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2018 horror movie challenge -- preparations

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  • #91
    Is Boogeyman (2005) any good?

    My problem is sitting through films that I find boring.


    • #92
      October 23rd

      89. Slaughterhouse Rock (1988)

      A man (Nicholas Celozzi, producer of Kickboxer: Vengeance) visits Alcatraz prison after having dreams about all the people who did there. When he gets to the prison, his brother is possessed by an evil cannibal demon. The ghost of a female heavy metal singer (Toni Basil of the hit song “Mickey”) who was killed there tries to help the man fight the monster. Music by the band DEVO.

      Just one for one tonight and it’s an A Nightmare on Elm Street knockoff for the first half. A guy keeps falling asleep and is harassed by a jackass demon that makes him suffer through special effects every few minutes. There’s even a moment when the demon pushes through a white background behind the character to emerge. This section of the movie is fine.

      It begins to drag in the second half when the characters make their way to Alcatraz. It’s fuckin’ Alcatraz! At night! With a fog machine! There isn’t much that’s needed to be done to make it creepy, yet the movie fails to deliver due to one simple reason: every damn shot has someone uttering a quip. If the characters were funny, hey, that’s fine. They’re not.

      When the demon possesses one of the characters, the movie shifts from A Nightmare on Elm Street into Night of the Demons except not as good. The effects are more spaced out and, aside from one hole-in-the-head death, pale in comparison to what came before.

      There’s also Toni Basil popping up as Elvira-light. I honestly expected her to be the worst aspect of the package, but either she’s better than I thought or she’s only better than the rest of the gang or a combination of all the above. She’s actually alright although her dance moves are just unbelievable and need to be seen. We’re talking about over the top choreographed dance just so she can cast a magic spell to make the whiny brat that is the main character leave his body and pull a Professor X.

      This isn’t the weirdest shit to happen. Nah, Basil’s ritual and the smartass, rape demon (you read that right) are mundane when compared to the bizarre cinematography. There’s a long tracking shot shown in slow motion of various people eating French fries at a restaurant. Why? I have no idea. There’s nothing special about any of the customers. Yet the camera takes its sweet ass time to pan all around the joint, making sure the viewer gets to see all of it. It’s like when Jess Franco is determined to show you every square inch of Lina Romay, the director is going to make damn sure you see the establishment.

      There’s also the most insufferable main character I’ve seen in a horror movie in quite some time. I’d rather travel across country with the kid from the Babadook that listen to the main character bitch and whine. It doesn’t matter what anyone says to the guy, he makes a sarcastic comment while begging to be pitied. Boo hoo. Other people are getting slaughtered and he’s upset because a ghost wants to tell him how to survive? Man up.

      There are a couple of highlights. The first is the kickin’ soundtrack by DEVO. Damn, do they know how to supply a good score that, at times, echoes John Carpenter’s melodies. Specifically, one that reminds me of a tune from Prince of Darkness. The second is Hope Marie Carlton. Even if you’re not familiar with director Andy Sidaris and Hard Ticket to Hawaii (remedy that), you’ve likely seen her in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master as the pinup girl that lures Joey to his wet nightmare.

      How does this rank? It’s uneven with a fun, cheesy first half filled with special effects with a lesser second half. Neither section outperforms what it’s imitating. Still, the tunes rule, Carlton is a babe, Basil’s dancing is an explosion of brilliance (or the opposite), and there’s enough “what the…” moments to make it entertaining.
      People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


      • #93
        October 24th

        90. Ruby (1977)

        She’s sweet sixteen and her mama (Piper Laurie, Carrie) wants to send her away. The deaf-mute daughter (Janit Baldwin, Humongous) retaliates by calling up the spirit of her murdered father and in one terrifying night of horror, he exacts his revenge. Also stars Stuart Whitman (Night of the Lepus) and Roger Davis (TV’s Dark Shadows). Directed by Curtis Harrington (Night Tide).

        My understanding is that this was a Carrie-cash-in. While there is a young girl that possesses supernatural abilities, it’s completely different from the Stephen King movie. Well, besides having Piper Laurie as a nutty parent once more. You really don’t see much of the daughter, Leslie, using her powers. Rather, you witness an invisible force tossing people through the air along with the resurrection of a dead man.

        Talk about a strange plot. The men who work at Ruby’s drive-in were all gangsters who killed Leslie’s father. Why they murdered him, their relationship to Ruby, and everything else seemed rather easy to miss. Points for setting this in 1951 at a drive-in although it’s bizarre to think of hardened gangsters / killers operating the various positions at such a place. Why 1951 and not current times? Why did this need to be a period piece?

        I will say the pace is brisk as the story follows the template for the upcoming slasher genre. Every 10 minutes is a kill so there’s always some upcoming death sequence to look forward to. It makes what could have been a slog much more enjoyable.

        91. Whispers (1990)

        Hilary Thomas (Victoria Tennant, Inseminoid) is a beautiful young writer who is stalked by a madman. The demented killer, Bruno Clavel (Jean LeClerc, Blown Away), brutally attacks Hilary one night and she thinks she kills him, but he later reappears alive and well. She enlists the aid and protection of a cop (Chris Sarandon, 1985’s Fright Night) who believes her story, and as his love for her grows, he helps her discover the terrifying dark secret that drives Clavel to kill.

        Talk about a wacky opening that’s enough to draw you in. Clavel is one of the worst, most inept killers I’ve witnessed in quite a while and that’s scratching the surface. Forget how he toys with Hilary, the many mistakes he commits, he’s so damn fascinating to watch because of how he keeps trying to perform a whispery, growl-type of voice (think Christian Bale as Batman) while being imitating as he plays peek-a-boo with his target. This is only if the opening theme song complete with saxophone doesn’t lure you in. What was with 80’s horror and saxophone theme songs? By the way, the music is done by Fred Mollin of TV’s Friday the 13th-The Series which means, yep, this is a Canadian movie.

        Sarandon is solid as usual even if he’s once again hooking up with a blonde milf and he feels like he’s retreading his role from Child’s Play. Keith Knight (Hollis from 1981’s My Bloody Valentine) appears as a goofy undertaker sans moustache. Eric Christmas from The Changeling also has a supporting role. It’s one of those movies where I sat and looked at the actors and eventually it clicked that I knew them from somewhere.

        How is this? It is based on a Dean Koontz book, but I haven’t read it, so I couldn’t say how it compares to the source material. On its own merits, it’s something you’d find on Cinemax at 2 in the morning. You watch it because it veers off the beaten path just enough, but it’s still an example of late 80’s Canadian horror that went direct to video in the States. Nothing outstanding by any means.
        People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


        • #94
          Watched a few of the Hammer Frankenstein movies. Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is unbelievably gory considering its a Hammer film. That movie is as nasty as it gets for the early 70's.

          Curse of Frankenstein is a classic and great film but Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed might just be my favorite. I went in with little expectations, just wanting to enjoy some Peter Cushing and expecting a run of the mill sequel, but damn that movie is good. Frankenstein is a bastard in almost all of these but he's really evil here.
          Frankenstein: "Now Anna, go make me so coffee"
          Karl: "You don't need her anymore, why don't you let her leave?"
          Frankenstein: "I NEED her to make me some coffee!"


          • #95
            October 25th

            92. Hell Night (1981)

            As an initiation rite into Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity, four pledges must spend a night in Garth Manor, twelve years to the day after the previous resident murdered his entire family. Two of the pledges, Marti and Jeff, ignore the rumors that the now deserted mansion is haunted by a crazed killer, until one by one, members of their group mysteriously disappear. Could this be a part of a fraternity prank or is a demented former tenant seeking revenge? Stars Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Peter Barton (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), Vincent Van Patten (Rock ‘N’ Roll High School) and the adorable Suki Goodwin who never went on to have a career.

            I saw this for the first-time last year and didn’t care much for it. I guess years of hype destroyed any chance of it making a good first impression. Now that I have no expectations, I thought I’d check out the blu-ray and give it another shot.

            The verdict: much better this viewing! I really appreciate that opening ten minutes of the party segueing into the history of Garth (party on!) Manor. Same goes for taking the time to develop the characters although I’m still disappointed that this is “classy Linda Blair” and not “exploitation Linda Blair.” I do love her costume. If you walked into the middle of the picture, you’d think it would be a period piece that’s about a haunted mansion with Blair’s character being terrorized by ghosts. That’s what makes Hell Night stand out as it’s part slow-burn gothic horror meets golden age slasher format complete with limited body count. I say that for better or worse. The pace around the middle feels slow, but damn if I don’t enjoy the scene where Marti and Jeff realize they’re on their own and have to return to the mansion.

            As a side comment, Peter’s costume looked like the Puma Man’s costume. I was waiting for some random Aztec to show up and toss him off the roof of Garth Manor.

            93. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

            Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens on Halloween Eve and returns to Haddonfield to kill his young niece (Danielle Harris, 2007’s Halloween). Can Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence, Prince of Darkness) stop him?

            Checking out the latest installment had me wanting to see an older entry. After the ’78 and (maybe) the ’18 films (not counting Season of the Witch), this might be the next best in line. Confused yet?

            I still dig it. It’s similar enough to the first movie but with an 80’s vibe. Characters like Jamie and Rachel are easy to root for, the opening captures that sleepy town feel, the pace is fast, and it includes a posse. Plus, one word—Wade. That’s all that needs to be said.

            The mask and the bulky look of Michael still drag it down a couple of pegs. That mask…how the fuck did anyone think it looked good? Tom Morga had the physique for Michael, but instead they went and tossed one another 30lbs onto the guy. Slender Michael he is not. There are some dumb dialogue moments as well like the one local asking Rachel where she saw Myers despite her just saying “he’s in there” and pointing at the school. Don’t get me started on how Michael picks off the good ol’ boys one at a time in the bed of a pickup truck without anyone noticing.

            I still like it more than Halloween II. Not the newest one. That other one with the “2” in the title. No, not Zombie’s movie. The other one.
            People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


            • #96
              October 26th

              94. From Beyond (1986) (commentary with Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Jeffrey Combs, and Barbara Crampton)

              The Resonator, a powerful machine that can control the sixth sense, has killed its creator (Ted Sorel, Basket Case 2) and sent his associate (Jeffrey Combs, Frightmare) into an insane asylum. But when a beautiful psychiatrist (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator) becomes determined to continue the experiment, she unwittingly opens the door to a hostile parallel universe…and to the deviant behavior within the human psyche. With its victims becoming creatures who feed on—and become aroused by—human brains, the Resonator is the ultimate man-made monster. And now something’s gone horribly wrong and no one can turn it off!

              I’ve been wanting to revisit this for quite a while as well as listen to the cast commentary. I figured why not check both boxes this month and finally scratch that itch. One of the better commentaries to hear as the gang keeps it fast, fun, and informative. For example, Dagon was going to be the follow-up project after Re-Animator. Crampton’s comment about Sorel’s chest hair had me laughing. Seriously, one of the coolest peeps about her own career.

              This is sacrilege in some circles, but if I had to, I would pick From Beyond over Re-Animator. The chemistry of the characters, the house, the special effects by Mark Shostrom, and the story click a little more for me. That’s not to say Re-Animator doesn’t rule and deserve its status. I’m glad both exist for all to enjoy.

              95. Forbidden World (1982)

              On the planet Xarbia, an experimental life-form known as “Subject 20” has been created by an elite group of scientists in the hopes of preventing a major galactic food crisis. However, instead of prolonging life, Subject 20 is destroying it, and the man-eating organism poses a double threat because it constantly changes its genetic structure. Bounty Hunter Mike Colby (Jesse Vint, Pigs) is called in to investigate but soon suspects that the scientists are keeping something from him, and he discovers why.

              I absolutely adore the early 80’s Corman produced movies. They’re schlocky enough while going balls out with whatever concept their peddling. Here, it’s a take on Alien filled with gory effects, Star Wars-like miniatures, gorgeous women like Dawn Dunlap (Barbarian Queen) who fail to use a shirt correctly, and the strangest yet greatest music montage in a love making scene to appear in a science fiction / horror movie which also contains a saxophone…the fuckin’ 80s, man!

              When I think about Forbidden World, what comes to mind is how it compares to Alien. I always forget that the first six minutes is a cheap version of Star Wars using footage from other Corman produced movies at the time. Look at the robot companion and tell me that isn’t modelled after a stormtrooper or something from Battlestar Galactica. Yet I still prefer this is to The Last Jedi. This has everything The Last Jedi needed: tits and blood and music montages during awkward sex scenes. Tell me that wouldn’t have made it a better experience.
              People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


              • #97
                Originally posted by Chex View Post

                93. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

                I have always loved this scene. Guy looks so cool wearing the sunglasses.


                • #98
                  October 27th

                  96. Death Ship (1980)

                  An ocean liner carrying vacationing passengers collides with a mysterious freighter. The handful of survivors seek refuge aboard the sinister freighter, which turns out to be possessed by the evil forces that once commanded it! Stars George Kennedy (Just Before Dawn), Richard Crenna (Wait Until Dark), and Nick Mancuso (1974’s Black Christmas) and story by Jack Hill (The Swinging Cheerleaders).

                  Man, oh man, what a disjointed movie! I figured you couldn’t go wrong with George Kennedy and Richard Crenna on a haunted ship, but this showed otherwise.

                  The first 10 or 15 minutes is such a waste as it’s all about waiting for the two ships to collide. Any character development in that time? Other than Kennedy’s character being a dick, no. It gets worse after the survivors climb aboard the derelict. Right away, it’s obvious something isn’t right with the ship as various doors and ropes move on their own. Even if it weren’t the result of haunted happenings, the second logical choice would be to think it’s a lunatic. I know slasher victims (i.e. teens) are considered the dumbest characters in horror movies, but this group takes the cake. Constantly splitting up, thinking that it’s safe to eat 40-year-old candy, thinking it’s ok to drink green water, parents letting their kids wander around after numerous strange occurrences, and taking showers after admitting the ship is haunted by ghosts. Each one of these characters deserves a grisly end.

                  I’d say steer clear of Death Ship if it weren’t for the last 20 minutes or so. Once the shower of blood happens, the movie finally kicks into gear and decides it’s time to turn on the fright other than closing doors or making the lights flicker. Dead bodies, psychological torment, and George Kennedy running around like a madman are just a few of the highlights.

                  There are some questions I’m left with at the end, however. What was the point of tossing the wife in a locked room when, out of nowhere, she’s able to leave it just fine? She’s screaming for help. Next thing we see, she’s out on the deck of the ship fine and dandy. Also, why does the ship stop caring about the family? I guess because Kennedy is down and out for a few moments, but so what? The ship itself is what purposely tracked down the cruise vessel in order to destroy it and then sought out the survivors in order to kill them. Why would Kennedy’s character matter?

                  Far from perfect and I would almost write it off, but the third act was good enough to make me consider checking it out again. Maybe I’ll just skip through the first 70 minutes or so.

                  97. Red Roses of Passion (1966)

                  Carla (Patricia McNair, My Body Hungers) is fed up with her dull home life living a prudish existence with her spinster aunt. After being introduced to a tarot reader, Carla quickly finds herself involved with a mysterious sect known as The Cult of Pan, who have learned to harness the carnal powers of roses to entrap men into sexual liaisons. But as Carla delves deeper into the occult world, the true and much more sinister motives o the cult star to become apparent.
                  Exploitation with a dash of horror. It’s easy to scoff at this stuff, dismiss it, and move on, but this paved the way for illustrious titles like Sorceress and other movies to appear on skinamax as presentations of babes thinly veiled horror trappings.

                  Even better is when films like these would take familiar stories and then take them into dangerous territory as the filmmakers didn’t care if they offended mainstream audiences as that wasn’t the target audience. Nudity would first come to mind, but there isn’t much here. This is incredibly softcore stuff. Rather, the goofy witch cult using magic to empower themselves is the heart of the story. Remember that this is 1966 and the women’s movement was only a flicker of flame. Women asserting themselves and commanding a position of authority is unheard of at the time. Of course, there’s something to be said about using witchcraft to achieve such a role and seems silly in today’s society which is where Red Roses serves as a (mild) peek at American social history.

                  There’s also a voyeuristic angle as the ceremony containing sheer-dressed women gather together to act out unholy rituals. There’s a shot of someone’s eye looking through the curtains at the ritual, displaying both shock and awe. I’m not sure if it’s because of the scantily clad women or because of the practice of the black arts, but either answer is sound.

                  As far as the acting is concerned, it won’t win awards, but it seems like a notch above this type of material. Maybe it’s because the last title like this was the Flesh trilogy and, well, the acting goes from “so bad” to “so bad and it’s entertaining.” This is at least competent and never feels distracting.

                  Lastly, there’s something alluring about this. The black and white cinematography, the capable music, the subject matter without being too “out there” made for an enjoyable viewing. I’m sure this is one of those situations where I was simply in the right mood, but it was relaxing while fascinating if that makes sense.

                  98. Pets (1973)

                  Teenage runaway Bonnie (Candice Rialson, Chatterbox!) has escaped the clutches of her controlling brother, only to become immediately embroiled in a twisted web of sexual manipulation. Initially convinced to aid in a carjacking, Bonnie is then taken in by a lecherous lesbian artist who hopes to groom her into a sapphic lover, only to have her plans thwarted by the perverse advances of a local gallery owner whose bizarre proclivities include the keeping of an unusual assortment of “pets.”

                  Continuing the spree of eroticism fare with horror genre elements comes Pets…except it turns out it doesn’t have much to call traditional horror. The women being held captive by a demented collector doesn’t dive into the madness the genre could offer. There’s nothing on the level of, say, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or House of 1000 Corpses. The real horror comes from how inhuman people treat one another through psychological domination in relationships. It’s an interesting companion piece to Red Roses of Passion if only be accident. Don’t misunderstand, this is still very much a quirky story but its exploitation and drama for two-thirds. It’s a lot of fun, especially seeing Candice Rialson from the Corman produced movies like Summer School Teachers. You’ve got attempted rape, pimps, and evil lesbians before spiraling into the human bondage and prisoner elements. Dull is not in this movie’s vocabulary.

                  The structure reminds me a bit of The Centerfold Girls and how it has separate stories connected by a common thread. In this instance, it’s Bonnie. Each scenario shows different, and more harmful, situations of people controlling others to use for their own devices. From what I can recall, this is based on a stage play that was set up in three acts so it seems faithful.

                  I remember first reading about this on the Temple of Schlock website and was bummed to discover that the Code Red DVD went for big bucks at the time. Thank goodness for Vinegar Syndrome’s blu-ray.

                  I have always loved this scene. Guy looks so cool wearing the sunglasses.
                  Wade is all about the Foster Grants.
                  People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


                  • #99
                    October 28th

                    99. Thinner (1996)

                    An obese attorney (Robert John Burke, Robocop 3) is cursed by a gypsy to rapidly and uncontrollably lose weight. Also stars Joe Mantegna (The Godfather Part III) and Kari Wuhrer (Anaconda).

                    A friend told me that this also stars Bethany Joy Lenz from TV’s One Tree Hill, but fuck if I know anything about that. Apparently, the actress who plays the wife, Lucinda Jenney, just married Bill Mosely. Looks like she’s in 3 from Hell so maybe they met there.

                    Anyway, I’ve never actually seen Thinner despite remembering the trailer for it. It was on all the damn time. Having now seen it, I can’t say my life is any better for it. It’s like a long episode of Tales from the Crypt. I’d rather watch Demon Knight or Bordello of Blood if that’s what I’m seeking, but this was ok. The subject matter about dieting and fads seem more current today than it would have back in 1996.

                    100. Crypt of the Living Dead (1973)

                    After arriving on a remote island to bury his father, a young American engineer (Andrew Prine, Grizzly) opens the crypt of a vampire queen. He inadvertently unleashes a terrible and violent force of evil on the unsuspecting townspeople, making them fight for their lives, while a few townsfolk aren’t who they appear to be. Also stars Mark Damon (House of Usher) and Patty Sheppard (Rest in Pieces).

                    Andrew Prine in a Spanish gothic vampire movie. Prine’s always entertaining although the man cannot carry a moustache. Leave that to the pros like Burt Reynolds or Tom Atkins. Once Hanna the vampire appears, no time is wasted to show she’s got all the Dracula transformations as she turns into mist and a wolf. This doesn’t transcend to anything above what it promises, but rather delivers on expectations. It’s moody, dripping with Spanish atmosphere, and features a woman sinking her teeth into the locals while Prine runs around as the hero while Mark Damon acts crazy. Could it have used more blood or nudity? Sure, but that’s what the Paul Naschy films are for. Best of all is the ending as it hits a home run by being so surprising and somewhat melancholy to the point the victims briefly feel sorry for Hannah.
                    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


                    • October 29th

                      101. House of the Living Dead (1974)

                      In the seemingly peaceful and rural colonial vineyards of South Africa, a mad scientist plots to steal people’s souls and place them into jars for eternity. To complete his twisted experiments, he begins to undertake a bloody rampage in the nearby countryside. Stars Mark Burns (Count Dracula) and Shirley Anne Field (These Are the Damned).

                      With the cast full of Brits, this reminds me of a Hammer film if it were to be made outside of England and with a lesser budget. That surprisingly works as a strength because it feels so alien despite the familiar elements of melodrama mingled with moments of murder and mayhem. Unfortunately, I found myself bored regarding the relationship of the main character and his fiancée and the history of the family. You can get away with this stuff with actors like, say, Peter Cushing who elevates the material just a bit to make it interesting, but Burn and Field are average at best. Also, while the South Africa landscapes is unique, much of the story takes place inside a mansion that looks like other tales of this nature. This is one of those “gotta be in the right mood” movies. Knowing what to expect, maybe it’ll play better in a future viewing.

                      102. Deep Red (1975)

                      One night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, Eye of the Devil), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator…or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where is what it seems. Also stars Daria Nicolodi (Phenomena)

                      Despite seeing so much “Italian trash”, I really haven’t seen much of Argento’s work outside of two or three titles. Deep Red is one of those that I’ve heard so much about for years that I figured it couldn’t live up to the hype. Having finally seen it, I can safely say it deserves its reputation. It’s as if Argento used every technique he had been developing in The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and The Cat o’ Nine Tails and took them a step further.

                      The characters each stand out, the pace is great, but most of all is the story. The idea of a psychic being used to open the story seems hokey. Argento makes it work from the moment she reads the killers thoughts and emotions up to Hemming’s finding her body is pure suspense. Also, talk about a brutal murder! A meat cleaver and glass to the throat? Makes me wonder if he decided he needed to outdo himself for the opening of Suspiria and that’s why the opening death there is even more grande.

                      I should mention I watched the export version which is longer than the American version but shorter than the original. I think. I’m interested in checking out the longer version to see what was cut out. I suspect more character moments. Maybe more scenes with Nicolodi’s character. I expected her to have a bigger role considering she’s the journalist in the story, but she takes a back seat to Hemmings.

                      I’m glad to have finally caught this. I’ve got a huge stack of gialli to get through and was hoping to do so this month. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. At least I’ve been able to check out a couple of Argento titles as they’ve each delivered.
                      People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


                      • Oh man, you watched the export version? The director's cut kills it. The export version throws out all of the stuff that really makes it special IMO.


                        • Just watched a movie named "Truth or Dare" that was streaming on Netflix. It had Heather Langenkamp.

                          I thought I was watching Blumhouse's "Truth or Dare," but the one I watched was by SyFy.

                          This brings the question: why are there two "Truth or Dare" movies with the exact same premise and story??


                          • October 30th

                            103. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)

                            When Dr. Bill Cortner (Jason Evers, Escape from the Planet of the Apes) loses his sweetheart, Jan (Virginia Leigh, Violent Saturday), in a car accident, he refuses to give up hope for her life. Scooping up her decapitated head, he brings it back to the lab for resuscitation. But keeping her head alive is one thing—finding her a new body is quite another. So while the mad doctor is out looking for spare parts, she’s stuck at home going out of her mind—literally! And nothing will stop her from getting revenge on the man who is keeping her as a trophy girlfriend.

                            I know this movie is a schlock burger deep fried in camp, but I eat it up every year. Hell, I own multiple releases of it including the blu-ray! Bring on a 4K release and I’ll pick it up as well, so I can see more clarity in Jan’s neck juice.

                            I first became aware of Brain through TV’s MST3K and my love for it has only grown since. I know some movie viewers hate the show as they feel it’s disrespectful to laugh at a product that was created through hard work. I can’t say I agree with that. Movies are made for entertainment first and foremost. If they can break through that barrier, fantastic, but the number one reasoning for me is to be entertained. I can appreciate the work that went into any project, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also find something like this entertaining for reasons the filmmakers didn’t intend. I love Halloween and The Evil Dead, but some of the enjoyment came from friends and myself making jokes and laughing at little moments. We still respected the movies but found other reasons that they became endearing to us. Same applies here. I find Brain to be an effective little B movie that steps outside of the comfort zone most horror / sci-fi films restricted themselves to. At the same time, there are so many odd moments that I find humorous even if they’re played straight.

                            I try to toss this into my October rotation and barely just made it this year. Usually the last few days leading up to Halloween are loaded with movie watching, but I’ve been swamped with work and social events that I did well just to squeeze in a movie a day sometimes. Tonight was no exception. Here’s to hoping that I can fit in my regular titles for tomorrow.

                            Oh man, you watched the export version? The director's cut kills it. The export version throws out all of the stuff that really makes it special IMO.
                            I did so per the recommendation of someone. No big deal though as I'll still check out the other versions soon.
                            People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


                            • Originally posted by Chex View Post
                              I did so per the recommendation of someone. No big deal though as I'll still check out the other versions soon.
                              I consider Argento's cut to be his cleverest and most playful thriller ever. The export is just a mindless, albeit stylish, slasher movie by comparison. Though at any rate, I'm still impressed he flat out shows you the killer so early in the movie and manages to pull the trick off. Huge balls that man.


                              • October 31st

                                104. The Fog (1980)

                                The sleepy seaside village of Antonio Bay is about to learn the true meaning of the word “vengeance.” This seemingly perfect town masks a guilty secret…a past seeped in greed and murder. Exactly 100 years ago, a ship was horribly wrecked under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. Now, shrouded in darkness, the long-dead mariners have returned from their watery grave to exact a bloody revenge. Starring Tom Atkins (Halloween III: Season of the Witch), Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York), Jamie Lee Curtis (1978’s Halloween), Hal Holbrook (Creepshow) and Janet Leigh (1960’s Psycho).

                                I didn’t have enough time today to hit up all of my Halloween favorites, but did manage to include the Tom Atkins double feature. First up is The Fog!

                                Having watched The Thing from Another World recently, I can really tell the influence it had on Carpenter in this. Nick’s dialogue often crosses over the other dialogue in each scene, a staple of what occurs in Thing. This technique makes its way over in the narrative with how the groups of characters intersect one another’s story and ultimately culminate at the church.

                                I forgot how painful the kills are. They’re not gory or full of blood, but each stab or slice feels and sounds deep. It’s also all (or mostly) on camera as the ghosts enact their revenge. I know Carpenter wasn’t satisfied with the film and having to do additional shootings hit his confidence hard, but those pickup shots really sell just how pissed off Blake and his crew are.

                                Something I noticed this viewing is how, when Elizabeth and Nick leave the bar to travel to the lighthouse (before receiving instructions to head for the weather station), she goes to put her beer on the counter. Instead of doing so, she glances at it and decides to take it with her anyway. Just a little moment that stuck out to me and has no significance.

                                What a perfect evening for this as there’s a slight chill in the air, a light drizzle of rain, and a fog that is moving in. Must be a sign to stick and enjoy tradition.

                                105. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

                                When a terrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital babbling and clutching the year’s most popular Halloween costume—an eerie pumpkin mask—doctor Dan Challis (Tom Atkins, Night of the Creeps) is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin, Get Crazy), Challis traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy, Robocop).

                                Part two of “Tom Atkins plays a womanizer” double feature. Or just two good, solid, entertaining movies that always hit that sweet spot for me. The subject matter of Halloween III is just a perfect way to close out the month of October. There’s no happy ending or feeling of good conquering evil. Instead, the movie leaves me feeling unsettled and wondering what would happen next like any good horror story does.

                                I remember there would be discussions (and probably still are) about Ellie and when she’s turned into a robot. There are theories believing she always was a robot. I can’t subscribe to that idea in the slightest. What purpose would that serve narratively? Why lure some random doctor with an awesome moustache to Santa Mira and risk jeopardizing the entire operation? Some have said her stamina in bed is a hint towards her inhuman qualities. To me, that simply shows their age difference. The robots don’t show much, if any emotion, and Ellie is full of that in the scenes before this and the scenes after. Her facial expression is really the dead giveaway. Before she’s abducted, she constantly keeps her mouth open. Watch her expression at the company office when asking about her dad to see an example. Now look at her after she’s “rescued.” That mouth stays shut and she has a blank face. Why does she allow Challis to destroy everything? No answer given in the film other than what we can guess at: she’s a failsafe for if he made it out of the town. Honestly, robotic Ellie is one of many moments in the story that when you go “hey, wait a second!”, you realize it doesn’t fully make sense.

                                Something that caught my attention this viewing is watching Ellie’s father run for help in the opening. After the initial skirmish, a message flashes across the screen that one hour had passed. We then see him arrive at the gas station and warn the attendant. Why did the audience need to know one hour had passed? It doesn’t come into play later in the movie with Challis is trying to reach a phone and ends up at the gas station. There doesn’t seem to be a purpose to it. Again, another one of those “hey, wait a second!” moments.

                                Yet despite all the hang-ups, I still enjoy this movie. I wish I could go back and watch as a first-time experience. I don’t remember much other than being surprised Michael Myers wasn’t in it and focused on that. It’s a shame as there’s a neat mystery in it. The assassin stalking the halls of the hospital, breaking the guy’s face, and sitting himself on fire is crazy and would have left me on the edge of my seat nowadays. At the very least, I can still enjoy the “that’s a dumb question” scene today as I did back then—with amusement.

                                That wraps up October of 2018. I haven’t done one of these October-horror-a-thons in years, so it was great getting to participate. I managed to whittle down my stack of needing-to-be-seen movies, but there’s still so many. Just gialli alone I have over 20 more. I got to see some great new titles. One of my favorites is Disconnected as it’s stuck with me ever since. I’m very surprised I surpassed the 100 titles mark considering I slowed way down the last week due to work and social events. Sometimes it was just a challenge to fit in one movie. I never did feel burned out like I have in the past. All in all, it was a lot of fun.
                                People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."