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Discussion in 'General' started by maskull, Sep 25, 2019.
Scared the hell out of my as a kid! I threw away my parent's VHS so they'd never watched it again! Peter Boyle might have been the tallest/bulkiest guy to play him combined with a bald head and contrasting long black hair really did make a frightening imaged for me above Karloff's version (which I was familiar with even at that age).
Of course it's an absolute favorite of mind today. But I would love to meet Mel Brooks one day just so I can tell him he really did scare the hell outta me with Young Frankenstein!
Day 28 of the Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge. A LORELESS YARN: One based on a true story.
The Entity. This one even now this film gives me a little chill down the spine.. Something about films dealing with a haunting or demonic possession never fall to make me a little creeped out. The Entity does a whole lot without showing you much of the evil presence. No doubt if they remade it now, it would be some CGI monster jumping out to scare people.
Day 29 of the Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge. COMEDY OF TERRORS: A matter of laughter at the splatter of the matter. A funny one, duh.
Monster House. Wanted to try something a little different for my October movie watching. This was a first time viewing. I liked this one quite a bit. Charming film, with lots of Halloween atmosphere.
Monster House would be a good palate cleanser following the intensity of The Entity. Two great flicks there!
38. Dead of Night: A Darkness at Blaisedon (Lela Swift, 1969)
I watched this immediately after the Dead of Night film, since it's a supplement on the dvd. It's a pilot for a show that was never picked up that was going to run under the Dead of Night title. To be honest, I remember almost nothing about watching it. Paranormal researchers are approached by an heiress to investigate her haunted mansion, and then...something. It was pretty dull, obviously.
39. Torture Garden (Freddie Francis, 1967)
This was excellent. The stories by Robert Bloch have a very different feel from the Richard Matheson ones. They seem more meandering, less linear. One set of circumstances leads to another, which then sets up something else, which leads to something further, and then the twist or stinger ending happens. So it has a different feel from something like The House that Dripped Blood, but it's still very entertaining. The Jack Palance/Peter Cushing tale was my favorite of the bunch. And Mickey - I mean, Burgess Meredith - was great as "Dr. Diabolo".
(I actually watched this before Dead of Night, but forgot to include it here)
132. Torso (1973) Blu - Another movie I had to pay attention to quite a bit due to subtitles and foreign language. I watched the Italian Theatrical version and liked this movie. Felt there were some good tense moments especially in the last 1/3 of the film.
133. The Last House on the Left (1972) Blu - Couldn't remember if I had seen this one. The case was open and it did look vaguely familiar to me upon watching. Kind of a grimy film with a somewhat satisfying ending.
134. Two Evil Eyes (1990) Blu - This is the new 3 disc set that was just released. I thought it looked great as does most of the stuff that Blue Underground is doing these days. I also liked how you could tell which story was Romero's and which was Argento's based on the style and feel. I had seem this one before as I own the previous BU disc. Fun to re-visit.
135. The Beyond (1981) Blu - Wanted to get this one in this year, so today was the day. Like the concept and always enjoy the movie.
136. Zombie Death House (1988) DVD - Kind of an average film that features John Saxon. I've had this for a long time and decided to finally open it.
137. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) Blu - Just arrived tonight. I wasn't familiar with this one until it was announced. Decent enough story and fun nostalgic type watch. Obviously not very scary by today's standards, but considering the year it was first released, it was probably really effective.
Agreed! I could see Monster House going into my October rotation.
76) House of 1000 Corpses
77) Night of the Demons (1988)
78) The Barn
79) WNUF Halloween Special
I’m super far behind posting:
The Blob ‘88 (Amazon Streaming)
Deep Space (Scorpion Blu)
Amityville The Evil Escapes (VS Blu)
Tonight: Niners v Cards!
With the month nearly over, it was time for some Universal Monsters. Frankenstein the James Whale film has been thoroughly analyzed for nearly 90 years. Nothing new to add other than tremendous personal admiration for this timeless classic. Colin Clive might be the maddest mad scientist of them all? Boris Karloff gives us one of the greatest monster performances of all time. Much appreciation for Dwight Frye as well.
THE WOLF MAN (1941)
The Wolf Man is my favorite of all the Universal Monsters. Can't praise Jack Pierce enough for his incredible makeup effects that really bring each of his monsters to life. Lon Chaney Jr. was great in his signature role. Nice to have Bela Lugosi as one of the gypsies. Really love the cold autumn atmosphere in the night time scenes.
56. Halloween 3 (1982)
Blu Ray. My favorite of the Halloween sequels , always look forward to watching this every year. Tom Atkins is a Legend , how id love women to throw myself at me like him in his films, all whilst downing a six pack. It may not be directed or written by him, but it definately feels like a John Carpenter movie. 4.5/5
57. Trick r treat (2007)
Blu Ray. Perfect Halloween atmosphere combined with five interlocking stories that combine perfectly. No weaknesses in the stories make this my favorite anthology film. Roll on the sequel. 4.5/5
58. Phenomena (1985)
Blu ray. Getting to the end of the month and noticed i have not watched an Argento flick so picked this up of the shelf.
This i feel is Argento's most underrated film and feel it is up there with his best. Like Suspiria everything comes together and just works, Excellent Cinematography of the Swiss Alps , dreamlike atmosphere to the story , Donald Pleasance with a Scottish accent , open razor welding monkeys and a great score from Goblin whats not to love. 4.5/5
59. The Barn (2016)
Blu Ray. Watched this last year as part of the challenge and really liked it. An 80's throwback feel with a great Halloween atmosphere . If you can look by the movies faults , there is a lot to like here. 3.75/5
30th - October Madness No.35 / SCV Psychotronic Challenge Day 30 - IT'S YOUR SPECIAL DAY: Brutal birthdays.
Happy Birthday to Me (1980) Rewatch - Rating: 3/5
Capitalizing on the success of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and other holiday/date-themed slashers, this Canuxploitation offering is one of the first to exploit the birthday as the theme. Happy Birthday to Me is a red herring-packed mystery where a group of "high school" friends (somehow they are allowed to drink [and then drive] at the local inn's tavern) are being offed by a black-gloved killer in inventive ways. The film features some gorgeously composed cinematography and lighting, and the cast are all quite good, and while this thriller packs many twists and turns the story is quite convoluted and maybe a little too over the top in the end with it's final reveals. Despite all it's plot holes (the "teens" also don't seem to care one bit that their close circle of friends are being offed one-by-one) Happy Birthday to Me is still a fun slasher to unwrap.
30th - October Madness No.36
The Lighthouse (2019) - Rating: 4/5
Robert Egger's The Lighthouse is a dark, brooding, moody, atmospheric, and extremely taut, tense, and fully realized yarn about two lighthouse workers, the weathered 'wickie' (Willem Dafoe) and the green new assistant (Robert Pattinson), who begin to unwind and unweather as their stay on the New England rock they are stuck on is extended due to a severe storm. Egger's superb direction and historical research infuses The Lighthouse with a bravado gut-punch and the gorgeously composed black & white 1.19:1 cinematography is a marvel, and the film's many unsettling sounds and images will alight your mind long after the lamp has gone out. After The Witch this is clearly another masterpiece from Eggers, and I look forward to revisiting it soon.
Day 30 of the Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge. IT'S YOUR SPECIAL DAY: Brutal birthdays.
Don't Panic. Messing around with a Ouija board on Michael 's 17th birthday leads to some supernatural trouble. This Mexican film is part Nightmare on Elm Street and part teen drama. There's some nice Screaming Mad George effects, one features a knife through the chin into someone's mouth. There's a zany falling in love montage. And our main character, Micheal spends half the film running around in dinosaur pajamas.
Followed it up with Trick or Treat. About 80% of Trick or Treat I really dig. Something about the last half, when Sammi goes on a rampage just does not hold my interest. Maybe with a little trimming the film would work better.
After that I watched Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre. With that title, I expected an Asylum style Shark movie. One that tried why too hard to be a cult movie. But director Jim Wynorski delivers more an earnest B-movie. Mixing the overdone shark movie with a women in prison flick.
Happy Halloween everyone! I usually post kind of late, so thought I would pop in and wish everyone a great day. Back later with my last day write up.
Next of Kin (1982)
First time viewing (Shudder)
*** (out of 5)
Scarecrow Video Psychotronic Challenge Guideline:
31. THE GOLD WATCH: One set in a retirement home or elderly community. A fitting wrap-up, eh?
Slow burn Australian chiller goes totally crazy in the finale. Both parts are fun, but wish they were blended a bit better and things picked up a little sooner.
Happy Halloween! It was awesome to watch along with everyone again this year. On this list you’ll find all of the movies I watched in October for Scarecrow Video’s Psychotronic Challenge:
My favorite first time viewings:
The Haunting of Julia (1977)
One Cut of the Dead (2017)
Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)
The Bad Seed (1956)
Next of Kin (1982)
Till next October!
Single entry from the eve of the big day. Ratings are out of ****.
10/30/19 - Victim (1999) ***
A man is kidnapped, tortured, then dumped at an abandoned house where a multiple murder occurred years prior. His wife and the detective on the case become convinced something sinister is yet to come, as he engages in manic outbursts and suspicious behavior.
What alludes to being a ghost story, with some couple explicit supernatural scenes, is really a down to earth crime caper. As the later, it’s actually fine film, with riveting action and a clever, twisting plot that turns a particularly brutal final tack.
The film opens with a nasty hit and run, later involves a pretty cool car chase, a shootout with gangsters, a big score con job with a double cross, and a reckoning in a graveyard. Had it played out straight it might have rated another half notch score, but the insertion of a couple ghost scenes are totally unsuitable. It’s made clear the motivations of all parties are entirely their own, planned in advance with no connections to any spirits other than chance location.
It’s likely the movie makers thought they would score better box office cashing in on the Asian horror craze, and shoved in some last minute scenes. It belongs in the film about as much as soy sauce belongs on a taco.
MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD (1973)
Many people here have probably went to an October theatrical haunted house at some point in their life or maybe a Halloween themed park? Malatesta's Carnival of Blood doesn't have to wait for the calendar to turn to 10/31. Here we have an dilapidated amusement park that looks ready for the wrecking ball any day now. Not many visitors are brave enough to check it out. Some dangerous rides in obvious disrepair and games of chance for the occasional passerby might be tempting if you're in the right frame of mind. Flesh eating ghouls and a couple vampires call this place home along with assorted freaks and social dropouts. Psychedelic 70's visuals combine with repurposed fixtures and concession supplies in this surreal mindfuck. Seekers of coherent stories and narrative logic should look elsewhere.
TRICK OR TREAT (1986)
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I was raised as a metalhead. Combine both of these & there's no mystery why I enjoy Trick Or Treat so much. Great cameos from Ozzy Osbourne (televangelist) and Gene Simmons (metal DJ paying tribute to Wolfman Jack). Grew up watching this film and listening to the soundtrack by Fastway, featuring "Fast" Eddie Clark from Motörhead. Lots of nostalgia going on with all of the t-shirts and metal posters. Very 80's? Fuck yeah!
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)
Season of the Witch is still my favorite Halloween sequel after all these years. Many thanks to Silver Shamrock for keeping the holiday festive with all of their masks & novelties. This is the fourth movie we watched this month with Tom Atkins. He makes a great action lead downing the booze, getting laid frequently (flirting with other women too), and solving the mystery. Conal Cochran's mad plan for domination isn't far behind those old school James Bond villains in terms of evil vision. Brilliant soundtrack from John Carpenter, a personal favorite.
138. The House on Haunted Hill (1999) Blu - The remake from many years later. Honestly, I enjoy the original much more. I like the house better and it doesn't seem to have to try as hard. This movie is okay and it had been quite some time since I had viewed it. Liked the things that were brought back from the original. Not a bad watch from time to time.
139. Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007) Blu - I have this on HD-DVD and had originally intended to watch that version, but apparently the disc has gone bad. It wouldn't load up. I ordered the same title on Blu in a 3 pack with 2 other movies so it worked out anyway. This movie is another step down from the remake from 1999. Feels to generic to me. It's okay to watch from time to time. I do want to play with the create your own version that is a part of the disc.
140. Halloween (1978) Blu - I try to get this one in every year and as close to the 31st if not on the 31st as possible. What can you say about this one? it has influenced so many movies and is now a classic of the genre. It's also traditional for me to watch every Halloween.
141 Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983) Blu - I skipped number 2 as I tend to get that one in every year two, but not later movies like 4 or 5. That was my emphasis today. I, like others have a real admiration for this film. It's a great stand alone title in the series. I tend to get something new every time I watch, so I pay attention closely for those tidbits. This time I noticed some of the music that was added from the first movie. If you weren't looking at the screen and were just listening in places, you would think it was from Halloween. Very fun movie!
142. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) Blu - Not up to the first few movies standards, but I still enjoy it. The 4th and 5th movies were filmed in Salt Lake City where I was living at the time, so some of the area is familiar which makes it fun. I believe one of the scenes close to the start was filmed at the old Primary Childrens Medical Center that resided up in the Avenues as they called it. I used to have to do work in that building from time to time and always felt it was a bit creepy for some reason. Apparently there have been reports o paranormal stuff back in the day. Not sure if it still exists today, but it was fun seeing it again in the movie.
143. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) Blu - The other filmed in Salt Lake. I like this one better of the two, but due to familiarity, I like em both.
It was a fun run. Learned of some new titles which I do every year and re-visited some I haven't seen in a while. I always wondered if I was the only nut out there that would binge watch in October until a few years ago when I caught the yearly thread. It is much more fun and informative to do it with all of you. I do hit the site daily for news and such and will continue to in the future. Pretty cool community here.
Til next year... It's been fun!
The big day, with a pair of offerings including a long winded write-up on a favored entry. Ratings are out of ****.
10/31/19 - WNUF Halloween Special ("1987") ***
A television news broadcast from a small Eastern USA town, and its follow-up expose of a local haunted house.
The proceeds get more wacked as things progress, and as past inductees have stated the less you know going in the better. A lot of work went into this, and it gets my appreciation and admiration. I'll just leave a few quotes for contemplation.
"Unavoidable accidental oil spills."
"We'll sell you the whole seat, but you're only going to need the edge."
"Very pretty pussy."
"Could you contact my dead grandmother and call her a bitch?"
"You can't put handcuffs on a ghost! Are we even on the same page here?"
10/31/19 - The World Beyond: Episode 1 "Monster" (1978) ***1/2
Compelled by an apparition, a man travels to a rustic island to protect a woman he's never met from dangers unknown. There he finds the apparition was her brother, whose dabbling in the occult left a deadly legacy for those now trapped on the island.
On January 27th, 1978 network stations ABC and CBS simultaneously popped one out to left field with a made for television supernatural tale. Television horror then was a worn out gimmick, a network producing one would have to be nuts. Two networks, on the same day? Unthinkable.
The golden era for colorized, made for television horror was the early 70s. Releasing landmarks like Duel (1971), Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971), Gargoyles (1972), The Night Stalker (1972), and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) that are still highly regarded and watched today. While some mistakenly think television studios were cashing in on the ground breaking The Exorcist, these films preceded that release.
After a couple short years, the fad withered. Theatrical horror was setting a shock bar that television broadcast standards couldn't touch, and audiences were rejecting the network's tepid imitations. Notable films slipped through, like Trilogy of Terror (1975). But mostly networks made forgettable knock offs or just avoided the genre. We'd wait a decade before seeing such quality again, like Salem's Lot (1979) and Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981). And until the advent of subscription television studios willing to push the envelope, never the same bountiful frequency.
ABC's offering on that day was The Bermuda Depths. A muddled and overly brooding tale of ancient curses, modern abominations of science, and things made worse by digging up the past. With sea monster effects Toho might have left on the cutting room floor. In its favor was an unforgettably haunting mood, sticking with the viewer past the film's end and the attempts to make sense of any of it. On the film's roster was a grossly mis-cast Burl Ives, who seemed pissed off to be on screen and probably left as soon as the check cleared. The career debut of the strikingly lovely Connie Sellecca, who broke hearts on The Greatest American Hero. And, in one of the first of his many on-screen demises (here drowned by a giant turtle), the iconic Carl Weathers.
I would catch The Bermuda Depths years later. Something about the other show just seemed...stranger...scarier. Either choice, I was eagerly awaiting an original spooky treat. At least I hoped so.
Hoped, because at my house not a damn thing got watched on television when Dad was home unless he wanted to watch it. If someone else's choice got the dial, it was because Dad didn't give a shit, or he was also interested. Not that he'd let you know he wanted to watch what you asked for, better to make you think his self-interest was being magnanimous. Two choices didn't double my odds of seeing something good, it doubled my odds of missing out.
But the stars aligned, on my first pick. Unknownst to me the first episode follow-up of a little known pilot, that would both fail to become a series and haunt my memory for decades. It would have me scouring the local library to research golems. And be disappointed in how little information there was, and how boringly vague. It gave me a greater appreciation for Mary Shelley, for if the golem was part of her inspirations for Frankenstein it left her little to work with. And for over 20 years I'd occasionally check for references to the film, having forgotten the name and stumping all friends I asked.
It would be the early 2000s before I'd identified the title, a decade more before I scored a bootleg copy. I feared then it wouldn't stand up to memory (with this year's re-watch, I was past such fear).
The start has a brief stumble, as the theme music mixes an almost gothicly haunting melody with mood jarring jaunty cords (similar in feel to the theme of The Incredible Hulk). After that followed an eerie, taut, riveting story that paced quickly while keeping a gothic vibe.
The effects are low budget but effective, the scenes set at a haunted looking run down island home. Viewed often from monster perspective like Sam Raimi was at the camera after being told to drop a couple Quaaludes. Mostly kept off camera, the monster is believably scary, likely assisted by the poor quality of available media. Even so, the episode can claim one of the all-time creepiest severed hand scenes ever.
There are flaws that may vex some viewers. But had this series continued and maintained the quality of writing and acting, it could have rivaled The Night Stalker in television legend. It wouldn’t be a relic middle aged nostalgia buffs streamed bootlegs of, it would be a boxed DVD set with commentary clips that networks were green lighting half-baked remakes of.
Lead Granville Van Dusen, mostly a bit part actor before and since, gives a solid performance with sincere conveyance of emotions. He manages flippant, serious, sympathetic, contemplative, and scared - believably and at the right times. But his suitability as lead of a solo act television series was questionable - he didn't have heart throb or tough guy looks.
The secondaries become better known to horror film fans in later years. First, JoBeth Williams, who would famously do the horizontal mambo with a ghost on the ceiling and get slimed for her daughter. Next, Barnard Hughes, known for scene stealing smart ass roles like the Grandpa of potential Santa Carla vampires in The Lost Boys, the judge presiding over God's testimony in Oh, God!, and the malcontent engineer/cyber-entity in Tron.
I'll admit nostalgia and the season bumps my rating an extra half notch. Reconsidering objectively I still stand by this episode's merits. It’s worth tracking down, if an appreciation of horror from television's dusty vaults is part of your diet.
In parting, a couple words of advice. One, if your normally mellow dog totally freaks out at a spooky place, pay attention and get the hell out of there. Two, if a looming golem with strange scratches on its head leans down intent on ending your mortal existence, 'emet' means 'truth' and 'met' means 'dead'.