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Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017  (Read 11070 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #250 on: November 03, 2017, 10:57:45 AM »
I caught a glimpse of someone using "Shocktoberfest" on the internet. It is official, we are trendsetters.
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pixote

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #251 on: November 06, 2017, 10:51:42 PM »


Dawn of the Dead  (George A. Romero, 1978)

I'd been looking forward to watching this movie for so long that I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around my disappointment in it.

The zombie apocalypse gets infected by Jean-Luc Godard film, and, for a while, greatness abounds. There's plenty to admire and appreciate, ranging from from big set-piece moments to small, lovely touches, like every shot of a mannequin. And yet halfway through, I was ready for it to be over.

I haven't quite figure out why that is. It's possible, I think, that the chaos of the first two scenes is so exciting that the mall becomes boring by comparison; it's a bit of a bait-and-switch. Seeing humans fall apart is more interesting than seeing zombies get blown up, and the middle part of the film is perhaps too much of the latter (or just neither). That being said, perhaps the most visceral scene in the whole movie is the scene with the hunters and the National Guard. I loved the more documentary style there and the way the scene made the zombie outbreak feel like a necessary extension of the Vietnam War, or, rather, a necessary cleansing thereafter.

I also had trouble, as I often do, with the rules of the world. It bothered me that the zombies seemed super strong one moment but then could be knocked over with a feather the next moment, depending on what the particular scene required. That seeming inconsistency probably detracted from my enjoyment of the film more than anything else at least in the dramatic moments. When a human character releases a zombie nun's robe from a gate, the rules don't matter.

There's always that one character in these sorts of films that's a drain on things, and that's definitely Flyboy here. And yet, near the end, he gives maybe the best performance, just in the way he walks. Scott Reiniger distracted me with how much he looked like James Van Der Beek's uncle, but Ken Foree and Gaylen Ross were good, solid horror movie protagonists.

Perfection: "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth."

Grade: B-

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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #252 on: November 06, 2017, 11:43:24 PM »
Dawn of the Dead  (George A. Romero, 1978)

Perfection

pixote

FYP


I'd be happy to open up your can of worms, but I don't no where we can have an interesting discussion. Living in a mall is like some crazy childhood dream, so I don't know how you can find it boring. With so many horror films you question people risking their lives needlessly, but here they do it to win the mall and all that it contains. That's the prize and it's makes the adventure worth living.

Seeing humans fall apart is more interesting than seeing zombies get blown up
I love that Romero doesn't waste time with the endless slaughter of the zombies inside the mall. They have to clean up the place and he just cuts to the aftermath, with all the bodies strewn on the ground. Also, the celebration of everyone enjoying the prize isn't presented as complete wish fulfillment. Romero shows them trying to create familiar society rituals - a family feast, a trip to the bank, putting on makeup - but the mall setting makes it artificial. All they're really able to do is take a break from the apocalypse outside their walls.
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pixote

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #253 on: November 07, 2017, 01:58:57 PM »
I'd be happy to open up your can of worms, but I don't no where we can have an interesting discussion.

Yeah, the reaction of "I just had trouble staying engaged" is a tough one to talk through. And I wish I had written up better notes after my screening (but I was too excited to get to the next movie in my horror night marathon). I'm curious, I guess, since it's your favorite horror movie of all time: is it a flawless experience for you? Are there scenes that you find yourself being forgiving of just because you like the surrounding context so much?

Also, I should probably ask, have you seen most of the various versions and do you find yourself wanting to create your own fan edit at all? (Perhaps you've already written about this somewhere.)

One scene that stands out as having really bothered me was when they're moving the trucks around and the zombies don't really seem like a legitimate threat at all but Roger still finds a way to get bit (partly due to his weird nonchalance). I don't remember the particulars at this point, unfortunately, but the staging of that scene struck me as rather awkward and indicative of the kinds of things that held me back from loving the movie.

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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #254 on: November 07, 2017, 08:45:05 PM »
There are no flawless experiences for me, and I don't rank films based on how close to perfection they get. It's more about how high is the peak, so yeah, there are a lot of scenes I forgive (and moments of weak acting) because I LOVE what I love. This is most apparent in the music. The Goblin score and the mall music is sensational, and I love the hunting African tribal chant in particular, but the canned library music sounds like something discarded from a 4th of July parade.

It actually took me some time to come to terms with Romero's non-visual style. The camera rarely moves and stylized scenes, like the maintenance man lurking in the shadows, stand out as fake. I overcame that by keying into how expertly edited it is. Plus, even without a flashy camera, there are a number of striking images. (There is a shot at the end that bugs me. I get what Romero was doing with all the zombies closing in on the biker like a collapsing circle, but to get the shot, the zombies never stand between the biker and the camera.)

I've seen at least 2 versions of the film and was surprised most by the lack of difference between them. I see no point for a fan edit. Romero's 127 minute cut is the only one for me.

My favorite thing about Dawn of the Dead are the number of genres outside Horror the film covers. It's really more of an action/adventure combined with a social satire. The truck sequence is the peak of Adventure, and I thought it was staged much like a Howard Hawks sequence where everyone must show how good they are at their individual jobs and it's taken for granted that the woman is going to be just as skilled as the men. It's when somebody acts unprofessional that things go wrong. There's a nice steady progression of Roger turning it into playtime, a time to act cool as opposed to proving your cool through your actions. That professionalism also sets up the contrast with the biker gang, who bring anarchy to the mall. It's an approach to the zombies that can work with acceptable losses because their numbers are so many, and they probably pick up survivors along the way to replace their dead.

I didn't mention it, but Flyboy's walk at the end is as iconic as the machete to the face or the elevator shot that leads to Flyboy's walk.
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #255 on: November 08, 2017, 07:07:50 PM »
13 Chambers (2017)

Late entry because this just popped up on Amazon. It follows in the footsteps of XX as an all-female-director horror anthology. This is notably more low budget and far more avant garde. Ergo, this is far worse. Only a couple would really fall under the category of horror. At best the remainder are just eerie because they are abstract.

There are two that stood out because I could relate. The first depicts a date and in me it inspires the fear, is this what it's like to go on a date with me? Basically the guy talks incessantly about himself and his interests while she spaces out into an alternate world of dancing and glittery pinatas. The second has a guy reconnect with his childhood imaginary friend which hits the point that yes indeed, even my imaginary friend would be succeeding at life more than me. But enough about my insecurities, this film is bad.

philip918

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #256 on: November 08, 2017, 08:48:15 PM »
The Witches (1990)



Talk about visual flair. I hadn't even heard of this, but it's one of my wife's favorites from childhood, and I was kind of blown away. First, directed by Nicolas Roeg? Crazy. Jim Henson creatures. Awesome. The story is very simple, but it's executed with gusto. There are a number of steady cam shots that are really remarkable. Starting with a simple moment of the boy's parents walking out the door to their car, which is captured in this swooping, ominous pass that imbues the last moment the boy sees his parents alive with mythical importance.

Anjelica Huston is fantastic. Rowan Atkinson is dryly humorous as always. Just a ton of fun.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #257 on: November 08, 2017, 08:48:33 PM »
13 Chambers (2017)
You're right, they don't sound much like horror at all. Barely Twilight Zone material. On a side note, I've been secretly watching Horror shorts and am having the same problem where a project is labeled Horror just because it's surreal and avant-garde. Maybe the gray area is because people are guessing what emotions the film is tapping into. For example, most people would say that David Lynch's work often qualifies as Horror because of the nightmarish qualities he taps into. Since you don't like Lynch, you're probably not feeling the horror and would probably disqualify him too.


I also like The Witches, but if you can find Junior's review it's pretty funny. I showed it to Mrs. 1SO last month and she liked it too. I considered starting a debate with Junior over how and where he is wrong, but at the time I didn't have much time for a long debate post.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 08:50:53 PM by 1SO »
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Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #258 on: November 08, 2017, 09:18:02 PM »
Where even is that review? I don't really remember it.
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Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #259 on: November 08, 2017, 09:21:29 PM »
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Im not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!