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 Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death 
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Jinnistan wrote:
Sure, if I can help. It's a very non-verbally inspiring film.


I think my key takeaway was how Kurosawa uses motifs to build the horror. I've also seen Pulse from him, which has those red-taped doors, while this one has the Xs, and I think the simplicity of those recurring images goes a long way in inspiring a kind of primal unease. I also like the drab atmosphere of both movies and the way it suggests a deeper societal malaise on top of building mood. And I don't know if it's a J-Horror thing, but that Mesmer tape gave me the willies in ways I can't put my finger on (similar to the tape in Ringu, which I found more unsettling than the overproduced counterpart in the American remake). I think I like this more than Pulse as I think Koji Yakusho provides a stronger dramatic centre.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:11 pm
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Rock wrote:

I think my key takeaway was how Kurosawa uses motifs to build the horror. I've also seen Pulse from him, which has those red-taped doors, while this one has the Xs, and I think the simplicity of those recurring images goes a long way in inspiring a kind of primal unease. I also like the drab atmosphere of both movies and the way it suggests a deeper societal malaise on top of building mood. And I don't know if it's a J-Horror thing, but that Mesmer tape gave me the willies in ways I can't put my finger on (similar to the tape in Ringu, which I found more unsettling than the overproduced counterpart in the American remake). I think I like this more than Pulse as I think Koji Yakusho provides a stronger dramatic centre.

The primal unease, for me, was largely caused by the pace of the film, the tactile and quiet scenes which stretch to hypnotic stillness. There were a number of times during the film when I was convinced that I had missed something important due to being momentarily lulled. Not nodding off, but drifting a bit, only to be snapped back and realizing that I can't remember the last bit of dialogue spoken. It seems like an intentional trick since it mirrors the amnesiac and his use of a lighter to trigger the psyche. The film was very effective at making me feel subconsciously vulnerable, something perhaps planted and quickly buried by my distracted attention.

I think the above is fairly spoiler free, but more horrifying is the end idea that
the 'X' psychic embed is viral and loosed upon the world.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:37 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The primal unease, for me, was largely caused by the pace of the film, the tactile and quiet scenes which stretch to hypnotic stillness. There were a number of times during the film when I was convinced that I had missed something important due to being momentarily lulled. Not nodding off, but drifting a bit, only to be snapped back and realizing that I can't remember the last bit of dialogue spoken. It seems like an intentional trick since it mirrors the amnesiac and his use of a lighter to trigger the psyche. The film was very effective at making me feel subconsciously vulnerable, something perhaps planted and quickly buried by my distracted attention.

I think the above is fairly spoiler free, but more horrifying is the end idea that
the 'X' psychic embed is viral and loosed upon the world.

Against my better judgment, I didn't immediately rewind the last scene.

Does it actually show him make an X gesture?

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:54 pm
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Rock wrote:
Against my better judgment, I didn't immediately rewind the last scene.

Does it actually show him make an X gesture?

A:
It does not show him make the X gesture, but strongly implies that he had nevertheless passed the curse along simply by interacting with her, and this implies that it may become more easily spread among people who don't know they're spreading it.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:17 pm
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I just watched Pet. I went into it fully expecting it to be trash but was pleasantly surprised at what it does well. The two leads give pretty good performances, especially Dominic Mognahan who shows some real range. The movie has fun with making you sympathize with one of the two main characters in any given scene and for different reasons. However the directions the story goes in are just too ridiculous and that’s what really holds it back.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:16 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
Gave up on The Neon Demon after about half an hour and will revisit later this week. Looks absolutely stunning but feels totally empty and artificial. When Jesse started monologuing about the moon I could feel my brain shutting down. I get that the artificiality and "written" feeling of it might be part of the point, but if that's the case it just wasn't working for me.

How did you feel about Only God Forgives?


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:30 pm
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Rock wrote:
I should give this one a shot, I've enjoyed everything I've read by Barker to varying degrees.

I'm actually going through The Damnation Game right now, and it's pretty good, but there's one part where he describes pornographic playing cards in a way that's supposed to be disturbing, but my reaction is just "Dude, fetishes are not scary." It's like that one part in The Scarlet Gospels where he makes a reference to a monster's swinging genitals and then never mentions them again.

Maybe fetishes were more shocking 33 years ago when everyone was so homophobic and sex-phobic during the AIDS crisis and the Reagan years?


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:33 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Since there's no a lot of material left from RT, I'll reshare my preserved entry for the top 100 horror films. Obviously I'll need to amend it (Blackcoat's Daughter, I'll avenge you!), but it's still a serviceable checklist for greenbellies.


61. Prince of Darkness ('87)

77. Halloween ('78)

Still a damn fine list, imo. Taut, lean, perniciously comprehensive.

Honestly, if I didn't know you better, I would say you did this just for shock-value. :P


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:37 pm
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Rock wrote:
Messiah of Evil

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I wish I’d watched a better copy of this, as the one I saw was cropped and grainy and rife with print damage and probably didn’t do justice to some of the more intriguing visuals, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my opinion of this goes up after watching a nicer print. (It wasn’t as bad as the copy of Seizure I watched recently, which looked like it was rescued from a soggy compost bin. If this print of Messiah of Evil was kept in a compost bin, it was at least a dry one.) Yet I still enjoyed this one a fair bit, and I think it’s a case where a low budget not only encourages ingenuity on the part of the filmmakers, but also enhances the general ambience. There’s a memorable scene where a character goes to a theatre that seems like it’s padding the runtime with its liberal use of footage from the western that character is watching (Gone with the West, starring Sammy Davis Jr. and James Caan), until you realize how gradually it’s been building dread in between those clips. But even that plays like a big shocker moment compared to the sparseness and eerie sense of quiet that pervades the rest of the film, something likely dictated by the budget but contributing to the low key yet unsettling atmosphere of the film. Characters are barely fleshed out, yet the performances are effective in their generally unforced quality, and what plot there is gets sketched out almost at its own leisure with mood taking precedence. It’s like if Jean Rollin made a film out of distinctly American imagery (and less skin), which to this viewer is not a bad thing at all.

Yeah, I think we pretty much came away the same on this.
Oddly, regarding the print, I also saw a poor print (the one on Prime), which I just assumed was the only one left as I didn't know Prime had a Netflix problem, until I saw images posted online that were super-clean and wide-screen. And yet, I'm not sure that I didn't like it better this way, that that run-down print didn't add something to the particular vibe this movie has, as you described it. I would actually like to see the better version, and I may actually buy it to see it, but I felt like that print almost transported me to the strange time and place this movie wanted me to be in anyway.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:44 pm
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Wooley wrote:
How did you feel about Only God Forgives?


I skipped it. Nothing about the plot description (or the setting of a brothel or whatever) appealed to me.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:09 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I skipped it. Nothing about the plot description (or the setting of a brothel or whatever) appealed to me.

Gotcha, I was just hoping to get a take on how it compared to decide if I should watch it. I am a big fan of OGF but still have reservations about spending my time on ND.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:12 am
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Wooley wrote:
Gotcha, I was just hoping to get a take on how it compared to decide if I should watch it. I am a big fan of OGF but still have reservations about spending my time on ND.

If you're a big fan of OGF, Neon Demon should be similar. In some ways, Neon Demon felt like Refn trying to turn criticisms about OGF being style without substance, beautiful but empty, and pretentious into thematic content for Neon Demon. I'd argue he succeeds very well.

But gosh darn it, I just can't really think of a time I thought Refn failed.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:31 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
If you're a big fan of OGF, Neon Demon should be similar. In some ways, Neon Demon felt like Refn trying to turn criticisms about OGF being style without substance, beautiful but empty, and pretentious into thematic content for Neon Demon. I'd argue he succeeds very well.

But gosh darn it, I just can't really think of a time I thought Refn failed.


My problem is that 30 minutes in nothing in the film is at all interesting to me aside from the framing/colors. The dialogue is kind of painful and the performances feel kind of flat.

Is there something more engaging down the road? I do like Keanu Reeves.

Like, what's the fun with this movie? Help me go into it again with a better attitude.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:53 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

My problem is that 30 minutes in nothing in the film is at all interesting to me aside from the framing/colors. The dialogue is kind of painful and the performances feel kind of flat.

Is there something more engaging down the road? I do like Keanu Reeves.

Like, what's the fun with this movie? Help me go into it again with a better attitude.


I think the horror elements and the general conceit of turning a metaphor about the fashion scene into something literal (I won't say what metaphor though) that I find very darkly amusing. I think the film operates largely due to mood and atmosphere. It's best watched on the biggest screen available with Martinez' score cranked up.

The film does a great job of making everything beautiful and unappealing all at once. Reeves is very good in his limited roll and I think each male character is used well to highlight various gender issues in the scene.

I think the last act is the strongest and it's hard to discuss it without giving it all away. The artiface is intentional and only exists to highlight how empty all of this lifestyle is. That may not be the greatest way to sell it as it sounds like empty nihilism but it's as much as I can say without spoiling what I like most. I will say that the film does go to uniquely disturbing places that aren't reliant upon gore or sexual violence so it may win you over in the end.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:02 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I think the horror elements and the general conceit of turning a metaphor about the fashion scene into something literal (I won't say what metaphor though) that I find very darkly amusing. I think the film operates largely due to mood and atmosphere. It's best watched on the biggest screen available with Martinez' score cranked up.

The film does a great job of making everything beautiful and unappealing all at once. Reeves is very good in his limited roll and I think each male character is used well to highlight various gender issues in the scene.

I think the last act is the strongest and it's hard to discuss it without giving it all away. The artiface is intentional and only exists to highlight how empty all of this lifestyle is. That may not be the greatest way to sell it as it sounds like empty nihilism but it's as much as I can say without spoiling what I like most. I will say that the film does go to uniquely disturbing places that aren't reliant upon gore or sexual violence so it may win you over in the end.


Okay, that's a pretty compelling (and admirably vague) argument. I'll give it another whirl this week and see what I think.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:09 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Okay, that's a pretty compelling (and admirably vague) argument. I'll give it another whirl this week and see what I think.


I may try to rewatch it in the next day or so just so I can be more articulate on the matter. It's been on my rewatch docket this year and I regret not watching it last night over 1st watch or I Saw What You Did.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:29 am
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Wooley wrote:
Maybe fetishes were more shocking 33 years ago when everyone was so homophobic and sex-phobic during the AIDS crisis and the Reagan years?

That's fair, and I think he can incorporate them interestingly (like the stuff in Hellraiser / The Hellbound Heart). But in terms of execution, the section in The Damnation Game is basically just him describing a particularly graphic nudie deck and the "scariest" card has something pretty gross on it, but the reaction it gets is more "ewwwwww" than fear. I feel like he sometimes uses that kind of content as a crutch to elicit an easy reaction but the execution isn't always up to snuff, and it can be jarring when it's thrown in so abruptly.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:16 am
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Wooley wrote:
Yeah, I think we pretty much came away the same on this.
Oddly, regarding the print, I also saw a poor print (the one on Prime), which I just assumed was the only one left as I didn't know Prime had a Netflix problem, until I saw images posted online that were super-clean and wide-screen. And yet, I'm not sure that I didn't like it better this way, that that run-down print didn't add something to the particular vibe this movie has, as you described it. I would actually like to see the better version, and I may actually buy it to see it, but I felt like that print almost transported me to the strange time and place this movie wanted me to be in anyway.

Yeah, I was a little disappointed by my print because I'd seen screencaps of that nice widescreen one floating around. But seeing the crummy one took me back to my high school days when we had this horror movie cable channel that would show a lot of stuff from the '60s to the '80s in prints of wildly varying quality. Seeing something like Blood Feast in a scratchy and discoloured print just adds something to the experience. (Obviously, Messiah of Evil is much better than Blood Feast, but gives off some of the same drive-in vibes.)

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:19 am
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Zombie

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I watched Zombie 3 a few weeks ago and actually kind of enjoyed it. But then I started going back through my Letterboxd ratings and saw that I gave Zombie 2 (or Zombie) 1.5 out of 5 stars. And I figured that there’s no way in hell what’s supposedly one of Lucio Fulci’s best movies is worse than something he thought was so shitty he tried to get his name off it. And I’d been listening a fair bit to Impetigo’s Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, a 44-minute slab of catchy as hell riffs, gruesome gargled lyrics and splatter movie samples, and surprise, surprise, there was a clip from Zombie before one of the songs. So I figured it was about time to revisit it and see if my opinion changed at all. Either it turned out to be better than I remembered and I benefited from seeing a good movie, or it was still actually terrible and I could smugly pat myself on the back for having been right the whole time. Either way, it seemed like a win-win proposition.

Turns out I won. In that it I enjoyed it a lot more than the first time around. I still wouldn’t place it as Fulci’s best and I think it still has issues, but it’s a pretty effective zombie movie that has some pretty strong atmosphere and one very good performance. One reason is that I’ve realized after the dubious pleasures of such fare as Nightmare City and Burial Ground that there’s a decent amount of actual craftsmanship in Zombie (the way I realized after Missing in Action that Rambo: First Blood Part II might be a better made movie than I initially gave it credit for), but there’s also a matter of experience. Zombie was one of the first Italian horror movies I’d seen that wasn’t directed by Dario Argento, and at the time I don’t think I was really prepared for Fulci’s style, which admittedly is more uneven than Argento’s. Fulci like Argento knows how to use shadow and framing to create striking scares, but much of the movie is set in broad daylight and outdoors, limiting the opportunities to put those tools to use. He knows how to make gore unsettling, but the splatter in his movies isn’t always artful, and it isn’t really here. And his movies don’t quite have the same narrative thrust as Argento’s, who knows how to lock us into the perspective of an audience surrogate and take us along for a tense, thrilling ride, while Fulci at his best uses incoherence and logic gaps to weave together a free-associative nightmare.

Some of these are tools that work really interestingly in the context of the supernatural horror of The Beyond and City of the Living Dead (the films which cemented by Fulci appreciation) but don’t inherently lend themselves well to the straightforward horror, and as Fulci’s first real splatter film, you can see him working out how to apply these tools in this context. Obviously the gore works in the expected way, graphic and nauseating as it should be, if without the frisson of an unexpected supernatural element in those other movies, and the most memorable gore gag, where a woman gets a splinter jammed in her eyeball, is unnerving in its drawn out execution. But in that scene and others you can see him use his usual tools - shadows, shots of eyes, silence - to eke tension out of the grue in a way that almost seems too classy for zombie gut-munching. Fulci had gotten the director’s job on the basis of the gore scenes in Seven Notes in Black and Don’t Torture a Duckling, and while the gore effects in the latter are amusingly the worst part of the movie, he really takes to it here and weaves it into the fabric of the film much more confidently, and it forms the basis of his reputation for his subsequent career.

But contrast that with the sense of atmosphere that runs through the rest of the movie, which is no less effective but an entirely different kind. Fulci and screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti (in their second of seven collaborations) have cited Val Lewton as an influence on this more so than George Romero, whose Dawn of the Dead this was marketed as a sequel to. On this viewing I can see strong shades of I Walked with a Zombie, with its tropical setting and references to Voodoo and colonial history colouring the proceedings. In particular, Fulci’s depiction of the island is much more evocative than I’d initially appreciated, and I like how he uses the environment, the derelict chapel/makeshift hospital and the mass graves to hang over the proceedings a morose, dismal atmosphere. This isn’t just an entertaining zombie movie, but an effectively somber one as well, and the direction of the zombies, who seem to sleepwalk rather than lurch, adds to this feeling. The location also serves the action well, with the decrepitness of chapel/hospital, which makes the house in Night of the Living Dead look secure, adding to the tension when the heroes try to defend it from the oncoming zombie horde during the climax, which, despite some recycled footage of exploding molotov cocktails, is tensely directed with action-adventure flair.

Now, the movie isn’t as well paced as some of Fulci’s other work (the pacing had been the main factor in my initial dismissal of the film) and there are a few cases of characters freezing up and waiting to be dispatched by the gore effects, but Fulci gets things off to a strong start with the foreboding of the opening scenes, in which a seemingly empty boat floats into the New York City harbour. The main theme by Fabio Frizzi is also wonderfully atmospheric, although some of the other sections of the score, particularly a jaunty Caribbean-flavoured theme, are a bit on the nose. In terms of the acting, most of the players do a respectable job, but as in my initial viewing, I still feel that Richard Johnson is the standout. He brings a genuine gravitas, weariness and sorrow to the role uncommon in Italian horror, which generally gets most of its personality from the director and frequently dubs away the nuances of performance, and one can feel the psychological toll bearing down on him as he goes about the wretched business of disposing of those afflicted by the zombie outbreak. (Co-star Ian McCulloch must have been taking notes, as he brings a similar weight to his work in Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination the following year.) And yes, while I still don’t think the zombie-vs-shark sequence is an all-time great horror movie scene, I admit that it’s better directed and more tense than I’d initially given it credit for, and the closing images are pretty neat too. Nobody’s right all the time.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:21 am
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Rock wrote:
That's fair, and I think he can incorporate them interestingly (like the stuff in Hellraiser / The Hellbound Heart). But in terms of execution, the section in The Damnation Game is basically just him describing a particularly graphic nudie deck and the "scariest" card has something pretty gross on it, but the reaction it gets is more "ewwwwww" than fear. I feel like he sometimes uses that kind of content as a crutch to elicit an easy reaction but the execution isn't always up to snuff, and it can be jarring when it's thrown in so abruptly.

You may be right, now that I think about it, I haven't read it in 30 years.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:32 am
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I just watched Midnight Meat Train. I think Bradley Cooper is a fine actor but here I didn’t really buy him and his model girlfriend as a struggling photographer and humble waitress. The blood was too shiny and overall this movie was too slick and stylish for its own good. But I liked that the murderer’s weapon was a big ole meat hammer and the film wasn’t afraid to use it to its full potential. And the story does have an intense third act even if the ending was a bit predictable.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:45 pm
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Rock wrote:
Zombie

Image

I watched Zombie 3 a few weeks ago and actually kind of enjoyed it. But then I started going back through my Letterboxd ratings and saw that I gave Zombie 2 (or Zombie) 1.5 out of 5 stars. And I figured that there’s no way in hell what’s supposedly one of Lucio Fulci’s best movies is worse than something he thought was so shitty he tried to get his name off it. And I’d been listening a fair bit to Impetigo’s Ultimo Mondo Cannibale, a 44-minute slab of catchy as hell riffs, gruesome gargled lyrics and splatter movie samples, and surprise, surprise, there was a clip from Zombie before one of the songs. So I figured it was about time to revisit it and see if my opinion changed at all. Either it turned out to be better than I remembered and I benefited from seeing a good movie, or it was still actually terrible and I could smugly pat myself on the back for having been right the whole time. Either way, it seemed like a win-win proposition.

Turns out I won. In that it I enjoyed it a lot more than the first time around. I still wouldn’t place it as Fulci’s best and I think it still has issues, but it’s a pretty effective zombie movie that has some pretty strong atmosphere and one very good performance. One reason is that I’ve realized after the dubious pleasures of such fare as Nightmare City and Burial Ground that there’s a decent amount of actual craftsmanship in Zombie (the way I realized after Missing in Action that Rambo: First Blood Part II might be a better made movie than I initially gave it credit for), but there’s also a matter of experience. Zombie was one of the first Italian horror movies I’d seen that wasn’t directed by Dario Argento, and at the time I don’t think I was really prepared for Fulci’s style, which admittedly is more uneven than Argento’s. Fulci like Argento knows how to use shadow and framing to create striking scares, but much of the movie is set in broad daylight and outdoors, limiting the opportunities to put those tools to use. He knows how to make gore unsettling, but the splatter in his movies isn’t always artful, and it isn’t really here. And his movies don’t quite have the same narrative thrust as Argento’s, who knows how to lock us into the perspective of an audience surrogate and take us along for a tense, thrilling ride, while Fulci at his best uses incoherence and logic gaps to weave together a free-associative nightmare.

Some of these are tools that work really interestingly in the context of the supernatural horror of The Beyond and City of the Living Dead (the films which cemented by Fulci appreciation) but don’t inherently lend themselves well to the straightforward horror, and as Fulci’s first real splatter film, you can see him working out how to apply these tools in this context. Obviously the gore works in the expected way, graphic and nauseating as it should be, if without the frisson of an unexpected supernatural element in those other movies, and the most memorable gore gag, where a woman gets a splinter jammed in her eyeball, is unnerving in its drawn out execution. But in that scene and others you can see him use his usual tools - shadows, shots of eyes, silence - to eke tension out of the grue in a way that almost seems too classy for zombie gut-munching. Fulci had gotten the director’s job on the basis of the gore scenes in Seven Notes in Black and Don’t Torture a Duckling, and while the gore effects in the latter are amusingly the worst part of the movie, he really takes to it here and weaves it into the fabric of the film much more confidently, and it forms the basis of his reputation for his subsequent career.

But contrast that with the sense of atmosphere that runs through the rest of the movie, which is no less effective but an entirely different kind. Fulci and screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti (in their second of seven collaborations) have cited Val Lewton as an influence on this more so than George Romero, whose Dawn of the Dead this was marketed as a sequel to. On this viewing I can see strong shades of I Walked with a Zombie, with its tropical setting and references to Voodoo and colonial history colouring the proceedings. In particular, Fulci’s depiction of the island is much more evocative than I’d initially appreciated, and I like how he uses the environment, the derelict chapel/makeshift hospital and the mass graves to hang over the proceedings a morose, dismal atmosphere. This isn’t just an entertaining zombie movie, but an effectively somber one as well, and the direction of the zombies, who seem to sleepwalk rather than lurch, adds to this feeling. The location also serves the action well, with the decrepitness of chapel/hospital, which makes the house in Night of the Living Dead look secure, adding to the tension when the heroes try to defend it from the oncoming zombie horde during the climax, which, despite some recycled footage of exploding molotov cocktails, is tensely directed with action-adventure flair.

Now, the movie isn’t as well paced as some of Fulci’s other work (the pacing had been the main factor in my initial dismissal of the film) and there are a few cases of characters freezing up and waiting to be dispatched by the gore effects, but Fulci gets things off to a strong start with the foreboding of the opening scenes, in which a seemingly empty boat floats into the New York City harbour. The main theme by Fabio Frizzi is also wonderfully atmospheric, although some of the other sections of the score, particularly a jaunty Caribbean-flavoured theme, are a bit on the nose. In terms of the acting, most of the players do a respectable job, but as in my initial viewing, I still feel that Richard Johnson is the standout. He brings a genuine gravitas, weariness and sorrow to the role uncommon in Italian horror, which generally gets most of its personality from the director and frequently dubs away the nuances of performance, and one can feel the psychological toll bearing down on him as he goes about the wretched business of disposing of those afflicted by the zombie outbreak. (Co-star Ian McCulloch must have been taking notes, as he brings a similar weight to his work in Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination the following year.) And yes, while I still don’t think the zombie-vs-shark sequence is an all-time great horror movie scene, I admit that it’s better directed and more tense than I’d initially given it credit for, and the closing images are pretty neat too. Nobody’s right all the time.

Man, I feel like I wrote this review myself, you hit my feelings so on the nose and so thoroughly so.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:47 pm
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Deschain13 wrote:
I just watched Midnight Meat Train. I think Bradley Cooper is a fine actor but here I didn’t really buy him and his model girlfriend as a struggling photographer and humble waitress. The blood was too shiny and overall this movie was too slick and stylish for its own good. But I liked that the murderer’s weapon was a big ole meat hammer and the film wasn’t afraid to use it to its full potential. And the story does have an intense third act even if the ending was a bit predictable.

I liked this one, certainly much more than I expected to. I read the short story when I was a teenager (and revisited it after watching the movie) and I felt like they did a nice job transferring it effectively to the screen. I can understand the "slick" part, but certainly less so than most Hollywood horror and the film gets its hands bloody in a way those movies don't. And I felt this was the correct use of Vinnie Jones, whose casting is often of the failed-stunt variety. The third act, as you say, plays out nicely if predictably.


Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:51 pm
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I wish Zombi was a better film, because just on a superficial level those are some of my favorite zombies. Way better than Romero's gray-face-paint approach. I've seen it twice now and liked it more the 2nd time, so maybe one more viewing will do the trick. I don't dislike it, to be clear, just can't fully embrace it at this point, especially now that I've seen Fulci's other films.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:36 pm
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Rock wrote:
I still don’t think the zombie-vs-shark sequence is an all-time great horror movie scene,


It's not a well done scene. It's completely leadenly edited and has almost no visual sense. The reason it should be considered amazing though is simply because it exists. Sometimes that's all that matters.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:24 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

It's not a well done scene. It's completely leadenly edited and has almost no visual sense. The reason it should be considered amazing though is simply because it exists. Sometimes that's all that matters.

Couldn't agree more.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:44 am
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Deschain13 wrote:
I just watched Midnight Meat Train.

This is another film that I found very much improved in B&W. The contrasts give it a slight Sin City sheen and a kind of brutal noir feel., and the more egregious CGI blood comes off a bit more bearable.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:40 am
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Wooley wrote:
Honestly, if I didn't know you better, I would say you did this just for shock-value. :P

Looking that list over, and I was more concerned with swapping Prince of Darkness out with Evil Dead II. How did that happen?

Ranking inevitably involves some sort of instinctive, random really, hip-calls on the line of scrimage. I try, in the moment, to be precise, but all of my lists invariably start to look like musical chairs at some point with some baffling occasions of winners and losers. I think that it's the right movies on the list, and whatever negotiations are ongoing as for their relative rise or fall accordingly.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:45 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Looking that list over, and I was more concerned with swapping Prince of Darkness out with Evil Dead II. How did that happen?

Ranking inevitably involves some sort of instinctive, random really, hip-calls on the line of scrimage. I try, in the moment, to be precise, but all of my lists invariably start to look like musical chairs at some point with some baffling occasions of winners and losers. I think that it's the right movies on the list, and whatever negotiations are ongoing as for their relative rise or fall accordingly.

One of the many reasons I don't make lists.
I use to do my 31 Essential Horror Movies list, but even that I quit doing, what 8 or 9 years ago. There's really just sort of a cloud of movies I really like and ordering them just seems like futile and a waste of time.
It may give you, others, whoever, a chuckle though to know that my Essential 31 never included The Exorcist. And I don't think it ever will.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 am
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New views this Halloween:

Isle of the Dead (1945) - B+
Inferno (1980) - B+
Piranha (1978) - B
Pumpkinhead (1988) - B
Happy Death Day (2017) - B
The Invisible Man Returns (1945) - B
Halloween (2018) - C+
A Bay of Blood (1971) - C

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 am
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My first watches of October:

Frankenstein (1910)
The 400 Tricks of the Devil
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A Page of Madness
Black Moon
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
The Corpse Vanishes
The Yotsuya Kaidan (1949)
The Wasp Woman (1959)
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
The Third Eye (1966)
Simon, King of the Witches (1971)
Track of the Moon Beast (1976)
Invaders from Mars (1986)
Child’s Play (1988)
Dolly Dearest (1991)
The Grave (1996)
Bottom Feeder (2007)
Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue (2009)
Backcountry (2014)
Shelley (2016)
Dance of the Spider Woman (2018)/The Executioners (2018)
Existence on Earth (2018)
Season of the Witch (1972)

I'd say that the best (or most pleasant surprises) were Season of the Witch, Shelley, Child's Play, The Third Eye, The Yotsuya Kaidan, Black Moon, A Page of Madness.

I especially want to recognize The Third Eye, which is an Italian Psycho knock-off starring Franco Nero and it was amazing for what it was. It's on Prime and you should all check it out.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:46 am
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I didn't watch a lot of what I wanted to watch this month because of stuff that came up, but it's been vaguely acceptable overall.

2018-10-01 Burnt Offerings (A)
2018-10-04 Prince of Darkness (B)
2018-10-05 Ghost House (F)
2018-10-06 Misery (A)
2018-10-07 Dracula 1931 (A)
2018-10-08 The Bay (B+)
2018-10-14 Winchester (D)
2018-10-19 Phobia 2 (C)
2018-10-22 The canal, 2nd (A+)
2018-10-28 Boo! A Madea Halloween (F)


It's been a while since I watched this few movies in October. I didn't even get to watch Haunting again. I'll have to find more Italian stuff next time, and rewatch Bay of Blood. I don't remember what I thought about that one.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:47 am
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I did rewatch The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, and weirdly enough, I wasn't quite thrilling on The Evil Dead this time around. More than anything anymore, I just want to fast-forward to the final 20 minutes. Not 'cause the preceding 60 minutes are bad, but the last 20 is when I see Sam Raimi most clearly.

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:56 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I'd say that the best (or most pleasant surprises) were Season of the Witch

"It's just balling, lady!" :P

Mr. Hipster Monkee has such a punchable mug.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:02 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
"It's just balling, lady!" :P

Mr. Hipster Monkee has such a punchable mug.


The use of "balling" as slang for sex (and SO MANY variations--"balling", "getting balled", "balled") cost the film a whole star. I'm not even kidding.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:14 am
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Wooley wrote:
Man, I feel like I wrote this review myself, you hit my feelings so on the nose and so thoroughly so.

I don't know the last time I had to eat my hat this thoroughly about my opinion on a movie. :D

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:29 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

It's not a well done scene. It's completely leadenly edited and has almost no visual sense. The reason it should be considered amazing though is simply because it exists. Sometimes that's all that matters.

I think underwater stunts in general tend to be kind of crap because of how slow everything is, but I read a piece on the AV Club recently where the guy argues that the scene works on the basis of seeing the stuntman grapple for real with the shark, and I have to say, it managed to work for me on that level.

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:31 am
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DaMU wrote:
I did rewatch The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, and weirdly enough, I wasn't quite thrilling on The Evil Dead this time around. More than anything anymore, I just want to fast-forward to the final 20 minutes. Not 'cause the preceding 60 minutes are bad, but the last 20 is when I see Sam Raimi most clearly.

I'd finally watched Within the Woods this month (rudimentary but not ineffective, and fun seeing some distinctincly Raimian choices in embryonic form, like his trademark tracking shot) and was hoping to do rewatches of both of those, but alas, they escaped me.

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:33 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
I wish Zombi was a better film, because just on a superficial level those are some of my favorite zombies. Way better than Romero's gray-face-paint approach. I've seen it twice now and liked it more the 2nd time, so maybe one more viewing will do the trick. I don't dislike it, to be clear, just can't fully embrace it at this point, especially now that I've seen Fulci's other films.

Stuntmen in Italian horror movies have to be good sports, because they always seem to be covered in worms and maggots and all kinds of crap (and the zombie blood always looks like actual feces).

I don't think it's his best or necessarily one that another director might not have been able to improve (whereas The Beyond and City of the Living Dead are clearly things that only he could have made), but I do think there are enough good parts to savour that seeing it in the right mindset (I don't mean drugs!) can do it a lot of favours. Now just keep rewatching the movie until you love it unequivocally. :D

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:37 am
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First time watches...(I'm assuming Halloween starts mid-September) - asterisk beside my favourites:

Shock Waves
Castle Freak
Candyman
The Car
The Case of the Scorpion's Tail
Murder Party
Burial Ground
The Howling
Howling II: ...Your Sister is a Werewolf
Veronica
Howling III: The Marsupials
The Stone Tape *
Piranha 3D
Long Weekend
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
The Purge: Election Year
The Wicker Man (remake)
Scream 4
The Devils *
Ganja & Hess
Zombie 3
Zombie 4: After Death
Apostle
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Guardian
Within the Woods
Malevolent
Cannibal Girls
Vampire's Kiss *
Halloween (2018)
Cure*
The Face of Another *
Seizure
Night of the Comet *
Messiah of Evil

Rewatches:

Friday the 13th Part 2
Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Zombie

...and why don't we finish the month off with a rewatch of the original Halloween?

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:44 am
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Rock wrote:
First time watches...(I'm assuming Halloween starts mid-September) - asterisk beside my favourites:

Cure*
Messiah of Evil


Cure 1997? I loved the bad guy in that. Such a intelligently written villain. The interrogation scene is fantastic

And I hope you do track down a good copy of Messiah of Evil. It's soooooooooo good looking. Did you actually get to appreciate the house though? Like, was it a 360p copy or a bad vhs?


Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:09 am
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Charles wrote:

Cure 1997? I loved the bad guy in that. Such a intelligently written villain. The interrogation scene is fantastic
Yup, that's the one.

Grainy, unrestored DVD. Not great, but not unwatchable. Yeah, the house was pretty neat.

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:12 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

The use of "balling" as slang for sex (and SO MANY variations--"balling", "getting balled", "balled") cost the film a whole star. I'm not even kidding.

Ugh, is this what that show with Dwayne Johnson is about?

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:21 am
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Rock wrote:
I don't know the last time I had to eat my hat this thoroughly about my opinion on a movie. :D

No, but I absolutely got where you were coming from as this was either the first or second Italian horror I watched outside of Suspiria, which I saw like a decade before these other ones and didn't really know anything about Italian Horror blond that film. It takes a sort of acclimation for so many reasons: the much lower budgets, the fact that they were still dubbing movies in Italy until like the early 90s, the tendency to place traditional western narrative last among a film's priorities, and Zombi, in particular being filmed largely in broad daylight... it's a lot to get accustomed to.
Honestly, I suspect that I saw Zombi after City Of The Living Dead, which I do have such a special story with. But I had at least had the seal broken.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:25 pm
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Rock wrote:
I think underwater stunts in general tend to be kind of crap because of how slow everything is, but I read a piece on the AV Club recently where the guy argues that the scene works on the basis of seeing the stuntman grapple for real with the shark, and I have to say, it managed to work for me on that level.

Man, you wanna see good unerwater work, watch The Creature From The Black Lagoon. They owned that shit and Spielberg has admitted some of Jaws was inspired by those scenes.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:26 pm
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My first watches in order from start to finish:

She-wolf of London
The Blob (original)
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Twins of Evil
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Before I Wake
Tales of Halloween
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (40's version)
Creepshow 2
The Gore Gore Girls
Wizard of Gore
Dark Water (original)
Bedeviled
Uncle Sam
The Blob (remake)
Veronica
Apostle
Tales from the Hood 2
The Witchfinder General
Death Walks at Midnight
Werewolf Woman
Halloween (2018)
Bad Times at El Royale
The Strangers: Prey at Night
The Man who Could Cheat Death
Gerald's Game
The Skull
Children Shouldnt Play with Dead Things
Hatchet for the Honeymoon
Hound of the Baskerville (Hammer)
Strait-Jacket
Dead & Buried
I Saw What You Did
Spider Baby
Mandy

I think am a tad too sick to have closed out with Mandy and probably should have researched Halloween as per the original plan for tonight. The first half was hard to get through and I feared I was going to respond to it the same way I did Beyond the Black Rainbow (negatively) but once it entered Revenge territory, I found myself quite enamored with it.


Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:15 pm
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First watches for me this season (I'm gonna make a list!):

VHS - mostly not so great, I sorta get what they were doing in retrospect but I think my criticisms at the time hold true
Chopping Mall - started off great but petered out quickly and became a disappointment
Mausoleum - surprisingly not the bottom of the barrel, enjoyable on the level at which it is operating
Tourist Trap - not exactly what I was expecting or hoping for but a really nice entry to this level of horror-film, which would include the likes of Motel Hell and Eaten Alive
Messiah Of Evil - just a real treat to get to see a movie made for so little money that delivers, reminded me of Lemora
Sinister - Shitister
Halloween (2018) - much better than it could have been, not as good as it should have been
Don't Go In The House - cheap, rough, kinda crazy, but not bad


Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:30 pm
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The AV Club Presents: the 35 greatest Horror games of all time!

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Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:26 pm
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I watched three movies to finish up the season tonight:

Cabin in the Woods. There’s a reason I watch it every Halloween. Not much more to say that hasn’t already been said.

Valentine, starring Denise Richards and David Boreanaz in case you forgot it came out in 2001. This was a pretty standard and competent slasher. I guess my biggest gripe was it doesn’t escalate tension or raise the stakes in any way. So it’s mostly four women navigating their dating lives with kills lightly peppered throughout. I guess if you’re in the mood for a more casual slasher this will work for you.

Summer of ‘84 about the kids who think their neighbor is a serial killer. They really lay the ‘80s-ness of it on thick so if you’re sick of this brand of nostalgia then you’re gonna have a bad time. Otherwise it’s exaclty the kind of romp it’s advertised as, except for when shit turns real serious. I don’t know how I feel about it overall yet.

But that’s it for me this month, Happy Halloween all!

Edit: Oh and I don’t know how many of you watch South Park but they did a really great Halloween episode tonight. :D


Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:27 pm
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Rock wrote:
Stuntmen in Italian horror movies have to be good sports, because they always seem to be covered in worms and maggots and all kinds of crap (and the zombie blood always looks like actual feces).

A couple of years ago I did an all-Fulci October and it felt like 30 days of maggots and eyeballs. Time well spent, in other words.

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