Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011  (Read 37871 times)

Lobby

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #130 on: October 10, 2011, 04:18:55 PM »
Yeah, I loved the car, the rain, the arrival and what takes place immediately after...
The story was about at the level of a bad porn movie.
The red color was hypnotizing though.
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1SO

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Island of Lost Souls by 1SO
« Reply #131 on: October 10, 2011, 06:17:02 PM »


Island of Lost Souls (1932)

When I was a kid, watching 1977's The Island of Dr. Moreau (starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York) was a really fun time. Creepy, but not too much so, this tale of the mad scientist who is turning animals into people was scary fun. Nowadays, it's impossible to erase the memory of the 1996 train wreck which starred a clueless Val Kilmer and a completely off his nut Marlon Brando (along with a then unknown David Thewlis.) Island of Lost Souls is the original adaptation of H.G. Wells novel. It stars Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi and will be released on Criterion Blu-Ray in a couple of weeks. It's also a complete dud.

I'm prone to blanket generalizations I shouldn't be making, but based on this marathon most early Horror Films are dated beyond repair. Lost Souls isn't scary or creepy or even interesting. The music is emotionally pitched beyond high melodrama while most of the cast sleepwalk through to their paychecks. Kathleen Burke as Lota the Panther Woman at least tries for something interesting, and Lugosi gives the monkey/man part his usual hammy touch. (Though the Hungarian accent sounds especially out of place.) The film runs a brief 70 minutes yet goes on forever. It reminds me of those old commercials that show people shrieking at the horror of a carnival sideshow, even though you would probably do little more than shrug. It's a little bark and even less bite. This film has long outlived its purpose and the only thing I found interesting was the chant of "Are we not men?", which I remember from Devo.
RATING: * 1/2
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Corndog

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #132 on: October 10, 2011, 10:13:30 PM »

Oh boy, what do I make of this film? About a week or so ago I ventured into my first early Raimi (sorry to those I made feel old by calling him that Spider-man guy). It was The Evil Dead, which is the first in this two film series about the walking dead and human possession by some evil spirit. I found that first film a bit difficult because of the horrid acting and laughable effects, but I have to say it has a certain charm to it because of the obvious B movie feel and amount of fun camp to be had. And I do believe that my viewing of its sequel to be beneficial to my positive slanting view of what was ridiculous filmmaking in the first installment.

We return to the site of the crime in the first film, and with the same character who outlasted, outwitted, and outplayed the rest of the pale faced zombies: Ash (Bruce Campbell). Ash takes his girlfriend to a secluded cabin which he knows about (and if the occupants show up they will just claim to be lost) for a romantic weekend with just the two of them. And just as soon as he gets there does he play the ominous tape which unleashes the evil spirit, which possess his girlfriend, forcing him to behead him. Soon enough some strangers show up looking for their parents, but when the bridge goes out, and they can't seen to find the way from which they came, everyone is stuck trying to survive and not become possessed.

I am not sure at all what to make of this film. Is it a sequel? A prequel? A remake? None of the above make sense. You might call it a sequel, but the cabin has current occupants who were long since gone in the original. And if it is a sequel than Ask is a sick human being not only for having been there and experienced it all before and yet still taking his new girlfriend back and ignorantly playing the same tape again which let out the spirit, but also because he gives her the same charm. C'mon man, have some class and originality. It could be a prequel, but Ash claims to have been there before, like in the original? And if it is, why does he go back in the original, and act as though he doesn't know how to get there? And a remake? Well all the factors are different apart from Ash and the general idea behind the spirits, which is actually expounded upon in this one. I guess that leaves this film as being some sort of strange, unique phenomenon.

And I truly think phenomenon is the best word to use in this situation because it is the only way to explain its popularity. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time with this film, perhaps a better time than with the first one, and I think that is probably in part because I knew kind of what to expect, or in some cases, what not to expect, like good acting and effects. They are both laughable, but the camp factor is so high it becomes a joyride instead of a genuine fright night. It was bad to the point that it reminded me of another film from 1987, Andy Sidaris' Hard Ticket to Hawaii. That was a film which I watched with friends, knowing it would be horrible, and it was, but it was also one of the best film experiences of my life because of how bad it was. This film was like that, and yet Hard Ticket to Hawaii is rated a 3.5 on IMDb, and Evil Dead II is rated a whopping 7.8. I understand the love, but how can the same love not be expressed to a equally ridiculous film. It is an unexplained phenomenon to me.

And that leads me to my final paragraph of the review, a paragraph I would like to dedicate to Bruce Campbell. I was somewhat mixed on his performance in the first film, but he just goes all out here and I have nothing bad to say about him. Well, that's not true. He is so bad that he gives one of the single best  indirectly comedic performances I have ever seen. And for those who will say it is not indirect, I just mean that it was a non-comedic performance, it was a horror performance. He is so over the top, so unnecessarily flamboyant and demented. The laughing scene is just plain awesome. At the end of the day I definitely had a great time, but not because it is a great film, in fact because it is a bad film. Not as bad as Hard Ticket to Hawaii, it actually has some cinematic moments that show signs of promise for Sam Raimi given a budget and a script not written by himself, but still bad. Next time I will be sure to watch it with friends, and hope they get the joke too.
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Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #133 on: October 11, 2011, 12:04:38 AM »
The Wicker Man - Robin Hardy.



The Wicker Man is awesome. I'm getting that out of the way at the top. It's super great. Go watch it.

Ok, now let's get into it. The Wicker Man is a musical more than it is a horror film. There are horrifying elements, mostly in the last third, but it's way more a fish-out-of-water detective story. Edward Woodward (perhaps the best name ever) is a headstrong police officer trying to find a young girl who's gone missing on a remote British island. He runs afoul of the locals, including their Lord (those silly Brits!), Christopher Lee. See, Woodward is a Christian and Lee and his people are pagans. They believe in the old gods, those of fire and air and water and all that jazz. And they sing and dance and jump over fire while naked. It's a fun time. And they sing a lot. It's fun.

But Woodward just gets more and more angry at the islanders as they exuberantly flaunt their strange beliefs at him. It's kind of a funny performance, the way he's tortured by their NUDITY and talk of PHALLI! The scene where Lee explains to Woodward how their pagan-ness came about is fun, Lee plays calm and cool to Woodward's red-hot outrage. And the seduction song sung by the tavern owner's daughter is funny and sexy.

The third act gets a little darker as the islanders prepare for their May Day celebrations. That's where the creepy masks and rituals come in. I am inordinately scared of people with animal heads, so this stuff worked for me. I saw the remake before I saw this, so any plot twists were not surprising to me, but I still enjoyed the ride. It's a fun time, even through the darker ending. The photography throughout is pretty cool. It's not often gorgeous but it feels so earthy and almost documentary-ish, which is neat.

This one has a good chance of ending up on my top 100 list. It's really a great film.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #134 on: October 11, 2011, 12:15:01 AM »
It's a great film to discover. So wonderfully bizarre.

Edward Woodward is a great name, but it cannot compare to Benedict Cumberbatch.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #135 on: October 11, 2011, 12:16:38 AM »
The Wicker Man - Robin Hardy.

This one has a good chance of ending up on my top 100 list.

It's on mine.  Cabal!
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tmkmalone

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #136 on: October 11, 2011, 12:18:40 AM »
So far I've watched John Carpenter's "The Thing" again and I suppose "Dogtooth" might fit the bill as some kind of horror film.

Here are a few that caught me off guard in the past.

Seconds (1966)
Want out of your life? Just pay the fee and we'll fake your death, change your face, and set up a new identity for you. Very creepy. Stars Rock Hudson, directed by John Frankenheimer.

Open Water (2003)
Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left. Minimalist thriller.

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Elvis (Bruce Campbell) and JFK, both alive and in a nursing home, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy. Great camp from the director of "Phantasm."

The House of the Devil (2009)
College student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual. Great 1980s setting with special thanks to eBay.

verbALs

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #137 on: October 11, 2011, 05:07:48 AM »
Quote
It was The Evil Dead, which is the first in this two film series about the walking dead and human possession by some evil spirit.

Probably a slip of the keyboard, but Army of Darkness makes it 3 films & though it is wildly uneven it is another good time...except it sounds like you didn't like ED2, which totally floors me!
I would have thought the comparison you make between the first two films would have pointed very definitely to ED2 being a comedy, pure and simple, and Brucey's performance being so damn BIG as a comedic turn not a horror one. I don't even think Campbell is capable of straight acting, in real-life he always comes across as a good time. If you take it seriously for even one second, ED2 would obviously be a big mess...sorry a big LOUD mess. Who can take it seriously though?
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Corndog

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #138 on: October 11, 2011, 07:11:52 AM »
I would have never connected something called Army of Darkness to the Evil Dead series, I never knew.

As as for my response to Evil Dead II, I said I had a great time. I don't have to recognize it as a well made film for me to be able to like it and I was trying to say that after seeing the second film it made my enjoyment of the first that much more because I was able to see how ridiculous the two films were and how much of a good time they are. And as for Bruce Campbell, I loved him. I believe I said this in my review: "I have nothing bad to say about him."
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Beavermoose

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #139 on: October 11, 2011, 07:57:31 AM »
It was The Evil Dead, which is the first in this two three film series about the walking dead and human possession by some evil spirit

Army of Darkness