earlier Quantum Of Solace. Lack of any tangible sense of danger is a real drawback. Pitt's ability to survive so many ridiculously dangerous situations gives this a comic book feel that's at odds with the heavy-handed family drama scenes. Fun if you're in a popcorn-munching mood. But ultimately hollow and disappointing.

9/20

21. High Tension 4/5--Brutally effective slasher film benefits tremendously from a grimly serious approach. Initial assault is preceded by a tangible atmosphere of foreboding--with a great intro scene for the killer. And the murders are startlingly bestial. Ultimately undermines itself by getting a little too clever for its own good--though the final shot is unsettling. Probably the best of the French big three.

9/21

22. Ils (Them) 4/5--Compact, tense thriller is a great ride until the reveal of the threat. Opening chapter sets the stage for some seriously creepy goings-on. Then wisely focuses on tension and scares instead of running up a high body count. Good performances and excellent dialogue quickly establish the two well drawn, likable protagonists--which results in some legitimate concern for their futures. Definitely loses steam and credibility in the final reel.

23. Inside 3/5--Half of a great movie. Initially takes its time and raises some serious goosebumps--with a first attack that invokes serious queasiness. But eventually abandons all restraint and goes WAAAAAY overboard in the final reel, when ludicrous levels of gore and stupidity lead to unintentional laughs. Rallies for a haunting final coda. But it's too little, too late. Both female leads turn in exemplary performances, with Beatrice Dalle a memorably frightening antagonist. Her sped-up smoking scene shouldn't work but does. She's seriously freaky.

9/22

24. Monster On The Campus* 2/5--Proof that Jack Arnold and Universal weren't always a winning combination. Hackneyed story, lousy acting, and pathetic monster makeup doom this overly familiar Jekyll/Hyde rehash. Hilariously protracted and contrived series of events that create the second transformation might represent the absolute low point of the Universal horror dynasty. If you've ever speculated that coelacanth blood, giant dragonflies, and tainted pipe tobacco might make an interesting combination get your hands on this one and rejoice. Recycles some of the most memorable Universal soundtrack material to middling effect. Feautures one funny joke. When the protagonist calls Madagascar for information on the coelacanth specimen he asks for a scientist named Dr. Moreau. Also includes two uncharacteristically graphic moments for Universal: the sight of a female victim hanging by her hair in a tree and a thrown axe to the face.

25. Strange Behavior* 3/5--Leisurely paced slasher variation with sci fi elements. Prototypical evil scientists use local teens in mind control experiments designed to thin the population. Low-key in the extreme and the flip side of the typical slasher blueprint. Writer Bill Condon (who would go on to helm the fantastic fictionalized James Whale bio Gods And Monsters) shows much more interest in developing his characters than orchestrating elaborate slasher carnage. Prolonged attack scene featuring a Tor Johnson mask is the one exception. It's a memorable stalking scene. Funny to see Condon offed onscreen in the opening reel. Not as enjoyable to see the great Louise Fletcher miscast and slumming in a minor supporting role. Her big emotional scene with Michael Murphy is depressing evidence of both of their precipitous career declines. Just 6 years earlier she starred in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and he was part of the Nashville ensemble. Worth seeing if you like quirky riffs on traditional genre templates. Comparisons to Disturbing Behavior have some merit. It's understandable that writer Condon considers that film a virtual remake.

9/23

26. The Cottage 4/5--Extremely unique film is half British comedy and half grisly slasher film. Ill-suited makeshift gang tries to turn a quick buck with a kidnapping--but find themselves woefully over their heads from the get-go. And that's before they stumble upon a house inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Excellent characters, plotting, and dialogue make the setup a lot of fun. Then abruptly shifts gears with some outstanding gore effects. CGI model extraordinaire Andy Serkis demonstrates serious charisma in a rare star turn. His voice and gruff demeanor are very reminiscent of Daniel Craig. Jennifer Ellison makes a hilariously self-assured victim. Foul-mouthed and physically imposing, she seems to have the upper hand even while tied to a pole and gagged.

9/24

27. Curse Of Chucky* 4/5--Unexpectedly strong belated return for everyone's favorite Good Guy. Much more serious in tone than the last couple outings, and better for it. Takes the time to establish a well-drawn cast of characters before amping up the mayhem. And focuses more on shivers and suspense than non-stop doll mayhem. Imposing gothic mansion is a fun central location. And Brad Dourif's daughter Fiona makes a fetching, sympathetic heroine. Features numerous shout-outs to earlier Child's Play films as well as other genre classics. Don't miss the post-credits sequence.

9/25

28. Psycho III 3/5--Better than I remembered from its original theatrical run. But still a pale shadow of Part II. Focuses on Norman's continued struggle to maintain his sanity after the arrival of a failed nun who dredges up romantic feelings and bad, bad memories. Identifies 100% with Norman, which marks an odd perspective shift. His sleazy, contemptible cast of victims make him seem relatable and sympathetic despite the blood-letting. Strong early performance for antagonist Jeff Fahey, who positively oozes grunginess and immorality. Constant homages to the original are so relentless that they become a distraction. Psycho II's restrained approach is much more effective. Final incongruous scene smacks of studio interference. It's totally incongruous with the preceding scenes.

9/26

29. Impulse 3/5--Jaw-droppingly incompetent Florida cheapie has just one draw--William Shatner at his hammy best. Thrill to the sight of conman/gigolo Shatner sweating, ranting, emoting at inhuman levels, and sweating some more in an attempt to bilk rich widows out of their fortunes. His grimacing facial gymnastics are tremendously entertaining--particularly in concert with some of the most ill-advised 70s fashion choices imaginable. Needless to say, his halting vocal style is in full effect too. Myers fans take note, the Shat's pale, tortured face looks positively Shape-like during the climax. Also notable for the laughable miscasting of Goldfinger's Harold Sakata as Shatner's sometime partner in crime, Karate Pete. His marble-mouthed wrestling match with the English language is undoubtedly a highlight of his martial arts career. And his death battle with Shatner is an inspired bit of lunacy that has to be seen to be believed. Ditto Shatner's Tourette's-like outburst at a fat woman who bumps into him. And saving the worst for last, it's no wonder that child lead Kim Nicholas landed only one more credit after this one. She rivals House By The Cemetery's Bob for the title of most irritating child in a horror movie. Richly earns zero stars on an objective scale. But if you appreciate cinematic trash it's worth the trouble to obtain a copy.

9/27

30. Dracula (1974) 3/5--Interesting TV version of Stoker's oft-attempted classic. Richard Matheson's script contains more of the original novel than any other adaptation up to that time. And adds a couple of interesting wrinkles to the England section of the film. Unfortunately injects the same type of eternal love nonsense that severely mars Coppola's otherwise faithful version. At least it doesn't get much screen-time here. Jack Palance makes an imposing Count. I couldn't imagine him in the role before seeing this. But aside from a couple laughable over-theatrical tempter tantrums he's quite good--and much more physically threatening than most of his peers. Good production values include a lot of authentic location shooting. Ill-advised use of German Shepherds in place of wolves reduces the impact of several well-designed sequences. Director Dan Curtis's regular collaborator Bob Cobert's score is slightly more original than usual. But his signature sounds are still much in evidence.

9/28

31. John Carpenter's Vampires 4/5--Fast-moving B trash is really elevated by Carpenter's striking widescreen compositions and a manic lead performance by James Woods. Whereas Cushing was the master of steely determination, Woods radiates pure testosterone and homocidal rage. Definitely not vintage Carpenter. But a really fun action/horror mash-up.

9/29

32. The Brotherhood Of Satan* 4/5--Ah, the 70s, the golden era of suburban Satanism. Slow-burn, sometimes psychedelic account of a small town scuffling with Old Scratch's local posse. Oddly paced and eccentric in execution, with the best actors limited to supporting roles. Female lead Ahna Capri makes a much stronger impression as a bikini model than an actress. Funny to see Peckinpah regulars Strother Martin and L.Q Jones (who also had a hand in writing and producing) in such a different genre. On the other hand, Jones looks as grungy as ever. So there's some continuity there. Shocks are limited to a few well executed sequences that deliver the goods--especially the lead family's initial arrival into town. Familiar black mass climax appears to be heading toward predictable territory. Fortunately the ending is more enigmatic than expected. Will likely appeal to fans of The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home and similar films.

9/30

33. Psycho II 4/5--Far better than it has any right to be, which probably shouldn't be such a big surprise considering the talent involved. Director Richard Franklin, writer Tom Holland, cinematographer Dean Cundey, and composer Jerry Goldsmith would represent a strong horror all-star team. Star Tony Perkins gives another tremendously sly performance in the role that catapulted him to fame. It's a testament to his skill that he remains sympathetic throughout the proper ending. Silly epilogue definitely diminishes some of the film's impact. It could be just me. But the shovel scene always makes me howl with laughter. Should have ended with the sheriff explaining who did the killings. His theory is a lot more credible than what we ultimately get.

* first-time viewing
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:38 AM   #15
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I watch horror all year long so I'm in no rush to cram in as much as possible for October. I do prefer to watch films with the right atmosphere and mood for the season though - things like the original Halloweens (1,2,3), classic Universal horror, other black and whites and Hammer flicks. I save the Friday the 13th type movies for the summer, The Shining/Black Christmas for winter, etc.
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