Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011  (Read 35712 times)

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 02:02:17 PM »
@Bill. I like your take. I have a strong like/HATE regard towards DOTD. The performances are terrible, but consistent in their theatricality, so I came around on Dr. Logan and a couple of the others. I also really, really like the zombie finale. Overall, it's a film so hampered by budget it would've been better to wait for more funds or not even bother. Overall I find this chapter easier to rewatch than Land of the Dead, where Romero had some support but felt even further out of his element.

@Beavermoose. Child's Play is okay. After that, they tried treating Chuckie as a serious threat with a bunch of terrible sequels. Bride of Chucky, however, is a lot of fun. They finally took the idea in the right direction.

Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2011, 09:44:54 PM »
House of Usher (1960)

I haven't read any Poe for a good long while, perhaps even since ninth grade English. The handful of short stories I have read I've enjoyed for its rich gothic nature. As such, I thought it would be fun to read the Poe originals alongside watching the Corman/Price films for this marathon. I had never read The Fall of the House of Usher and I have to say, the thickness of the prose caught me by surprise as I don't remember struggling so much with Poe before, and yet it kind of makes sense. I can't say I loved Usher as a short story (I do absolutely adore the part of The Martian Chronicles that is based on Usher and other Poe stories) and have an even more difficult time picturing a feature film adaptation of what is an extremely slight story, but then I'm gonna watch The Raven for this marathon, which I can picture as filling a third of a Simpsons' episode but not a feature-length film. But that's why we watch the films.

And indeed, what a film. It takes a couple of major details from Poe's story but really embellishes it in order to get more from the story. In the story, the visitor is a childhood friend of Roderick Usher, in the film he is fiancee of Madeline Usher, a character in the story almost in spirit only. Rather than being a mere observer of the House, Philip is an active participant in a romance with Roderick standing sternly in the way, with dare I say incestuous underpinning. You also get a richer exploration of the Usher curse…is it the house or is it the genes, or is it both? That mystery is the shroud that hangs over the plot.

Price is fantastic here. I'm not sure how much I've seen of him but it strikes me that he reminds me of a sinister version of Paul Newman, complete with bright blue eyes. Combined with his distinctive voice he is just an immediately captivating screen presence. The four person cast here works quite well as a whole.

Anyway, I had a great time with this film. On the whole I appreciate the adaptation, though the ending in the original story seemed cooler and neater. The film had a few soft moments in the last act where it felt like it could have lost ten minutes, even out of the 70-something minute runtime. Still, with these films being a little less classic than the Romero zombie films, getting off to such a great start and seeing both the high technical level of Corman and strong presence of Price has me very excited about this part of Shocktober too.

4/5

1SO

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Cat People (1942) by 1SO
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2011, 10:57:23 PM »


Cat People (1942)

Cat people has a considerable reputation as a classic 1940s horror film. It's one of the landmark examples of horror by suggestion, the use of shadow and noise to create terror. This is very evident in a couple of key scenes that are still pretty intense. Unfortunately, I'd have trouble coming up with Top 5 key moments in Cat People. While the performances are fine and the script is good enough, at 70 minutes everything feels truncated. I would've appreciated more character development, more story, a few more plot turns. After all that is in place there'd be room for even more scary scenes.

It's hard to go into what's really good about Cat People because there's so little of it. I'd love to tell you about the two really effective scares, the small visual moments involving footprints and nails, but then there'd be nothing left for you to enjoy on your own. There's a story about how the cat people came to be, but it's left largely unexplored. And what about that strange looking woman at the Serbian restaurant? It would've been nice to get back to her and see what else she knows. The film doesn't even explore the sexual connection of the curse. I tried to look at the film as a metaphor for something related to men and women, but again they don't take the time to include such things into the story.

I don't like faulting a film for what it isn't. Cat People does build to some well-directed horror set pieces, and I can recommend it for what's there, but there could've been so much more.
RATING: * * *

sdedalus

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2011, 12:41:14 AM »
Huh.  I think it hits all those points in its brief running time.  Maybe because I've seen it a bunch of times.  The sex stuff is pretty obvious, though, isn't it?
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Jared

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2011, 11:50:58 AM »
are you going to watch the sequel (which I believe is on the same disc)? Its an odd but interesting diversion from the original.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2011, 01:11:55 PM »
Curse of the Cat People

Don't feel like writing a full review for this because I watched it last night and it's already fading from memory. I liked how they brought back a lot of the cast and I really like the way the sequel involves that strange looking woman from the restaurant. It's interesting to see how directors Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch don't try to mimic the style of the original. They don't shake the shadows completely, but there are more stylized lighting effects and more of a gothic ghost story feel that reminded me of Wise's The Haunting. Overall though, this feels even more incomplete than the original, with characters like the aging actress behaving strangely just for effect. I watched this at night, alone and with all the lights out yet nothing even remotely creeped me out. The odd stuff didn't build but just plopped along, until suddenly we got some danger in the last 2 minutes.
RATING: * *

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 02:02:05 PM »
I'm not committing to this list, but I'm going to try to work through these, and perhaps others as I edit them in over the rest of the month:

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Don't Look Now
House (1977)
Burnt Offerings
Sleepaway Camp
The Evil Dead
Black Sunday
Faust
The Mist
Antichrist

Additions:

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
An American Werewolf in London
Requiem
Deep Red
Grace
The Fog (1980)
Maniac
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:17:04 PM by Sam the Cinema Snob »

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 02:19:55 PM »
Glad to have you aboard. That makes three for House (Hausu).

sdedalus

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 03:55:44 PM »
Curse of the Cat People

Don't feel like writing a full review for this because I watched it last night and it's already fading from memory. I liked how they brought back a lot of the cast and I really like the way the sequel involves that strange looking woman from the restaurant. It's interesting to see how directors Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch don't try to mimic the style of the original. They don't shake the shadows completely, but there are more stylized lighting effects and more of a gothic ghost story feel that reminded me of Wise's The Haunting. Overall though, this feels even more incomplete than the original, with characters like the aging actress behaving strangely just for effect. I watched this at night, alone and with all the lights out yet nothing even remotely creeped me out. The odd stuff didn't build but just plopped along, until suddenly we got some danger in the last 2 minutes.
RATING: * *

It's not a horror movie at all.  It's a movie about childhood, and a lovely one at that.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 04:20:29 PM »
It's not a horror movie at all.  It's a movie about childhood, and a lovely one at that.

Then everything about the film was misleading. Not just the marketing and the fact that it's the sequel to a horror film - you can give many examples of other films that did the same - but everything, including the supernatural aspects of the film itself. I found it to be in the same vein as The Innocents (or The Others). A Tale of Two Sisters, I can make a stronger argument for that being a film about childhood and not a horror film than I can with Curse of the Cat People.