Author Topic: Horror: The Final Chapter  (Read 17878 times)

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Re: Horror: The Final Chapter
« Reply #430 on: July 30, 2020, 01:10:23 AM »
I don't know if I would've gotten into Jean Rollin's films if not for this Marathon. The first couple I saw had almost no plot so it's like watching 80 minutes of naked people wandering through a cemetery, which isn't enough for me. But Rollin doesn't force the nudity like Michael Bay or to be campy, it's oddly casual, and I admire the simplicity of the stories. The Iron Rose is about a couple who have sex in a cemetery, they lose their clothes and they lose their way. (I know more happens than that, but not much more.) The Grapes of Death is about a young woman who discovers that pesticide being sprayed on vineyards is turning people into zombies. Rollin is not Wes Anderson, but like Anderson I know what I'm in for and there are returning faces and there's comfort in that.

I love Village of the Damned. (I assume we're talking about the original. The remake is a mess.)
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

etdoesgood

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Other countries have (had?) inferior potassium
Re: Horror: The Final Chapter
« Reply #431 on: July 30, 2020, 01:23:31 AM »
I'm talking John Carpenter Village of the Damned, I had no idea there was a 1960 original. Maybe I should add that to my list.

How many of these horror films you're mainlining are X-rated? Seems like an outsized number of X-rated films back in the day were of the horror variety.
A desert person.

Simple Distinctions:
The Best  |  Great  |  Good  |  Mixed  | Bad

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror: In Isolaton
« Reply #432 on: July 30, 2020, 01:26:43 PM »
I'm talking John Carpenter Village of the Damned, I had no idea there was a 1960 original. Maybe I should add that to my list.
I solidly recommend this.


How many of these horror films you're mainlining are X-rated? Seems like an outsized number of X-rated films back in the day were of the horror variety.
I don't pay attention to this. A number of films are also unrated because they would be X or they were originally rated X but cut to an R and then an unrated version was released later. This is why I have fun with the alternate titles. Horror films were so disrespected for so many years that they would be freely recut to suit the tastes of different countries and the retitled so fans unknowkingly watch the same movie twice. Sometimes when I look for a film I'll see different running times and will read to see which version I should watch.

I'm currently watching a series of documentaries about UK Video Nasties. So far I've learned...
A) A number of films were placed on the list because of suggestive covers and the belief that something immoral was in the film because the watchdogs who created the list did not want to watch the actual movie.

B) When the list became public it became a challenge for horror fans to complete it.

C) They quickly learned most of these film are terrible and quite a few don't even belong on the list because (see A)
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror: In Isolation
« Reply #433 on: July 31, 2020, 12:15:54 PM »

Xtro (1982)
aka. X-tro
aka. Judas Goat
★ ★
Creature feature with some impressive makeup effects. Doesn’t really know what it wants to be about, so the focus shifts between the kid, the mom, her boyfriend and her husband who shows up after three years. There’s clown imagery and body horror and a monster looking to plant some eggs. Effective moments but not a cohesive film.


The Killing of Satan (1983)
aka. Fight Satan
★ ★
Man vs. Satan ...and his gang of super-powered magicians. Thought I might need a good bad movie about now so I added this title from badmovies.org’s Best B-Movies. They accurately describe Philippine genre cinema with, “sometimes they almost make sense, until they suddenly don’t.” You could have a David Lynch of a time looking for internal logic where it probably doesn’t exist. It’s the full satan here: red tail, horns and pitchfork. Also our hero backhands a snake.


Revenge of the Dead (1983)
aka. Voices from Darkness
aka. Voices from the Beyond
★ ★ ½
Not an Italian zombie rip-off, but a mystery (discovered cleverly in the ribbon of an old typewriter) that sends out curious lead on a quest to discover a religious cult that believes in the ability to bring the dead back to life. More Pet Sematary than Dawn of the Dead, marred mostly by a conclusion that just left me thinking, “I guess that’s it, then.” Had one scary scene, one tense encounter, a surprise and a shocking image, raising what’s been a very low bar for this year’s marathon.


Sole Survivor (1984)
★ ★
One woman survives a plane crash completely uninjured, but while suffering survivor’s guilt, she thinks death may still be coming for her. Small indie which borrows heavily from Carnival of Souls could be seen as the inspiration for Final Destination, Unbreakable and 1993’s Fearless. By itself, it doesn’t develop the story to have nearly as much interest as the later films and can’t afford a fraction of the strange atmosphere of the earlier one.


Demons 2 (1986)
aka. Demoni 2... The Nightmare Returns
★ ½
Officially, Demoni is my least favorite film of All Time. In truth, I've probably seen worse since then, but back in 1989 when I watched the original - and I remember the experience clearly - I was offended by the narrative incoherence and the use of disgusting imagery for entertainment. Nothing in this film is as repellent and a lifetime of Michael Bay has numbed me to a filmmaker who prizes a sensational image above all else. The film moves fast, looks stylish and there are plenty of 'big' moments, but the uncaring stupidity towards any story still annoys.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror: In Isolation
« Reply #434 on: August 01, 2020, 01:41:30 AM »
No... I don't have anything better to do.



Déjà Vu (1987)
aka. Reflections
★ ★ ½
Puzzle film where I lost patience for the random incidents before everything comes together. And it does all come together in the end, but I question if fragmentation was the best way to tell this story. There are shots and scenes that match across the time periods, and there’s a good story here of an unhealthy relationship, but why not trust us to connect the patterns, which could’ve deepened our empathy more naturally?


Clownhouse (1989)
★ ★
Scary clown home invasion film that was the film debut of Sam Rockwell and the director was sent to jail for sexual misconduct with the two underage male leads. It’s something that makes the coming-of-age 80s sex talk by the cast especially difficult. Makes me glad that I don’t like the film because I don’t have to defend it. You can tell the director is trying to generate suspense, using the brief appearances of the psychotic clowns like the shark in Jaws. Take away the clowns and you have a very routine slasher.


A Cat in the Brain (1990)
aka. Nightmare Concert
★ ★
Directed by and starring Lucio Fulci who plays a version of himself. He’s having trouble leaving his gore at work, but the violence all around him may be the work of someone enacting his film violence in the real world. I was not expecting Fulci to have an 8½ in his oeuvre. Unfortunately, this is a better idea than Fulci can pull off. He’s only capable of dishing up the graphic violence.


Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
★ ★
The story is bonkers, transporting a scientist with a breakthrough invention (John Hurt) from the modern day into the time of Dr. Frankenstein (Raul Julia). He interacts with the classic story while it’s in progress, enhancing the Prometheus aspects. Too bad, the final film directed by Roger Corman suffers from Corman’s budget-conscious filmmaking and a layer of meta-cheese that dulls the potential.


Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer (1993)
★ ½
I didn't include the poster to keep it classy in here. Artsy, disturbing German horror which I thought was trying to be Angst, but is actually from the director of Nekromantic. Thankfully only 65min, which I'll remember as I watch the 152min The House That Jack Built. I've seen worse, and by that I mean I think the director was actually trying to say something and not just fill the screen with upsetting images.


Five more titles to go and I can put this away until Shocktober.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

Knocked Out Loaded

  • Elite Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1789
  • I might remember it all differently tomorrow.
Re: Horror: In Isolation
« Reply #435 on: August 01, 2020, 04:24:10 AM »
No... I don't have anything better to do.
You know, there alway is an Xtro 2 and Xtro 3 out there.
Extraordinary (81-100˚) | Very good (61-80˚) | Good (41-60˚) | Fair (21-40˚) | Poor (0-20˚)

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Re: Horror: The Final Chapter
« Reply #436 on: August 01, 2020, 03:53:18 PM »
I also have my Shocktober list of over 100 titles, many of which I have higher hopes for than this mini-marathon.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror: In isolation
« Reply #437 on: August 02, 2020, 10:56:00 PM »

Aftermath (1994)
★ ★ ½
In my last batch I wrote about a director who wanted to say something but didn’t have the talent to get past the upsetting imagery. Spanish filmmaker Nacho Cerdà has the talent. Aftermath is a short film with no dialogue and great sound design about a morgue attendant who does unspeakable things to a corpse one night. It holds nothing back, but it’s also stylishly shot and if nothing else demonstrates that makeup effects have reached the point where it doesn’t look fake. There’s a mood to it beyond just gore and more transgressive gore, and the story has a beginning middle and end.

Because it’s so short, I watched the other film on the DVD.

Genesis (1998)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Also 30min and also with no dialogue, Genesis is about a sculptor dealing with past trauma by creating a lifelike sculpture of his dead wife. The sculpture begins to bleed through the clay while the sculptor finds the clay increasingly difficult to remove from his skin. Simple, effective and again shot with a filmmaker’s eye.


The Ugly (1997)
★ ★
A psychologist works to understand a serial killer confined to a mental hospital. There are some interesting transitions, with quick edits blurring reality and fantasy or time passing through clever staging. Too bad the character psychology is serial killer 101 and some choices are silly, in particular the place designed to look like a blood-splattered bathroom and a sadistic guard who walks around shirtless, sporting gangster tattoos.


Retribution (2006)
★ ★ ½
I never got into Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s super slow supernatural stories, but he’s great with building dread. This is easily the best directed of this year’s batch and contains my first scare which may linger in my subconscious for the night. There’s also an uncomfortable shot consisting of nothing more than a woman walking up to the camera like she’s invading the viewer’s personal space. I got really confused by the ending and a Wikipedia summary didn’t clear it up much. At least this reminds me that the filmmaker is going to be a revisit full of possibility when he comes up in my Director Marathon.


Dream Home (2010)
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Hong Kong horror about a woman (Josie Ho) willing to do anything for the high-rise apartment of her dreams. The story schemes like Parasite, but this is a lot more violent. Some of the confrontations are shocking and excessive in a good way, but they steal the spotlight from the psychological hustle. Ultimately what works best about the film – and I rewatched a couple of scenes and moments – also works against it, but if it stayed classy it might not be as memorable.


The House That Jack Built (2018)
★ ★ ★ - Good
Full Review


That completes this year's mini-marathon.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror After Horror
« Reply #438 on: November 01, 2020, 10:54:53 PM »
Decided to move back into hole because what remains on my watchlist is old, obscure and odds are there won't be a recommendable film in the lot.



Spontaneous Combustion (1990)
★ ★
Recommended by someone I follow on Twitter for the unusual, colorful props, sets and lighting. My insurance policy is the always curious direction of Tobe Hooper and a lead performance by Brad Dourif. Dourif is a treat, but you can’t watch this for the story, which has no logic. Dourif plays a nuclear-charged man who acts as a human flamethrower, sometimes burning himself but often not. He can even torch people through phone lines. Know before you go.


Habit (1996)
★ ★
A man self-destructing from a breakup meets a woman and it’s instant attraction. It could be desire, or maybe she’s a vampire and the man is her new meal. My 4th Larry Fessenden film, and my appreciation remains strong even though none of his films are mainstream or easily recommendable. Like Beat Takashi, he reminds me there are other ways to tell a story and if he ever breaks through it will be one of my favorite films of all time.


Parasite Eve (1997)
★ ★
My first Playstation game was a sequel to this, and it set up expectations of Resident Evil style evolution horror. Instead, it’s a very dry, medical look at a person evolving to a higher (or at least more destructive form) of humanity. Like Spontaneous Combustion, our lead can cause other people to catch fire. Lacking much budget, Eve’s makeup consists of a flesh cover suit, much like The Skin I Live In.


Midori (1992)
★ ★
Horror anime adapted from what’s known as “sicko art”. Name is well-earned with a parade of immoral content that would make Takashi Miike take a step back. Oddly, this struck me as more respectable than Hobo with a Shotgun, but it would need a thorough scrubbing down for the story to not take a back seat to the shocking imagery.


Mister Designer (1987)
★ ½
Ugh. Barely horror but heavily arthouse. Having no behind-the-scenes knowledge this was one of the biggest wastes of time.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • ******
  • Posts: 33697
  • Marathon Man
Horror After Horror
« Reply #439 on: November 03, 2020, 01:09:53 PM »

Aenigma (1987)
★ ★
A giallo version of “they’re all gonna laugh at you”, where they chase the poor girl down in their sports cars while hanging out the window and shouting insults. Being giallo, the revenge takes the form of paranormal witchcraft. If you enjoy this kind of nonsense, this film has an especially memorable death by drowning in/choking on slugs. These aren’t Fulci animatronic slugs but hundreds of the real thing.


Delirium (1987)
aka. Photo of Gioia
★ ★
I know I’m old because my overriding thought is this film has too much nudity. It’s not explicit, but it’s constant, and used to maintain interest in a very boring murder mystery. The best thing about the film is the killer’s bizarre visualizations of the victims at the moment of murder, such as this first victim whose entire face is a large veiny eye.


Suddenly in the Dark (1981)
★ ★ ½
The 1960 South Korean film The Housemaid has been hugely influential, and every now and then I catch a new version of the story. This one (also from South Korea) starts with the same sexual tension and jealousy caused by the young housekeeper, but adds a creepy doll and hits a point where all hell breaks loose. Characters go through predictable story beats, but the direction towards the end seems heavily inspired by Hausu, and that’s something to appreciate.


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981)
★ ★ ½
I knew Udo Kier was playing Dr. Henry Jekyll, but it was only after that I learned director Walerian Borowczyk is the madman who made 1975’s comically explicit The Beast. The story here greatly narrows the scope to Hyde being a killer on the loose in the mansion where Jekyll has gathered respectable society for his engagement party. It’s slow burn Euro-trash at the beginning but the finale is high chaos including a liberal use of shaky cam long before I thought it was an idea.


The Pyjama Girl Case (1977)
★ ★
It seems I’m inoculated enough to giallo’s stupidest characteristics and can appreciate it more, which is good because I have quite a few coming up. This drew me in because of Ray Milland, who’s phoning it in but at 70 I'm just happy to see him working. It’s an odd giallo, much more romantic melodrama than thriller, and increasingly sad as nearly all the good people end up dead.
Must See  |  Should See  |  Good  |  Mixed  |  Bad  | The Worst