Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011  (Read 37750 times)

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #280 on: October 29, 2011, 12:33:29 AM »
I got into this with my review of Cannibal Holocaust. I know you don't read reviews of films you haven't seen.

Despite its stigma, the Horror Genre is generally meant for fun. It's an adrenaline rush and the filmmakers behind the scenes are usually interested in creating a good time more than anything else. Cannibal Holocaust is horror by the strictest of definitions. I've watched A LOT of horror movies in my time and have a pretty strong stomach for whatever a filmmaker wants to throw at me. Watching Cannibal Holocaust there was some fear, quite a bit of shock, and a great deal of disgust. When I say watching Cannibal Holocaust was a horrific experience, I say it with absolutely no encouragement.
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #281 on: October 29, 2011, 08:22:31 AM »
I certainly have a stronger stomach for extreme depictions of sex rather than violence. Antichrist however worked for me because the violence is fit into such a symbolic frame. As a general thing, if I'm buying into the ideas your film is getting at, I'll give a director a huge allowance to do things I normally wouldn't care for in a film. I haven't seen Hostel but I've never gotten the idea that it is a big ideas film.

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween pt. 1
« Reply #282 on: October 29, 2011, 11:00:28 PM »
Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween Weekend



Ghost Breakers

I wasn't able to get a hold of The Cat and the Canary, so I went with the other comedy horror starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. It's good, in fact better than average for Bob Hope. There are moments where you can see he's really acting and not just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Like Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, this project finds a way to turn Hope's schtick into a real character. It helps that many of the jokes are thought out and witty instead of just being obvious punchlines. ("He sees the dark side of everything. He was born during an eclipse.") A couple of times Hope even keeps it serious, mentioning how it would be great if there was a joke to break the tension. (This manages to be amusing, while keeping things wound.)

Hope has a servant, played by legendary African-american character Willie Best. The performance is very stereotyped, with Willie stuttering and bugging out his eyes, but I have to say that it's also very funny. Best gets a lot of the script's funniest jokes and he has a natural chemistry with Hope. ("A lot of folks don't like you, boss. I expect one of these mornings when I come to get you outta the bed, I'll have to pull the sheet up instead of down.") I think he has more screen time than Goddard (who's fine, but not even up to Dorothy Lamour standards), and while there are some cringe-inducing lines, for the most part you're meant to laugh with him and not at him.

For a while I failed to see why this is considered a horror movie at all, but the last 30 minutes pulls out all the stops. Besides the moody lighting and creaky noises there are ghosts, witches, zombies and mummies. Much creepier than a lot of the so-called classic horror films of the 20s and 30s I watched this month, this was a nice surprise
RATING: * * *

MRS. 1SO
The wife loves Bob Hope, and she had a good time with Ghost Breakers but doesn't think this one's a keeper. She thought the comedy transitioned nicely to the spooky 3rd Act, and also found Best much more funny than offensive. There was just something missing, possibly a more interesting plot or more good supporting characters for Hope to play off of. She slightly prefers Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
RATING: * * *





The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

The first of what became a 14 film series starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson. This was fun and Rathbone seems perfectly cast as England's greatest detective. Is it a horror film? Well, I could see it working as one under the right conditions, but it certainly doesn't fit the genre as well as Brotherhood of the Wolf. Brotherhood is more entertaining, though it could benefit from borrowing Hound's brisk pace and not just a few plot points. (I considered showing Brotherhood to Mrs. 1SO, but I can think of a few reasons why she wouldn't care for it.)

This is a better movie than I remembered from my childhood, with a mystery that's effortlessly involving without being all too obvious. I thought the hound was larger and more vicious, sort of like the wolf in 300. I don't like how Holmes disappears for a good stretch in the middle, but Watson is okay and there's always the mystery of the Hound to maintain interest.
RATING: * * *

MRS. 1SO

The wife though the recent Sherlock Holmes was okay, she really likes the stories by Doyle and she loves Disney's The Great Mouse Detective. She never read the original story, but she thought the movie was wonderful. She loves the intelligence of Holmes and thought Rathbone was exactly how she imagined the great detective. They dumbed down Watson, but Nigel Bruce fit her mental image precisely too. She was hooked right from the start and just had a blast. There will be more adventures with Sherlock Holmes in our future.
RATING: * * * *
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 11:04:40 PM by 1SO »
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MartinTeller

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #283 on: October 29, 2011, 11:28:58 PM »
I have a big soft spot for the Rathbone/Bruce films, but what they did to Watson irks me (it gets significantly worse in the later ones).  Sometimes I think about buying the Blu-Ray set, but I don't imagine I'd watch them very often.  If you're hungry for more, I recommend The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the underrated Sherlock Holmes in Washington and the campy Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman.

Scared Stiff, the Martin/Lewis remake of Ghost Breakers, is quite fun too.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #284 on: October 29, 2011, 11:39:01 PM »
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is already in the queue. After my initial exposure to Hammer, I'm curious to see their version of Baskervilles, with Peter Cushing as Holmes.
The guy in the store told me about Scared Stiff, but I really hate Jerry Lewis. I see little difference between him and Pauly Shore.
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1SO

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Torso
« Reply #285 on: October 30, 2011, 01:25:20 AM »


Torso

In the world of reviewing and rating movies, Italian giallo always gets graded on a huge curve. The famous ones, the ones you can name, they all have moments. There are flashes of originality, camera trickery, usually some good set design or lighting. I actually love the style and look forward to seeing Amer at some point. However, none of these films can sustain a semblance of greatness front to back. At best they're interesting, but you always have to wade through a thick muck of incoherence and cheese to hope that the trip is worthwhile in the end. Even the first 10 minutes of Suspiria loses out to the 90 minutes that follow.

So essentially Torso (aka. (and I'm not kidding) "Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence") is crap. It's story is crap, the acting is crap. This is cheap sexual exploitation interspersed with a handful of murders, where all of the men are portrayed as sexually starved hyenas and the filmmaker finds new places to stick his lens to photograph women who are reasonably attractive at best. They look too used to come off as sexy and I'm just not sleazy enough to find this entertaining.

Some of the murder scenes are skillfully put together, but occasional moments of talent shouldn't be confused with talent. The style of giallo even changes from murder mystery to slasher film. (The middle of High Tension owes everything to the hide and seek finale of Torso.) Even bad films can have good moments. There is something to be taken from bits and pieces of Torso, but that doesn't change the opinion that this is a bad film.
RATING: * 1/2
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sdedalus

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #286 on: October 30, 2011, 02:30:49 AM »
I've been disappointed in both of the Rathbone/Bruce Holmes films I've seen (Adventures and Hound).  Adventures in particular really irked me as it was much dumber than any of the actual stories, but mostly I just found both of them to be boring, both visually and in pacing.  I think the Hammer Hound is upcoming on TCM and I'm going to watch it, I have hopes.

Watched Masque of the Red Death again tonight and I've gotta say, 1SO, I have no idea what you're talking about.  The one technique I recall you complaining about being overused (a push-in to a close-up screaming woman, wasn't it?) I didn't see at all, maybe once.  I thought the costumes and set design were great, expressive if not necessarily high quality, the cinematography (by Nicolas Roeg!) exceptional and Vincent Price marvelous.  Corman expanded the Poe story dramatically, adding not only the innocent girl and Satanism elements, but giving it a real political argument (he effectively equates Satanism within the Randian mentality of the ruling class).  The whole thing is really creepy, but the final fifteen minutes or so are a terrifying succession of images: from the dwarfs revenge to the final dance to the gathering of deaths.  I think it belongs right with The Seventh Seal as great movies where Death is a main character.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #287 on: October 30, 2011, 11:00:33 AM »
Definitely starting with Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and seeing how I feel after that. You're talking to someone who owns The Thin Man box set even though only the first 2 are good movies.

I anxiously await some thoughts on the Hammer Hound. Now that I've finished my list I was considering a bonus Hammer film or perhaps The Phantom Carriage.

The technique was the push in itself. I remember the push in when the screaming woman learns that marrying Satan isn't all that great, but there are 3 more push-ins that I remember well. One where the girl sees him sleeping in a crypt (which I think also includes a push in on the girl), the revelation of Price disguised as a guard and the reveal of the face behind Red Death. What bothered me was the lack of imagination, having every "shocking" reveal come with a push-in. It's as bad as a comedian overselling the punchline.

I also liked the costume, set design and cinematography. The look of Red Death was one of the best things in the film (and why I made it my screenshot). One of my favorite images from this Shocktober is the gathering of deaths. I'm not here to tear down a film you love. You have your Masque and I prefer my Vampire Circus or even Hausu. As for movies where death is a main character, I'm a huge, huge supporter of The Frighteners.
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sdedalus

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #288 on: October 30, 2011, 02:02:16 PM »
Fair enough.  I would agree with you on the overuse of the technique, probably, if I saw the same thing you did, but I really don't think all those were push-ins.  At least one of those was a straight axial cut (Price in the coffin).  I think the reveal of Price as a guard is just a continuation of the tracking shot. Roeg moves the camera a lot, the camera is tracking through most of the film, it's part of what sells the dreamlike nature of the story.
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #289 on: October 30, 2011, 05:43:44 PM »
Mimic

I had heard mostly bad things about this film, but it was the lone del Toro film I had yet to watch so I felt compelled. And in a sense I'm glad to have seen it just for how it fits together. It is curious that del Toro's novel series, The Strain, is something I like as much as I do because it is in many ways a combination of Mimic and Chronos, my two least favorite del Toro films. From Chronos it takes vampire elements, an elderly human patron, an antiques shop owner. From Mimic it takes a focus on epidemiology and public health, CDC operations, and a focus on the New York City underground. However, where The Strain has been captivating (if not exactly deep) in its character development and thematic material, neither Chronos nor Mimic really grabbed me as stories.

Mimic starts with a terrifying contagion afflicting children, spread by cockroaches. To fight this, Susan Tyler, a bug specialist, develops a genetically engineered insect to fight the cockroaches. Every single person in the world knows that nothing could possibly go wrong. But of course it does and now these things are bringing havoc upon New York City, though they do it discreetly. It feels hard to really talk about it beyond this point because it is all kind of a muddle. Being del Toro, the creature design is pretty interesting, but I didn't get into the human characters all that much. Anyway, quite a disappointment. And really, once you take out the great Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone, nothing from del Toro rises above average.

1/5