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Discussion in 'General' started by maskull, Sep 21, 2020.
Was the drive-in theater in Idaho?
Man you guys start first day. But I'm almost ready. My DVR is clear for the first time in years. I'll watch one tomorrow and put up a review next day most likely. Actually I did watch an episode of Lovecraft Country. But I was going to wait to finish the full series before posting a final review on that one.
I'm gonna try and stay consistent this year. My October viewing last year was almost nonexistent. Plus I haven't posted here in a while .
Halloween (1978) 4K
Halloween II (1981) BD
Halloween H2O BD
I always kick off the Halloween season with these three films. They get me in the mood and in the spirit of the season. I think H2O fits nicely right after Halloween II in my opinion. It makes a nice little trilogy .
1. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (Joe D'Amato, 1977)
Light on the cannibal horror, and heavy on the heavy petting, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals is still a fairly entertaining slice of Italian nastiness. There's very little substance to it, which is to be expected, I suppose. You know exactly what you're getting with a movie like this. The sex scenes are surprisingly graphic (and almost constant for the first 30 minutes), and although the gut-munching is relegated to the final third of the movie, it certainly doesn't disappoint when it finally arrives. An added bonus: (almost?) no animal violence. There's a scene with a snake that was blink-and-you-miss-it, but I wasn't sure if it was real or not, and I wasn't terribly interested in taking a closer look.
Thanks to their midyear sale, I received a bunch of Severin blu rays in the mail a few weeks ago, and I'm still trying to finish off the last of that pile. Otherwise, I might not have chosen to start off October with a film like this. Still, despite it's lack of Halloween atmosphere, it's listed as a horror film on IMDB, and when have they ever been wrong? Plus, not wanting to get burned out, I definitely plan on making this years October horror viewing as varied as possible. So, off to a good start.
The best part: when Emanuelle saves her friend from the cannibals using the power of nudity.
2.The Outer Limits S01E08: The Human Factor (Abner Biberman, 1963)
Picking up where I left off last Halloween season, it's time for more Outer Limits episodes. This one was decent, and does a good job of making you think it's going to be about one thing, and then being about something else entirely. I'll have to watch a few more to get a feeling of where it fits within the show itself (i.e. was it above or below average?), but on it's own it was just an enjoyable piece of creepy sci-fi 60's television. Harry Guardino does a good job as the completely-unhinged Maj. Brothers, and the ghost imagery is pretty effective. Also, isolated Arctic locales always seem to make for great settings for scary stories.
BLOOD TIDE (1982)
Married couple Neil (Martin Kove) and Sherry (Mary Louise Weller) venture to an old Greek island in search of Neil's missing sister and maybe some deep sea adventure? Doesn't take all that long to locate his sister. The locals are odd between the paranoid villagers talking about virgin sacrifices, a creepy sect of nuns, and old legends of a creature that lurks both on land and in the sea that may be a legitimate threat. Eccentric treasure hunter Frye (James Earl Jones) is available for the American visitors to help figure this mystery out.
This was my first time watching Blood Tide. You don't have to look hard to find an H.P. Lovecraft influence, but don't expect something along the lines of Night of the Seagulls (1975). Blood Tide is a more subtle affair with a single creature given minimal screen time and less blood on display. If the village looks familiar, it is the same one seen in The Wind (1986) from director Nico Mastorakis, serving as producer and co-writer this time. Some cool Greek scenery in addition to an underwater cave add to the visuals.
Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese from The Karate Kid & Cobra Kai universe) sports big 80's hair a couple years before his signature screen role while James Earl Jones brings some credibility. Also look for Lydia Cornell (Too Close for Comfort sitcom) and Deborah Shelton (Brian De Palma's Body Double).
Arrow Video delivers another fine addition to their Nico Mastorakis collection with this Blu-ray release.
THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970)
Rural weirdo Wilbur Whateley (Dean Stockwell) surfaces at a university where Professor Armitage (Ed Begley) is conducting a lecture series on dark subject matter. Wilbur is determined to borrow the Necronomicon, currently on display at the school museum. Since he is denied the legendary book, Wilbur takes wholesome college student Nancy (Sandra Dee) instead back to his haunted homestead. With a little persuasion and some secret drug assistance, maybe Wilbur can get Nancy to stick around and learn just how dysfunctional the Whateley family history really is?
Decided to revisit this A.I.P. film for some further Lovecraft leaning in this double feature. The Dunwich Horror is in many ways a product of the early 70's instead of straight adaptation. Stockwell channels a little bit of Charles Manson at times with his wide eyed madman portrayal. Hallucinogenic dreams, a psychedelic film score, and some hot mess visual effects trying to pass as a creature further support this. Stockwell can dial it up to 11 here, particularly when carrying out old rituals at the oceanside altar with psychobabble. Sandra Dee's character is frequently stoned or under a spell. The former is more likely.
Scream Factory released this on a double feature Blu-ray 4 years ago with the less colorful Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971). The Dunwich Horror is nearly always my preferred choice when reaching for this disc.
1) Relic: Three generations of women grapple with the horrors of dementia that is slowly consuming their lives, and their home. This is easily one of the best films to be released under the IFC Midnight banner in sometime. Much like Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” Natalie Erika James does a great job of capturing the bleakness of mental health and how it can destroy a family. The three lead actresses are great, and have quite a bit of chemistry, which helps to carry the first – mostly drama centered - half of the film. No shock here that it becomes clear there is some sort of malevolent force at play in the house, and we never really get an answer to who or what it is – which both helps and hurts the film – but the “evil” house works great as a metaphor for dementia, especially towards the end of the film when all hell breaks loose. I also appreciate James leaving us with an unsettling conclusion. “Relic” is a grim look at the decay of the human mind and – for me - is one of the best horror films of 2020. (7/10)
2) The Wretched: A troubled teenage boy learns the disturbing truth about his neighbor, who is a witch that eats children. I didn’t have much interest in seeing this originally, but all the buzz earlier this year with the film staying at number one at the box office following the pandemic, curiosity got the best of me. The film is essentially a Coming-of-age story with a supernatural twist, but like so many coming-of-age films it plays out the same notes (i.e. awkward boy becomes romantically entangled with the free spirited outsider girl, douchey rich boy bullies, neglectful parents, etc.), and a lot of those subplots only serve to drag down the main narrative. Things only get more muddled when a twist is thrown in during the final act
It turns out the lead character has a younger brother, who is present throughout the story but the teen doesn’t remember him because the witch has the power to make people forget because “blah, blah, blah” witch magic.
It was incredibly jarring and confusing and really left a bad taste in my mouth. Kudos to Bitemares – yes that is the name of the FX team – who did a bang-up job with the creature effects. Overall “The Wretched” is a so-so ride with an overly convoluted story. (5/10)
3) You Should Have Left: A dissolving family unit take vacation in the Welch countryside, where they are met with supernatural happenings. I’ve longed tired of Blumhouse’s style of supernatural films, but the reteaming of Kevin Bacon and writer/director David Koepp for the first time since “Stir of Echoes” had me curious. I’m sorry to say the end product was a waste. The film tries to intertwin elements of Stephen King’s “1408” and Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves” and totally misses the mark. I really like horror films where the house itself is evil, but this does such a piss poor job of it, with its non-characters, a less than spooky house set piece, and a painfully slow first half. The script doesn’t do a good job setting groundwork or rules for what this entity wants, or what it can do, because the house can do anything and everything, and results in a convoluted mess. Polish that off with an ending you can see coming from a mile away and you have a forgettable haunted house flick. (4/10)
4) The Pale Door: A botched train robbery leaves a gang of outlaws stranded in an isolated old west town that is overrun by a coven of witches. What easily could have been “From Dusk ‘Till Dawn” with witches somehow manages to completely bungle what should have been a very simple and effective film. “The Pale Door” boats a great cast of character actors we manage to salvage what little they had to work with, as this action less western horror film trudges along. The action sequences are pitiful, the production design is less than stellar (the actors look and feel like cosplayers at some sort of old west restoration village than actual characters in the 19th century), and the FX are embarrassing. Even if they hammed it up a la Troma Films or Full Moon Pictures, I can’t see this one really being saved. Just a boring and forgettable witch tale to be thrown on the bonfire. (3/10)
October 2: Giallo a Venezia (A Thrilling In Venice) (BLU)
I figured I'd watch something obscure today. This is one of the nastiest and sleaziest Giallo's I have ever seen. We're above New York Ripper territory here in the sleaze department. The kills in this movie are gnarly, and the less said about the plot the better as it's a weird one that is best experienced fresh. The score is simple and unsettling, and whether you enjoy the film or not, you won't forget it.
4.) Nancy Drew Episodes 1 & 2 "Pilot" & "The Secret Of The Old Morgue" (HBO Max) - I had incredibly low expectations for this CW series, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised. It's definitely Nancy Drew by way of Riverdale, so this is made with that audience in mind. It also has a heavy I Know What You Did Last Summer vibe, set in a small coastal fishing town haunted by the ghosts of dead beauty queens. Plus, these kids drive around listening to The Flys "Got You Where I Want You" from the Disturbing Behavior soundtrack. This is post-Scream Nancy Drew. So far, the mystery is fun and there are a slew of suspects. I wasn't expecting so much of a supernatural slant, as they have the primary murder mystery that will probably go for the duration of the season, but there are also ghosts and mediums and things that go bump in the night. Kind of fun.
5.) Scare Me (2020) (SHUDDER) - I had a great time with this movie, but it won't be for everyone. It's akin to watching a play, basically two characters (plus a few brief guests along the way) in a single location with the entire movie driven by dialogue and performance. The plot concerns two writers who have never met before, Fred and Fanny, her being successful with him being not so much, who come together at a cabin in the woods during a power outage. To pass the time, they tell each other scary stories. The stories themselves are maybe not that original or impressive, but the performances and telling of these stories certainly are. The actors are a joy to watch, and the movie is kind of out there and fun as long as you approach it with the right mindset. Despite the stories they are telling, it may or may not even be a horror movie, at least not in the strictest sense...
Highly recommended to the more open minded genre fans though.
6.) Return To Cabin By The Lake (2001) (DVD) - While the first movie is creative, out-there, and stylish, this sequel kind of ditches all that in favor of making a generic straight-forward slasher film. Which, hey, I'm always up for a fun slasher film. Taking the meta-approach even further, now they're making the Cabin By The Lake horror movie Judd Nelson's Stanley character had written in the first film. After finding this out, Stanley decides to infiltrate the set, taking over the production and killing off the cast/crew who disagree with him. Same director, but this time written by Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick. Like with the first movie, I hadn't seen this in an extremely long time, and it's one I was eager to revisit. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn't watched it so late, as I was struggling to stay awake throughout the second half. It's a pretty fun movie, but it's a bit more by-the-numbers compared to the terrific original.
7.) Monsterland Episodes 1 & 2 "Port Fourchon, Louisiana" & "Eugene, Oregon" (Hulu) - Hulu's new anthology series, telling monster stories from around the United States. Episode 1 features Booksmart's Kaitlyn Dever as a struggling single mother who crosses paths with a local serial killer (Jonathan Tucker). This story doesn't go where you expect it to go, but not in a good way. Most of the episode is a Babadook type tale about Dever struggling with her nightmare of a child. The second episode features Charlie Tahan from Ozark as a teenager tasked with taking care of his sick mother as he starts to see a shadow creature lurking around his home. Again, this one spends a majority of the running time with Tahan struggling to figure out how he is going to pay bills, with the shadow creature as almost an after-thought. Both episodes run nearly an hour, but I found them to be overlong, aimless, and overly depressing. They're well-made enough and watchable, but hopefully the rest of the series might be a little more fun as opposed to the slit-your-wrists depressing tone of these two introductory episodes.
1.) Cabin By The Lake (2000)
2.) Pet Sematary (1989)
3.) Mercy Black (2019)
The original movie was more direct, much less bonkers, and ended in the rote manner you described. Its certainly the more coherent film, and doesn't try to pile on a profound weight the circumstances don't justify.
But a big criticism I have for the original film is the plight of the cat woman is quickly discarded on almost all levels - the victim to be sympathized with approach is dismissed for the more audience safe just another monster to be dispatched. Even her once devoted lover wastes no time hooking up with a lower maintenance squeeze when the chance presents itself, and the viewer is expected to discard their concern without a glance back just as quickly. The film ends with a message of "aren't you glad she's dead now?" instead of the more justified "damn, what she went through was fucked up".
The remake was more satisfying from an emotional sense, in that her plight was treated with sympathy and regret, even if it strayed towards being maudlin.
Colin, you definitely find movies I've never heard of, and provide good write-ups. I always find myself Netflixing a few of the movies you cite in this thread every year.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
First Time Viewing (Disney DVD)
**** (out of 5)
Scarecrow Video Psychotronic Challenge Guideline:
1. FAMILY TIME: Tired of seeing the same faces every day? Look at a movie instead! Rated PG or less. Ease into it.
A great way to start the month. Perfect fall atmosphere and fun scares.
Rewatch (Metropolitan French Blu-ray)
***1/2 (out of 5)
Had seen this years ago. It went down a little on rewatch, but still a nice stylish fantasy with an intense climax that gets it categorized as horror.
Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
Rewatch (Amazon VOD)
*** (out of 5)
Do you ever watch things to move actors/directors up your Letterboxd stats? I do sometimes and because Scarlett Johansson is my most watch actress (since I started using that site), I knew I should rewatch this at some point to keep her on that list. It wants so badly to be Tremors that they named the town Prosperity, but the CGI arachnids don't have the same life the Graboids did and the characters and comedy are just OK. Weak recommend.
For the third year in a row, I'm doing the Scarecrow Video Psychotronic Challenge for October.
Day 1 FAMILY TIME: Tired of seeing the same faces every day? Look at a movie instead! Rated PG or less. Ease into it.
Movie # 1: Hocus Pocus (1993)
Over the years, I've seen bits and pieces on TV, but never sat and watched the film from the start. After watching a cool retrospective on Youtube, I decided to pick up the bluray. Have to say I really enjoyed it. A good way to kick off the month. Lots of Halloween atmosphere.
I've never been a Sarah Jessica Parker fan. But damn, I found her kind of sexy in this. Her character reminded me a bit of Harley Quinn mixed with Baby Firefly.
I watched this last year. Some nasty murders as I recall. Is this the movie with the police detective who keeps eating hard boiled eggs every chance he gets?
Indeed. Relic has hit my purchase list.
The others I'd earlier considered and dismissed based on reviews, but they certainly weren't obvious blips on the awareness radar. Props for wandering way off the reservation in finding new game.
Oct 1: after Shivers I caught the first two episodes of Friday the 13th the Series on YouTube.
Oct 2: 2 Chiller Dillers!
I would agree with his review of Relic, however I might deter a blind-buy.
I saw it last summer and thought it was very good, however I don't think I would ever watch it again. I do think it's worth seeing though.
I also liked The Wretched a lot (there's a thread here on the forums) and thought The Pale Door was... fine, although incredibly cheap looking. However, I kind of hated You Should Have Left. It's a huge bore.
I still won't be able to do the Psychotronic challenge, but I did download the list and try to find a movie from my collection that fits every day. Came up a little short this year, with 8 blank spaces. I can't believe I don't have any Latin American films in my collection! All my Latino films are from Spain. Nothing from Mexico or Central America! Also came up snake eyes on finding something with or made by indigenous people (Wolfen takes on the topic, but there are no Native Americans in the cast or crew as far as I know), same with Africa.
That said, my selection for day 1, PG or less, would have been Matinee.
And to give a head start for tonight, the sleepover, I selected Hell Night. I might actually watch that tonight, now that I think about it.
Couldn't agree more.....same with the music thread. Cheers my friend. Appreciate ya.
Started my October off with an all time favorite of mine.
I've watched this dvd every October going on 15+ years now. This is my first time viewing in HD....the new Shout blu is awesome. Always fun, great way to kick off the season.
I enjoyed this flick with a few Sam Adams Octoberfests. It may be 90 degrees outside, but it's comfortable and fall like as fuck up in here best believe.
Here's my Psychotronic list, if you want suggestions. I'll spoilerize it in case you're trying to select the films on your own
FAMILY TIME: Rated PG or less: Matinee
SLUMBER PARTY: Watch one with a sleepover in it: Hell Night
STOCKED UP: Watch something with a supply run in it: Phantasm II
HUNKERED DOWN: One with recluses, shut-ins, or people locked inside their homes: The People Under the Stairs
GOING POSTAL: Something involving the postal service or shipping or getting a delivery: Seven
POLL PLOT: One that involves elections and/or voting: The Dead Zone
THEY'RE OUT TO GET YOU: One with heavy paranoia: Rosemary's Baby
EQUAL SLICE: One where women get top billing: Mother's Day
OG NETWORK: Made after 2010 with no visible cell phones: The VVitch
PLASTIQUE VIVANT: One with mannequins: Maniac
QUE ES UN MURO FRONTERIZO: Mexico, Central or South America: ??????
THE FIRST WAVE: Indigenous filmmaker or cast members: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
OPEN SOAR: Flying or aviation: ?????
THE MONSTER MILE: One about cars or racing: Death Proof
HELL ON FOUR WHEELS: Must involve characters in wheelchairs: Friday the 13th Part 2
MASKS ARE REQUIRED: At least one character has to wear a mask for the entire movie: Phantom of the Paradise
VIDEO STORE DAY: Something from a video store, or with a video store scene in it: ???????
RESURRECTIONISTS: Something from a reissue label: Terror
BEYOND THE DARKNESS: Watch one with a love story in it: Don't Look Now
HINDSIGHT IS 20/20: This one's gotta have flashbacks in it: Tenebrae
MURDER SHE ROACH: One about pesky varmints, pests, or creepy crawlies: Creepshow
MURKIN: Something underwater or ocean related: Jaws
A REST IN THE PIECE IS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING DRAMATIC PAUSE: Morricone: The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
AT THE GIG: Something with live band scenes: Rush Week
HEY BABY CAN YOU DANCE TO IT?: At least one substantial dance scene: From Dusk Till Dawn
DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS: Watch one set deep in the heart of Texas: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
ALKEBULAN: Something from Africa: ???????
OREGON TRAIL: A road tripper where people get picked off one by one: ???????
ONE NIGHT IN APE CANYON: Watch a Bigfoot story: Cry Wilderness
BRING IT ON HOME: Something filmed in Seattle: The Stepfather
I REMEMBER HALLOWEEN: Something from the Halloween franchise or trick or treating: Trick r Treat
That's a nice Jessica Alba GIF. I remember seeing her as a teen actress and thinking.......you know what, I'm just not gonna say any more here.