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 Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death 
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Cross-posted from my thread just to hype:

We watched 2 full movies last night and then also about the first 20 minutes of The Hunger, when we were out of gas for a full movie but still wanted some Halloween juice.
Man, if you just wanna set the mood, you could do a lot worse than the opening scene of that movie.
And honestly, we're all fans of the whole movie over here.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:02 pm
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Watching The Gate earlier tonight, I literally made it through half of the movie when I thought "Hey, didn't the credits say that Stephen Dorff was in th---OMG!!"
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Didn't recognize the little fella.

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Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:12 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Watching The Gate earlier tonight, I literally made it through half of the movie when I thought "Hey, didn't the credits say that Stephen Dorff was in th---OMG!!"
Image

Didn't recognize the little fella.

Ha! Oh yeah, it's a hilarious little trivia thing, especially when you watch Blade.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:24 pm
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Hey since there are people obviously clocking in, should I watch Curtains, Don't Go In The House, Mausoleum, or Tourist Trap?
These are all movies I've been interested in for a long time. I got about 15 minutes to decide.
Thanks.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:29 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Hey since there are people obviously clocking in, should I watch Curtains, Don't Go In The House, Mausoleum, or Tourist Trap?
These are all movies I've been interested in for a long time. I got about 15 minutes to decide.
Thanks.

Haven’t seen any but I’m most interested in Don’t Go In The House


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:31 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Hey since there are people obviously clocking in, should I watch Curtains, Don't Go In The House, Mausoleum, or Tourist Trap?
These are all movies I've been interested in for a long time. I got about 15 minutes to decide.
Thanks.

Tourist Trap is the only one I've seen and it's worth a look.

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Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:33 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Haven’t seen any but I’m most interested in Don’t Go In The House

Mausoleum has been so hard to find for so long, and has such a cool poster...

Image


... that I'm gonna watch a few minutes and see if ti grabs me. I'll still watch the whole thing, but I also suddenly got a hankerin' to watch Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:36 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Tourist Trap is the only one I've seen and it's worth a look.

Alright, I'm actually gonna watch all of these this month, but right now I'm lookin' for the goods, should I go Ginger Snaps 2 or Tourist Trap? I feel like both are of the zone I'm feeling but in different ways. I've seen a few minutes of GS2 and thought it looked great, but I've always been interested in TT.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:38 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Alright, I'm actually gonna watch all of these this month, but right now I'm lookin' for the goods, should I go Ginger Snaps 2 or Tourist Trap? I feel like both are of the zone I'm feeling but in different ways. I've seen a few minutes of GS2 and thought it looked great, but I've always been interested in TT.

Haven't seen GS2 either.

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Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:41 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Haven't seen GS2 either.

Man, I gotta tell ya, this Mausoleum movie is not hurtin' me at all. It is super-low budget, I mean, below most of the movies I've ever actually finished, production values or below the floor, and yet, it has reached out and grabbed me.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:44 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Man, I gotta tell ya, this Mausoleum movie is not hurtin' me at all. It is super-low budget, I mean, below most of the movies I've ever actually finished, production values or below the floor, and yet, it has reached out and grabbed me.

That one's on my watchlist too. I know nothing about it, though. Looking forward to it.

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Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:45 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
That one's on my watchlist too. I know nothing about it, though. Looking forward to it.

From Wikipedia:

"While not prosecuted for obscenity, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 during the "video nasty" panic. The film was released theatrically in the United States in the spring of 1983, and later won the Special Jury Prize at the 13th Paris Film Festival of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films in December that year."


Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:47 pm
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I just watched Mom and Dad. It has some genuinely funny moments and interesting ideas and themes but it’s gets pretty ridiculous in the third act. And Nic Cage is a parody of himself in this movie.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:00 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Mausoleum has been so hard to find for so long, and has such a cool poster...

Image


... that I'm gonna watch a few minutes and see if ti grabs me. I'll still watch the whole thing, but I also suddenly got a hankerin' to watch Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed.


Isn't there a film like this with Meg Tilly?


Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:29 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Isn't there a film like this with Meg Tilly?

There's One Dark Night, where she does spend the night in a mausoleum.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:53 pm
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As I posted in the other thread, Curtains is excellent and deserves a far wider audience.

I liked Ginger Snaps 2, but it is really, really weird in a way that's different from the off-beat tone of the first film. It trades in some deliberately uncomfortable moments, some of which are fun (like a strange sequence where a room full of teen girls exercising all start masturbating) and others that I found more off-putting (an orderly at the facility is
sexually abusing/extorting the young female patients, and kind of gets treated as a protagonist toward the end--fun!
). The one from the trilogy that I end up watching the most is the third film, probably because it's the least upsetting of the three.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:17 am
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MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:02 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
There's One Dark Night, where she does spend the night in a mausoleum.


Gotcha.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:35 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...


Much like Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine is all about the atmosphere. So if you didn't care for that one, you apparently didn't care for this one as well.

Just be grateful that nobody recommended the remake/reboot which features a mystery with all of two suspects and not enough Tom Atkins.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:39 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...

I didn’t care for it at all but later discovered I watched the highly edited American version. I have acquired the uncut one and am hoping I’ll reassess its value positively when I watch that.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:41 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I didn’t care for it at all but later discovered I watched the highly edited American version. I have acquired the uncut one and am hoping I’ll reassess its value positively when I watch that.


It's a pretty "by the numbers" slasher flick.

April Fools Day is a good twist on the genre - self-aware, mocking, funny.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:49 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...


I like My Bloody Valentine, though slashers aren't quite my favorite sub-genre.

My favorites are probably things like Sleepaway Camp, Happy Birthday to Me, Slumber Party Massacre (I find the feminist credentials of this one a bit oversold, but it does some very fun, self-aware things with the genre), and the above mentioned Curtains.

And while we're on the subject of 80s horror, I'm going to recommend In a Glass Cage (also known as Tras el Cristal). First, I will say that the subject matter is unsavory and there is some really disturbing stuff on screen. But I also think that it's a pretty amazing exploration of the "vampiric" nature of violence (and especially sexual violence) and the way that victims can become perpetrators. I'll also selfishly admit that I don't know many people who have seen it, and I'd love to discuss it with someone.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:22 am
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Wooley wrote:
Image

It's like these two had a baby.

Image

Image

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:37 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I didn’t care for it at all but later discovered I watched the highly edited American version. I have acquired the uncut one and am hoping I’ll reassess its value positively when I watch that.

I don't know if it will fundamentally change your opinion, but the kills are a lot less limp in the uncut version.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:38 am
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Wooley wrote:
Don't Go In The House

I think I blew your 15 minute limit, but I'll vouch for this one. It's similar to the original Maniac in functioning as a character study of a deeply disturbed mind and is more ambitious than the average slasher. I think Crumbsroom is a fan as well, and can likely argue in its favour more articulately than I can, but that won't stop me from posting what I wrote about it on my blog a few years back.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:45 am
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Rock wrote:
It's like these two had a baby.

Image

Image


And goatse!


Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:04 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...


Even as a fan of this movie, I can still say that I'm surprised how many people actively endorse it. I thought it would be one of those movies that I'd be standing alone pimping all by myself, as the rest of the world shrugs, but it turns out many are even bigger fans of it than me. I think much of my appreciation is tied somewhat to its Canadian roots (as is my love of Prom Night) cause there is just an understated style to a lot of Northern Style horror films from the 80's that I can't resist. I'm not entirely sure what everyone else's excuse is. I think MBV is a firmly above average slasher.

And, yes, the slasher pool is so low that this one does rise above the others substantially. No genre has more absolute garbage to offer than slashers. Most are abominably bad.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:41 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

And goatse!

Gross!

But yes.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:05 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I didn’t care for it at all but later discovered I watched the highly edited American version. I have acquired the uncut one and am hoping I’ll reassess its value positively when I watch that.

After the film was over, I learned that I'd also watched an edited version that was missing 3 minutes of violence. I will concede that some extra gore might somewhat improve its entertainment factor, but it's not like "needs more gore" was my complaint. I just didn't care about anybody (with the possible exception of Mabel), didn't care why they were being killed, etc. And these reveals are as interesting as your average Scooby-Doo story. "It was that guy from before! He's killing for this arbitrary reason that we just told you about!"
crumbsroom wrote:
I think much of my appreciation is tied somewhat to its Canadian roots (as is my love of Prom Night) cause there is just an understated style to a lot of Northern Style horror films from the 80's that I can't resist.

There was a certain charm in its non-Hollywood amateurishness. (Letterboxd is rife with 5 star reviews, some singling out the excellent acting. These people are delusional.)
crumbsroom wrote:
And, yes, the slasher pool is so low that this one does rise above the others substantially. No genre has more absolute garbage to offer than slashers. Most are abominably bad.

Have you, or anyone else, seen Final Exam? That one doesn't even bother with a reveal. It just barely fulfills the minimum requirements to be considered a "plot".
Takoma1 wrote:
And while we're on the subject of 80s horror, I'm going to recommend In a Glass Cage (also known as Tras el Cristal).

Added to my list, thanks.

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Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:20 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)

When I asked for slasher recs a few weeks ago this one seemed to be universally liked as one of the good ones. Unfortunately I found it totally unremarkable; not bad enough to hate nor good enough to watch again. I am left questioning the taste of every member of this forum. :shifty: Or is it just that the slasher pool really is this shallow, and this is, indeed, a "good one"?

Anyhow, I'm happy to say that I later watched a slasher that I DID like, a lot. So I'm back on board for now. More on that later...

No, I think it's a legitimately good horror movie and one of the better "slashers". It is worth noting that there are two versions out there and one is significantly neutered and is less enjoyable.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:56 pm
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Rock wrote:
It's like these two had a baby.

Image

Image

Ha!
Awesome.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:58 pm
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I just watched The Ritual and it is damn good. Scary when it’s supposed to be, the characters and story are well done, and there’s a very small amount of dry humor. Great use of light and shadow to keep the threat mysterious too.


Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:18 pm
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Rock wrote:
I think I blew your 15 minute limit, but I'll vouch for this one. It's similar to the original Maniac in functioning as a character study of a deeply disturbed mind and is more ambitious than the average slasher. I think Crumbsroom is a fan as well, and can likely argue in its favour more articulately than I can, but that won't stop me from posting what I wrote about it on my blog a few years back.


It's one of those films that I am a fan of until people ask if they should watch it, and my tail goes a bit between my legs. While you mention how it really isn't a particularly graphic film, it's just so uniformly mean spirited that one might not want to spend any time with it. It's just a claustrophobically ghoulish movie where we spend much too time with a really unlikable guy. Regardless of the limitations of the lead actor, though I still think it works as an unsettling window into a dangerous mind. It's one of my favorites from all of the extreme films of the 80's.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:30 am
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I quite enjoyed the original Dark Water. The denouement at the end was special and I have a soft spot for ghost films that focus on the tragedy and sadness of the situation more than scares.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:53 am
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I just watched Haunters: The Art of the Scare. I manage to get at least one of these Halloween Haunt docs in a year over the past couple seasons and I usually really enjoy them. Seeing people’s creatiivty and passion for Halloween really puts you in the spirit. And the things these folks build are so impressive.

So Haunters was much like the other docs I’ve seen except it dabbles in the more intense haunts, namely Mckamey Manor, which is literally just a guy torturing people in his back yard. The footage of it is actually pretty disturbing and it makes you question where’s the line between fun scares and actually hurting and traumatizing people. But that aspect is only one of four or so people the doc follows and the rest is a good time.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:10 pm
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Deschain13 wrote:
I just watched Haunters: The Art of the Scare. I manage to get at least one of these Halloween Haunt docs in a year over the past couple seasons and I usually really enjoy them. Seeing people’s creatiivty and passion for Halloween really puts you in the spirit. And the things these folks build are so impressive.

So Haunters was much like the other docs I’ve seen except it dabbles in the more intense haunts, namely Mckamey Manor, which is literally just a guy torturing people in his back yard. The footage of it is actually pretty disturbing and it makes you question where’s the line between fun scares and actually hurting and traumatizing people. But that aspect is only one of four or so people the doc follows and the rest is a good time.


There's an episode of Dark Tourism where he goes to MM and it just sorta left me irritated. It was interesting but it also just feels like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I finished Bedeviled in 3 sittings. Nothing like a low budget stilnker whose pitch was "What if Pennywise was Google Home??!" to make you appreciate the recent adaptation of It. Not that It was particularly successful with it's scares but the attention to character and atmosphere was so much stronger than this film that seemed complacent with being a brainless rip off and nothing more. The ending is my first big oofer of this horrorthon and I watched 2 Hershell Gordon Lewis movies.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:53 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I watched 2 Hershell Gordon Lewis movies.

Which ones did you see?

*slowly pulls up link to Blood Feast write-up*

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Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:55 pm
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Rock wrote:
Which ones did you see?

*slowly pulls up link to Blood Feast write-up*

I've already seen Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red (hilarious, surprisingly effective and tedious respectively). This time I did Gore Gore Girls and Wizard of Gore. The latter felt like Lewis at his most sadistic and exploitative but it was also his most effective comedically and in delivering the depraved content gorehounds would crave. It's accidentally effective due to how amateur it is.

Wizard of Gore felt like Lewis has a meta idea and wasn't smart enough to figure it out beyond the premise, so he just filmed the same scene over and over until it just sort of ended. I was shocked that this one had far more notoriety than his other work (this is the one I had first heard of) as it's almost his least interesting (CMBR gets that title still).


Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:00 pm
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I was sort of meaning to get around to The Wizard of Gore this year, but might deprioritize it (haven't been too much in the mode for splatter this year aside from a few Italian horrors I've gotten to already). I've seen Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs! (the exclamation mark is the most important part) and more or less share your opinion. The latter is actually halfway well put together for what it is, which is shocking given all the unintentional comedy in Blood Feast.

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Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:06 pm
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Rock wrote:
I was sort of meaning to get around to The Wizard of Gore this year, but might deprioritize it (haven't been too much in the mode for splatter this year aside from a few Italian horrors I've gotten to already). I've seen Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs! (the exclamation mark is the most important part) and more or less share your opinion. The latter is actually halfway well put together for what it is, which is shocking given all the unintentional comedy in Blood Feast.

Indeed. Blood Feast is definitely one of the most so bad it's good horror films and it seems to have created this weird, ultra low budget side of grindhouse/exploitation that early John Waters fits into. The kind that makes Rogee Corman look like Jack Warner.

TM on the other hand has a commonality with Gore Gore Girls in which it's competent enough that the Lewis' own depraved flew in playing with the animal viscera and poor latex to create the effect of murder lends an unintentional but wholly effective quality to the film that elevates it. It also is his most tonally consistent and well acted.

GGG on the other hand has a Pink Panther-esque, breaking the 4th wall sleuth for a protagonist that juxtaposes the brutality nicely. It's like a bridge that collapses into itself on both sides and it's failures prop each other up just right to not completely fail and fall apart. The ending was maddeningly entertaining.

If you do watch WOG, I'm.down to chat about it. Just make sure you're folding laundry or something while it's on so you have some.entertainment to go with it.


Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:24 pm
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I highly recommend Demon Wind the next time you've got a house full of people and some booze. Wonderfully craptastic. I went into it last night knowing absolutely nothing about it, so if it turns out this is some cult classic that you've all seen I wouldn't be surprised. If not, it should be. Terrible acting, at least 5 male characters with eminently punchable faces, bad hair everywhere, lots of goo, some really bad effects towards the end, and my favorite: the magician/martial arts guy (check 2:20 of that video) who at no point in the plot is required to use either magic or karate.

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Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:23 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I've already seen Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red (hilarious, surprisingly effective and tedious respectively). This time I did Gore Gore Girls and Wizard of Gore. The latter felt like Lewis at his most sadistic and exploitative but it was also his most effective comedically and in delivering the depraved content gorehounds would crave. It's accidentally effective due to how amateur it is.

Wizard of Gore felt like Lewis has a meta idea and wasn't smart enough to figure it out beyond the premise, so he just filmed the same scene over and over until it just sort of ended. I was shocked that this one had far more notoriety than his other work (this is the one I had first heard of) as it's almost his least interesting (CMBR gets that title still).


I don't think Wizard of Gore has more notoriety than Blood Feast. Blood Feast is really the only movie of his that has made any sort of ripple into mainstream horror, and it is even barely a ripple. Wizard of Gore got name dropped in that awful Juno, in one of the most infuriating conversations about horror in film ever (no, Juno, you precocious twit, Wizard of Gore is not better than Suspiria, just shut up), and that's about as far as anyone cares about it (ie. they don't)

And for good reason. The only film of his that in any ways can be traditionally enjoyed as 'b movie fun' is Blood Feast. Everything else is only for the dedicated. He's grown in my estimation this last year or two, but I still have some struggles with how ugly, flat and awful every single one of his movies are. But there is a charm there, somehow. And Wizard of Gore is probably second in the line when it comes to HG Lewis charm. The fact that it is too stupid (ie. disinterested) in exploring its meta ideas is the fun of it. Of course it doesn't go anywhere, and it is repetitive, but there is a legitimate what the fuckism about what is happening in Wizard. It's completely inscrutable, almost as if there were two writers, one writing from the beginning forward, and the other starting from the end backward, and they just met in the middle, threw in a bunch of magic tricks, and called it a wrap.

Is it boring? Yes. Is it ugly? Yes. Is it stupid? Yes. Is it worthy of HG Lewis fans. Yes. Which is much more than I can say about Blood Red or, honestly, even 2000 Maniacs.


Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:47 am
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Annabelle was very disappointing. I think I'll hold off on exploring the rest of The Conjuring universe if it's on this level. The acting is half-hearted and, worst of all, the movie is not particularly scary. All of its attempts at being frightening are either clichéd or telegraphed too far in advance. Its lesson that parenthood is a commitment not to be taken lightly is admirable, but its payoff is limp and without stakes.
After all, it's Evelyn, Mia's bookshop owner friend who conveniently lost a child in the same way that Mia is at risk of losing hers, ends up suffering more than Mia and John even though she already learned this lesson.
It's no wonder this was on sale for 4 bucks at Ingles.

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Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:44 am
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Captain Terror wrote:



I highly recommend Demon Wind the next time you've got a house full of people and some booze. Wonderfully craptastic. I went into it last night knowing absolutely nothing about it, so if it turns out this is some cult classic that you've all seen I wouldn't be surprised. If not, it should be. Terrible acting, at least 5 male characters with eminently punchable faces, bad hair everywhere, lots of goo, some really bad effects towards the end, and my favorite: the magician/martial arts guy (check 2:20 of that video) who at no point in the plot is required to use either magic or karate.

What the fuck?


Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:48 am
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Torgo wrote:
Annabelle was very disappointing. I think I'll hold off on exploring the rest of The Conjuring universe if it's on this level. The acting is half-hearted and, worst of all, the movie is not particularly scary. All of its attempts at being frightening are either clichéd or telegraphed too far in advance. Its lesson that parenthood is a commitment not to be taken lightly is admirable, but its payoff is limp and without stakes.
After all, it's Evelyn, Mia's bookshop owner friend who conveniently lost a child in the same way that Mia is at risk of losing hers, ends up suffering more than Mia and John even though she already learned this lesson.
It's no wonder this was on sale for 4 bucks at Ingles.

I feel like Annabelle was not reputed to be one of the good ones in the "Conjuring universe".


Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:49 am
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Wooley wrote:
What the fuck?

It opens with this great shot of a burning body. I thought I'd inadvertently stumbled upon my new favorite movie.

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But then everything quickly went south. One character is transformed into a baby doll, which then bursts into flame. This is her boyfriend's reaction:

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Let it all out, big guy.

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Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:56 am
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I skipped Annabelle entirely. Its sequel is solid.

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Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:42 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I don't think Wizard of Gore has more notoriety than Blood Feast. Blood Feast is really the only movie of his that has made any sort of ripple into mainstream horror, and it is even barely a ripple. Wizard of Gore got name dropped in that awful Juno, in one of the most infuriating conversations about horror in film ever (no, Juno, you precocious twit, Wizard of Gore is not better than Suspiria, just shut up), and that's about as far as anyone cares about it (ie. they don't)

And for good reason. The only film of his that in any ways can be traditionally enjoyed as 'b movie fun' is Blood Feast. Everything else is only for the dedicated. He's grown in my estimation this last year or two, but I still have some struggles with how ugly, flat and awful every single one of his movies are. But there is a charm there, somehow. And Wizard of Gore is probably second in the line when it comes to HG Lewis charm. The fact that it is too stupid (ie. disinterested) in exploring its meta ideas is the fun of it. Of course it doesn't go anywhere, and it is repetitive, but there is a legitimate what the fuckism about what is happening in Wizard. It's completely inscrutable, almost as if there were two writers, one writing from the beginning forward, and the other starting from the end backward, and they just met in the middle, threw in a bunch of magic tricks, and called it a wrap.

Is it boring? Yes. Is it ugly? Yes. Is it stupid? Yes. Is it worthy of HG Lewis fans. Yes. Which is much more than I can say about Blood Red or, honestly, even 2000 Maniacs.


I can only speak from my own experience but I was long aware of WoG before BF. This likely has to do with it receiving a Crispin Glover remake and the shitty, bullshit plug in Juno (as if the script wasn't bad enough and I always suspected that scene was bullshit, but now I KNOW) while I didn't hear of Blood Feast until relatively recently. I feel like I occasionally see WoG make online lists as if it's an underseen gem while Blood Feast is left to the unintentional comedy mentions on message boards.

However, what's this shit you're talking about 2000 Maniacs? Also, have you seen Gore Gore Girls?

And as to the Annabelle discussion, it's not good but the prequel, Annabelle: Creation, is.


Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:01 am
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DaMU wrote:
I skipped Annabelle entirely. Its sequel is solid.

I like how hardcore creation goes, which makes "her" behavior in the first seen quant and the opening scare of the Conjuring laughably tame. She's grown soft in her old age.


Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:02 am
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Rock wrote:
I've been hammering out reviews on my blog over the last few days, so I'll post a bunch of those here later. Expect terrible, overly generous opinions about movies of dubious value.


A couple I've done so far. Will post more as I hammer them out (straight from the furnace). Spoilered for length, not actual spoilers.

Nightmare City

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Here’s the difference between American horror and Italian horror. When American horror shows someone falling to their death, it’ll probably show the person start falling and then (possibly) the moment of impact. Nice, compact, no fuss. When Italian horror shows someone falling to their death, as in Umberto Lenzi’s Nightmare City, it’ll show the whole thing, maintaining continuity through all the bumps along the way. (It might even go in for a gory close-up, as in Don’t Torture a Duckling, or forget to cover obvious production mistakes, as in Zombie Holocaust with a mannequin losing an arm, but I digress.) Clearly one national cinema is superior to the other. Here’s the other thing. American horror took until 2005′s Land of the Dead to show a zombie with a machine gun, and even then, it had to show you how the zombie figured it out, and present some kind of evolution with a zombie using a handgun in the prior film in the same series, Day of the Dead. Nightmare City was doing that shit back in 1980 (in the first ten minutes!), and even had fast zombies to boot. Now, I’m not saying Nightmare City is better than those movies, but it does benefit from a daffy commitment to delivering the goods. The plot is typical zombie outbreak stuff, complete with an intrepid reporter hero and an ineffectual military. It dispenses with an explanation for zombiism and the “cure” (read: headshots) with a neat bit of explanation only to have them behave inconsistently, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, proficient with weapons and still smarter than most of their victims despite having mush for brains. Some of this is legitimately enjoyable (the slasher-movie-style sneak attacks are pretty novel for a zombie movie) and some of this is enjoyable for its stupidity (one of the zombies looks like Keegan Michael-Key), but I respect the movie’s eagerness to plunge ahead with whatever marginally diverting idea passes through its brain. For all the movie’s faults (which include a cop-out of an ending and higher than usual violence against breasts - Lenzi probably had a thing), zombies firing machine guns is something we don’t see often enough.

Shock Waves

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Sometimes when I get bored during a movie, I try to figure out who the actors look like. For people like me, Shock Waves is a treat. There’s one guy who looks like Richard Simmons, another who looks like Mark Hamill crossed with Billy Ray Cyrus but with a pornstache, and a third guy who looks like if Jack Lemmon and Ernest Borgnine had a baby who went on to father Rainn Wilson. But as compelling as those resemblances are, it would be unfair to suggest that Shock Waves is boring. It’s a low-key, atmospheric chiller that’s a fair bit more restrained than I would expect from a movie with its premise. A group of vacationers gets stranded on an island that they soon find out, thanks to an expository scene with a neckerchiefed Peter Cushing, is also being visited by Nazi undead supersoldiers. A less disciplined movie might keep throwing these Nazi zombies (Nazombies?) in our face for cheap shocks, and there are some close shaves in this movie, but the best scenes treat them with some distance, so that they can inspire unease without becoming tiresome. It’s a strategy that proves quite effective, especially when combined with the grit of the production. The pervasive grain of the cinematography creates a sort of fog, while the marginal production values give the proceedings a semi-documentary quality (as much as a movie about Nazi zombies can reasonably expect, anyway), and the framing device adds some more implied tension for those who might find the movie too sedate otherwise. It all adds up to a film of quiet, creeping dread.

Castle Freak

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This movie should be a lot more fun than it is. Castle Freak is about an American man (Jeffrey Combs) who inherits a castle in rural Italy and moves there with his wife (Barbara Crampton) and blind daughter. Little do they know that there’s a violent disfigured creature living there as well and that they are in grave danger. It’s directed by Stuart Gordon, who first gained attention with the stomach churning wit of Re-Animator and From Beyond, and got the idea for this one from a poster in the producer’s office. (The producer told him he could do whatever he wanted as long as he kept the castle and the freak.) Castle Freak features its share of gruesome content, and Gordon adds some interest with family melodrama, with the couple grieving their son who was killed in an accident caused by the father’s drunk driving. This sounds like promising material, yet never really comes together. Different parts of the movie play at different pitches, with Combs turning in a performance of overwrought hysterics, Crampton underplaying things (and being given depressingly little to chew on) and the rest of the proceedings playing as Gothic-lite as filtered through a TV movie. (The movie was released direct-to-video.) The movie has the benefit of what looks like a real castle, but depressingly little is presented in a visually interesting manner, as Gordon’s attempts at high style are undone by the cheapness of the presentation. A more forceful directorial presence could shape the movie into something more cohesive and propulsive, as Gordon was able to do with his earlier movies, but here he seems defeated by the production values.

The Car

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Kathleen Lloyd can be a good actress. She has some really nice, tender scenes in The Missouri Breaks where her co-star was Jack Nicholson. In The Car, her co-stars include a Lincoln Continental Mark III and James Brolin. But you know what? She does okay. And so does James Brolin, who is no Jack Nicholson or even Josh Brolin, but can squint and grunt like a less homicidal Charles Bronson. And the movie, about a car that terrorizes a small town, is pretty good for what it is, a Jaws ripoff but with a car instead of a shark. (Jaws on Wheels might have been too on-the-nose a title.) It’s certainly not as good as Jaws, which is a superior production in pretty much every aspect, and its theme music, which is supposed to be Dies Irae but sounds suspiciously like John Williams’ theme for the Spielberg movie. It’s also not as good as Piranha, a Jaws ripoff smart enough to bring in an element of satire. No, The Car plays it straight, but benefits from some pretty nice cinematography, some fairly likable characters, an explosive finale (imagine if Sheriff Brody and co. used as much dynamite - that sonofobitch shark wouldn’t stand a chance) and one mean-looking car, all black with a fearsome looking grill. (All it’s missing is a cowcatcher.) Imagine if the characters were terrorized instead by a Mini Cooper or a Volkswagen Beetle. The horror, the horror.

Burial Ground

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After the pathetic zombies of Nightmare City, which looked like regular people but with gobs of crap stuck to their faces, the ones in Burial Ground are refreshingly decomposed, looking like they’ve had their entire heads glazed over with shit. And when they get shot, the bleed what looks like liquefied feces, which might be a metaphor for the whole movie. Given the budget on this thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used actual caca for this, although it’s probably just papier mache. The actors playing zombies had to be good sports in any case, as many of them are also covered in maggots and worms. Some of the zombies also appear to be in half-assed Peter Criss makeup and have cute noses.

The movie is distilled to the absolute basics of a zombie movie, strange in how it seems to leave out crucial connective tissue or even a baseline of exposition even though most viewers (read: not zombies) could probably figure all of it out. Hell, even the characters figure things out with little precedent or explanation in the movie (i.e. when a character declares that the zombies can only be killed by removing their heads, even though there isn’t really a moment of discovery prior to that incident). A ZZ Top reject uncovers a bunch of zombies, which arrive at a country estate being visited by a group of vacationers. There’s next to no character development (even by junk horror standards), and the only one to make any impression is Michael, who’s supposed to be a child but is clearly played by an adult and harbours unwholesome feelings for his mother. Why a zombie movie features Oedipal themes, I do not know, but such is the horror of Burial Ground. And I guess there’s the one lady with the nice hair, although her hair stops being so nice after she’s attacked by zombies.

If there’s one novel thing about the movie (and I mean good novel, not grown-ass-man-playing-a-boy-who-wants-to-bang-his-mom novel), it’s the variety of zombie-related violence. The zombies here know how to use weapons and deploy scythes and axes during the carnage that ensues (although sadly no zombies fire machine guns like in Nightmare City). And our heroes, aside from the usual use of firearms common to the genre, find a bunch of swords to skewer and slice the zombies with, even if some of the shots are used more than once. And I suppose it’s nice too that given all the synth and funk themes in Italian horror, we get a jazz one once, although there are some computerized whistles and blips in the rest of the soundtrack. Yes, the movie is crap, but you can probably tell if you’ll enjoy it.

Howling II: ...Your Sister is a Werewolf

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I have to hand it this movie. For something renowned primarily for its badness (and secondarily for lycanthropic sex scenes), and most generously assessed by most as “so bad it’s good”, I found Howlling II fairly enjoyable when taken unironically on its own terms. It’s not a particularly (or remotely) competent horror movie, and certainly leagues below the actual quality of Joe Dante’s original, but it’s well paced, features two worthwhile performances and is intriguing on a conceptual level. Where the first film started as a response to the grimy sleazefests of early ‘80s horror and turned into something more indebted to classic monster movies, this one seems to be pulling from Hammer films. (It does pull something of a switch however, with the new wavers in the opening scenes suggesting the hip horror stylings of The Hunger, although nobody will ever accuse this movie of being hip.)

The casting of Christopher Lee is the giveaway (who did the movie because he’d never done a werewolf movie before), and the Transylvanian locale, old world atmosphere and emphasis on stakes and other specialized weaponry feel more at home in Lee’s Dracula movies than in a mid-’80s werewolf flick. The execution could use more finesse, but I was engaged by its unwieldy attempts to navigate that iconography, and if not exactly subvert it, at least complicate it by throwing in a jean-jacketed gunman as the hero, bringing with him attitude and the “shoot first, ask questions later” ethos from American action films as he starts blasting at the first sign of danger. It’s silly stuff, of course, and tacky-looking to boot (a production mishap resulted in the movie using leftover Planet of the Apes costumes for the werewolves, ingeniously excused in the dialogue with a reference to reversed evolution), but Lee almost gives it gravitas with his dignified presence, and the scene where he describes his arsenal of anti-werewolf weapons suggests he could have made a living selling curios.

Also adding to the fun is Sybil Danning as the werewolf witch queen who devours scenery and, when not in the hirsute, lycanthropic buff, dresses like a dominatrix crossed with a power ranger. (Witchwolf? Werewitch? One is a species, the other is an occupation.) She has so much fun in her role that I wish the movie had explored the werewolf condition with a bit more curiosity than stopping at ape costumes and werewolf sex scenes, of which the movie has too, too many (although I suppose some may disagree, I’m not here to judge). The original gets in some shrewd satirical points about lycanthropy being an extension of new age self care, but aside from some rituals (which never really cohere) and the fucking, this movie is indifferent to the possibilities of the concept beyond its potential for scares. One must also knock the film for wasting the artistic possibilities of a knight with a machine gun. Truly its greatest crime.

Howling III: The Marsupials

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For the third Howling movie, director Philippe Mora takes the proceedings back to his homeland of Australia, ignoring the events of the previous two films and creating a werewolf movie with a distinctly local flavour. (As the title implies, these werewolves have pouches.) Mora, likely peeved about his experience shooting the previous installment, gets in some jabs at Hollywood by having its protagonists meet during the production of a cheesy horror movie helmed by a pretentious director (complete with ape costumes like the last one), and throwing in another fake horror movie (It Came from Uranus) with outrageous bladder effects that parody Rob Bottin’s work in the original. He also seems genuinely interested in the werewolf experience this time around, envisioning these lycanthropes (or whatever the fancy word for a were-tasmanian-tiger would be) with established rituals and a clear sense of community. It’s amusing and more consistent than the previous entry, but its virtues never accumulate to good horror. The tone is too cartoonish for there to be a real sense of danger (in making the werewolves more benign, Mora never offers up a convincing threat in their place), and the movie is overstuffed and lacking in focus (there’s a Cold War defection subplot). And while the acting on the whole is fairly respectable and Imogen Annesley and Barry Otto are sympathetic leads, the movie lacks a presence as magnetic as Dee Wallace in the original and Sybil Danning and Christopher Lee in the second film.

Long Weekend

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On one hand, Colin Eggleston’s eco-horror Long Weekend presents an obvious environmental message: mankind will be defeated by nature if it does not respect it. Yet the strength of the movie is that doesn’t opt for obvious shocks, but builds instead to a more subtle sense of dread. It isn’t all feral possums and assailing eagles, although it does have those. Rather, it focuses on its characters, a couple going on a camping trip, played in naturalistic performances by John Hargreaves and Briony Behets. At first one might think the camping trip is just that, but as the story progresses it becomes clear how deeply the venom runs between them, and our perception of the premise changes from innocent vacation to last-ditch-effort to save a relationship to a final vindictive act. Both characters are revealed as selfish, callous and destructive of nature, as they run over a kangaroo, cut down a tree, kill an endangered species, fire a gun recklessly and otherwise abuse their environs. Except nature doesn’t take this lying down, and an eerie series of antagonistic events unfolds to put these characters in their place. Eggleston delivers on the animal attacks, but pitches the other occurrences more quietly, layering them as motifs that vaguely suggest a supernatural element and hint at allegory without stating it outright. A shadowy A carcass that inches closer. A wailing at night. A crossbow that keeps going off. These all happen so quietly, so unassumingly that we don’t know if we really are in a horror film, or if we’re still stuck in a drama of the characters’ relationship troubles. There’s a delicateness in the approach (matched by the picturesque cinematography) that’s at odds to the protagonists’ recklessness, and because the movie barely feels like horror, it unsettles all the more.

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