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 Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death 
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Post Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Since we were on the subject, I wrote up The Nun in my "Pre-Horrorthon" thread, fwiw.


Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:39 am
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Reposting this from the Recently Seen thread. I got one other viewing and it's a horror movie as well (Peter Strickland's In Fabric) so I'll probably chime in with thoughts about that tomorrow.



Emma Tammi's The Wind will probably be marketed as "Meek's Cutoff meets Rosemary's Baby" (the director owned up to these influences during the Q&A), but the success of the movie is how hard it leans into the first half of that comparison. The movie goes to painstaking lengths to evoke the toil and mundanity of frontier life, so that when the horror elements emerge, they unsettle through how they disrupt those pre-established rhythms and not just as mere jump scares. (There's a fairly disturbing opening, but it felt almost halfway into the movie when we get our first real scare.) I saw this on a screen normally used for IMAX viewings, and that really emphasized the vastness of the frontier environment and the isolation of the protagonists. This was part of the Midnight Madness program which tends to feature showier stuff, but this movie is underplayed and confidently directed and all the better for it (surprisingly, this is the director's first narrative feature). I'm not sure the movie sticks the landing (the ending is one big explanatory dump), but if you're able to look past that, the creeping dread of the rest of the movie makes it well worth a watch.

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Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:26 pm
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(Also reposted from the Recently Seen thread.)

So...Peter Strickland still can't do a proper a three act structure for shit, but almost finds a way around it with In Fabric, which is split roughly into two segments (the first one longer than the second) and an apocalyptic ending it stumbles into sideways, but feels somewhat like a condensed sitcom season. It's a horror comedy about a sinister, possibly deadly dress, and works in part as consumerist satire, with montages that feel like avant garde parodies of commercials and Fatma Mohamed's excessively florid dialogue working as a joke on pushy salespeople. (She's the best part of the movie - I read a critic describe her performance as similar to a Simpsons guest appearance, which is a good description.) But there's stuff like a comically bad date, over-the-top workplace performance reviews, graphically sexual artwork, hypnotic descriptions of washing machine repairs and basically anything else incidental to the premise that Strickland can milk for laughs by channeling what's essentially sitcom material through an exacting giallo-influenced style. In that sense, it reminded me of Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis, a comedy with satirical ideas governed more by an overarching sensibility than a coherent point. (This is significantly less anarchic, however.) I heard one critic accuse it of misogyny, which I don't think is fair (the most empathetic character is female and the movie takes shots at plenty of men as well), but unlike Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy we're not asked to really invest in the fates of the characters. Yet through this detachment and the corresponding looser structure, the movie feels much more cohesive than Strickland's previous films. Where Berberian Sound Studio ended by pulling out a rug you only had one foot on and The Duke of Burgundy montaged its way through a crucial emotional arc, the inane squabble that sets off the ending feels consistent with the hijinks that came before and results in an ending that's probably as close as Strickland has gotten to sticking the landing.

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Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:32 am
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Rock wrote:
(Also reposted from the Recently Seen thread.)

So...Peter Strickland still can't do a proper a three act structure for shit


I don't know if what Strickland was ever going for in BSS was a conventional 3 act structure, but what I'll definitely never understand is how it's not a film that ends almost perfectly for the world and tone it creates.

I can't remember how Burgundy ended, but I don't remember any issues with it either. I only saw that once a number of years ago, though, so maybe I just am struggling to recall criticisms.


Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:17 am
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Who needs three acts when you have Peter Strickland?

I had no idea he made a new movie. First thing I watch when I find how to get my hands on it. The guy is so good at atmosphere.

I have no idea what the exact point of BSS was about or what the Moths meant in Duke, but everything goes so well together.


Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:54 am
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To be perfectly honest, I'm not super interested in plot usually and Strickland is strong enough formally to make his movies worthwhile regardless of any plot deficiencies. However, I do think with Berberian and Duke he's working with fairly traditional structures (and indeed, one of the reasons I like him is that his reworkings of giallo and avant garde style work within a narrative context to generate actual tension, humour or eroticism, rather than just being exercises in style), and the particular gaps of those movies leave them feeling incomplete. I don't know if Berberian could have ended satisfyingly with anything other than a dive off the deep end, but I needed the movie to actually climb up to the diving board and take the plunge, when I feel it just gets knocked over the edge of the pool. Duke is a bit more fleshed out, but my problem with the montage is that after doing all the legwork of establishing the dynamics of that relationship and the factors leading to the conflict, it rushes over all that's involved in the reconciliation and arrives neatly at the happy ending. In Fabric is actually probably less rigid overall, but the steps it takes to its conclusion feel like a continuation of the path taken by the movie previously.

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Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:57 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

I don't know if what Strickland was ever going for in BSS was a conventional 3 act structure, but what I'll definitely never understand is how it's not a film that ends almost perfectly for the world and tone it creates.

I can't remember how Burgundy ended, but I don't remember any issues with it either. I only saw that once a number of years ago, though, so maybe I just am struggling to recall criticisms.

I actually did think BSS ended well, but unfortunately, for me, it was also just kind of merciful.
Part of this was due to expectations, in the sense that I actually thought I was going to watch some sort of horror movie, but then also brought in the crazy expectation that I was going to watch a movie that had any story at all. Any.
And if you go in with that expectation, you're really going to struggle with Berberian Sound Studio.


Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:19 am
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So I saw Mandy the other day and, ummm, well, it was a thing. A weird, acid trip, color saturated, slow-burn, gory revenge thing. I'm not currently sure if I'd say I like it, though I certainly don't regret watching it. Saw it with a group of people which was good for weird side commentary on what was going on but not always for actually hearing all of the dialogue so I'm going to need to rewatch it at some point to try and process it fully.


Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:40 am
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How does it compare to Beyond the Black Rainbow? I enjoyed that one at a distance on the strength of its visuals, but didn't feel it really built any momentum.

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Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:35 am
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Touch of Death is...not bad. Late period Fulci probably requires lowered expectations, and the kill scenes (which also appear in Cat in the Brain), while definitely as gory as his earlier stuff, is shot and staged less elegantly. But there's a pretty good black comic streak that makes the movie quite a bit more enjoyable. It's about a serial killer who seduces and kills rich widows to try to pay his gambling debts, and a lot of the humour is at the expense of his victims, which might be a bit mean-spirited for some people, but periodically it works as a lower rent mixture of A New Leaf and Frenzy, like in the scene where he's trying to poison someone who simply won't drink it or when he's struggling to fit a corpse in his trunk because of rigor mortis. Probably not for all tastes, but this was quite a bit better than I expected.

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"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm


Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:20 pm
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Finally finished Deep Red last night. It was something.

So a British piano composer (David Hemmings) is the only witness to see a murderer leave an apartment building where a Hungarian/German psychic is murdered. So he and a nosy but intelligent Italian reporter (Daria Nicolodi) set out to find the culprit responsible, a process that takes several turns.

Dug the jazzy guitar score by Goblin (these the same people that did Suspiria? Shocking.) which reminded me of an iconic song in a Quentin Tarantino film. There may be less visual woo than in Suspiria, but it makes up for it in creepy atmosphere and a more coherent plot.

But the misogyny in this one kinda marred things at times. Such as the lead's whining over being bested in arm wrestling and a little girl that gets slapped for no other reason than kinda creeping out her father. Also, why take the time to build up a strong female character if you only planned to leave her out for multiple reels?

Overall, I'd say it's a hair less better than Suspiria, but I'm glad that I've seen it.

What other Argentos might be worth my time?


Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:12 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Finally finished Deep Red
But the misogyny in this one kinda marred things at times. Such as the lead's whining over being bested in arm wrestling and a little girl that gets slapped for no other reason than kinda creeping out her father.



I think that might depend on the version you've seen. There's three and not all of them include the scene where the girl impaled a lizard with a needle. It's a bit more than just creeping out the dad in the full version.


Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:27 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
What other Argentos might be worth my time?


Bird With the Crystal Plumage
Phenomena
Opera
Sleepless
Tenebre
Inferno

I also like Four Flies, but no one else ever seems to.


Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:44 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Bird With the Crystal Plumage
Phenomena
Opera
Sleepless
Tenebre
Inferno

I also like Four Flies, but no one else ever seems to.


I like Four Flies too. I just didn't love it. I also enjoyed Cat O'Nine Tails and would add Phantom of the Opera and Dracula 3D as fun bad movies.


Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:12 am
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I also enjoyed The Stendhal Syndrome, although that might be a queasy viewing now.

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"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm


Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:12 am
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Rock wrote:
How does it compare to Beyond the Black Rainbow? I enjoyed that one at a distance on the strength of its visuals, but didn't feel it really built any momentum.


I have unfortunately not seen Beyond the Black Rainbow so I can't compare. I would say that there is some momentum to Mandy, while hardly a breakneck pace it definitely follows a bit of the revenge story arc standard and therefore things pick up a bit in the second half of the film.


Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:45 am
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