Color Me Blood Red
aka. Model Massacre★ Ĺ
Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis is despised among critics because the heavy amounts of blood are further cheapened by wooden acting, stilted dialogue and poor lighting. I think they give the films their own style and usually Lewis has an original idea to work with. Here, heís (unofficially) remaking A Bucket of Blood, which is just lazy. The one thing I used to like about HGL is absent, inspiration.Die, Monster, Die!
aka. Monster of Terror
aka. Colour Out of Space
aka. The House at the End of the World★ ★ Ĺ
Spooky mansion mystery from a story by H.P. Lovecraft with Boris Karloff oddly seeming out of place, too classy for such a loopy film. Thereís a lot of aimless wandering, but the last 20 minutes throws in some wild turns, as if they werenít sure of what they were building to, so they throw in a handful of ideas all at once. Messy, but quite entertaining at the end.Billy the Kid vs. Dracula
You look at that title and think this might be good for some unintentional laughs, but itís not even that entertaining. The highlight is the red filter they throw in front of Dracula (John Carradine) whenever heís supposed to be seducing someone with his hypnotic charms. This effect also highlights the contradiction of a 60-year-old immortal Dracula. Cast and sets are minimal and everything is filmed in daylight, including the night scenes. If there were any hints the filmmakers cared or understood the spirit of what they were selling, I might have more affection for it. This is just a bad film with a novel label.Incubus
Folk horror, similar to The Wicker Man or The Witch. (The goat here could be related to Black Phillip.) Full of atmosphere, thanks to legendary cinematographer Conrad Hall and the film being the only one filmed in Esperanto, a language foreign to everybody. All these dislocation tricks do the heavy lifting for too simple a story of demons corrupting pure souls. Casting William Shatner as the most innocent person in the village just brings another layer of strangeness. He does get a typical Shatner moment, however. Following a solar eclipse he tells a woman they just spent the night together.The Diabolical Dr. Z
aka. Miss Death
aka. Miss Death and Dr. Z in the Grip of the Maniac★ ★ Ĺ
This is actually the third film in the 7-film Orloff series that starts with The Awful Dr. Orlof
, and my 2nd film from notorious exploitation filmmaker Jesķs Franco. This early work is more polished that I would've expected. Coming out before Franco could go wild with on-screen nudity, I actually admire the heavy suggestion of sexuality here with careful wardrobe choices and clever camera placement. The thriller plot is also better than most giallo, which still isn't very good but at least I didn't want to slam my head into the table watching stylish sensationalism steamroll over any substance.