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 Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death 
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hmmmm... Hadn't heard of Hagazussa before. Looks like it's just my speed. (That speed being very slow) ;)
Looking forward to Endless/Hereditary/A Quiet Place, among others

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Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:52 pm
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Going on the hype i'll go for Hereditary, The Endless, Unseen and A Quiet place

And trailer wise... Ghost Stories, Tigers are not Afraid and Cold Hell

;)


Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:07 pm
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Yay!


Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:15 am
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I just watched Hunted a movie about a teenager who is a sort of vampire who is left in a small town with directions to "fit in". The boy, Rufus, is taken in by the sheriff and his wife, who years earlier lost their son in a tragic accident. Rufus tries to navigate being social, both with the sexy neighbor girl across the street and with her ex-boyfriend, the baseball star. There's also a man in town from the institution that "owns" Rufus who is looking to take him back to the institute.

I kept going back and forth with this movie between liking it and being kind of angry at it. And I think it has a lot to do with the filmmakers bringing in really heavy themes and pot points and then not having the experience (or the empathy) to deal with them very well.

The first issue is with Tracy, the girl across the street. Her main character point is that she is very promiscuous. The first time she meets Rufus she invites him over for a "game" where they take their clothes off. Everyone talks about Tracy (whose father is gone and whose mother leaves her alone in the house while on a trip to Vegas) with contempt and rumors about her fly. She's "slept with half the town". Her ex-boyfriend says that she had sex with a 30-year old student teacher. The sheriff (who is generally a really compassionate person) says "You know she had an abortion--don't tell me she was 'on vacation'!". Only Jennifer, the sheriff's wife, has any kind of sympathy for Tracy, and tells Rufus that Tracy's behavior has to do with wanting attention and feeling hurt. Aside form that one scene, though, Tracy is treated really horribly, even by Rufus. In an early scene, Tracy's ex-boyfriend, Clay, knocks Rufus out and then pulls Tracy into a truck and tries to rape her. Rufus pulls him off of her. But later when Rufus starts hanging out with Clay, Tracy says "You know he tried to rape me!" and Rufus replies "Are you sure about that?". The movie treats Tracy's behavior and Rufus's jealousy as if they crimes of equal severity. But for the entire duration of the movie we see no signs that Tracy is cheating on Rufus. We don't see her flirt with any other male characters. When she and Rufus break up, she doesn't go out looking for another guy. The movie gives Rufus (who, you know, is actually a monster) a more sympathetic edit than Tracy and that's a little hard to take.

Then there's Clay. I will give the movie credit for trying to do something with the character aside from "creepy ex-boyfriend". But, again, I don't think that the movie was able to pull off the character arc it attempts for him. Rufus and Clay start hanging out. Clay tells Rufus that he's living a false life--basically living out his own father's fantasies and not pursuing and interests of his own. Later in the film
Clay says that someone saw them hanging out and not he's being called a "faggot". Rufus says that they didn't do anything. Clay replies, "But I wanted to."
Okay, hold up. At this point, it's really important for the movie to clarify whether or not
Clay is actually gay/bisexual but closeted, or if this is like vampire charisma doing its thing. But the movie doesn't. Later the evil institute guy is able to manipulate Clay's emotions to get Clay to hurt Rufus.
What's really frustrating about this side-plot is that the movie never resolves it. Clay does
try to kill Rufus. But in the end, Rufus gets to stay in town and we see him heading off to school. As much as Clay was a rapist and a creep, the actor playing him does a good enough job conveying his turmoil and despair that I wanted to know what happened to him.


Maybe the best of the subplots involves the sheriff and his wife and their acceptance of Rufus into their family. All of the actors in the movie are pretty good, but the Sheriff and his wife are the most grounded characters and their actions and emotions are the ones that make the most sense.

The horror elements are pretty well-done. Some of it is pretty standard stuff for movies like this (Rufus doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he subsists on raw hamburger and the occasional truck-stop sex offender). The most unique thing about it is the backstory that it gives Rufus, especially regarding his time in the institute. We slowly get clues about his treatment (and the treatment of the woman, a fellow patient, who helped him to escape). We learn that Rufus was
vivisected
, and that gives an extra bit of tension to the man trying to recapture him.

Overall this is a movie I'd recommend. I watched it on Hulu. It's a decent entry in the "vampire trying to live a normal life" subgenre.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:50 am
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Rump wrote:
OK guys... what are we most excited about... apart from me being here of course :P

Image

or something else...

Suspiria, overwhelmingly. The potential for greatness or great disappointment, it is an even for me.

Interested, but not overwhelmingly so, in how the Halloween rescue-operation turns out.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:04 am
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Luca Guadagnino is a talented director, yet no matter how accomplished his Desire Triology is, there's not really a lot of evidence of the kinds of competency necessary for a good horror movie. I can't say that any of these films (still haven't seen Your Name) show much taste for atmosphere, tension, or subconsciously stirring visuals. He excels at adult drama and a more naturalistic aesthetic. These things don't usually translate into a great horror film. Instead, the film is said to be "winter-ish, evil, and really dark". Yawn. I'm starting to get the Van Sant jeebies over this. Considering the extant quality of the recent 4K restoration, I'm not sure why it's even necessary to bother.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:53 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I got myself a region free player last August so it's more the price that sways me. I have the first two Fly movies and the remake and it's sequel. I don't have the Curse of the Fly and I'd have to buy a DVD set that's far overpriced so it's tempting. I'll add it to my watch list and see if it ever dips. Thanks for the heads up!

I watched the original trilogy on Saturday, and this was my first viewing of Curse. It's not bad but it's definitely an anomaly in the series so I can understand why it's sometimes not included in other sets. While the first two came out in 1958/59, this one didn't arrive until 1965. It features no actors from the previous films and was shot in England by another studio. And let's see what else...oh yes it contains ZERO FLIES. Bold choice there. The premise is that the descendants of the previous Fly-Men are still working on the teleportation thingy and testing it on humans which results in some deformities. So it's not completely unrelated. Again, not bad but each sequel was a step down from the previous, in my opinion.

As for the Bluray set, all 3 films look great and there's a decent featurette about the series as well as Vincent Price's episode of Biography. Happy with my purchase.

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:39 am
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Rump wrote:
OK guys... what are we most excited about... apart from me being here of course :P

Image

or something else...


Hereditary, Mandy and A Quiet Place seem to have pretty good buzz, so those.

Unsane just came out to some pretty good reviews so I guess I'll check that out soon if I get a chance.

And I guess I have to see Halloween and Suspiria, even though I doubt they'll live up to the originals, if only to see them make admirable attempts.

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:49 am
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Rump wrote:
OK guys... what are we most excited about... apart from me being here of course :P

or something else...
Well, out of all those movies, A Quiet Place seems like the best bet at the moment, considering how it's already sitting on an average rating of 8.3 based off of almost 30 reviews back at The Other Backstabbing Place, so I'll be down for it when it comes out in April. It's been such a long drought of good movies in my area since Annihilation way back in February, and I'm so desperate to see something that I'm going to try to drive 80 miles to Memphis to see Isle Of Dogs this Tuesday, so I'm ready for some quality cinemas again, baby!

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:55 pm
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I must say that the mere presence of Tilda Swinton gives me hope for Supsiria. And I still think Chloe Moretz is a good actress even if we've seen a little less engaging output of late. Having the director of an Oscar nominee (Call Me By Your Name) seems like a good sign as well.
The inclusion of Jessica Harper in the cast certainly pleases me as I'm sure it does for all fans of the original film, The Phantom Of The Paradise, and Shock Treatment.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:58 pm
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Rump wrote:
OK guys... what are we most excited about... apart from me being here of course :P

Image

or something else...


The Endless has me really intrigued so probably that, doesn't hurt that early reviews are very positive also.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:08 pm
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I am disappointed to read Guadagnino saying that the color-palette for Suspiria contains "no primary colors". It is "wintry and dark".
The lighting for the original was like a major character in the movie so this saddens me. Not that I wanted some slavish recreation, but I was really looking forward to the color I associate with that film but in the hands of another director.
Also Moretz is not the lead, which I had misunderstood.


Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:53 pm
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Image

After giving Spanish director Amando de Ossorio a relatively glowing review for his Blind Dead films, I suppose it was inevitable that I would find myself looking at his less honorable, but equally inevitable, Exorcist rip-off from around the same period. As far as Exorcist rip-offs go, this one is not nearly as hysterically inept as Beyond the Door or the flayed corpse of House of Exorcism. In fact, I thought that this film (Demon Witch Child - in superior English brevity) was a lot of fun. It's not good, I should stress, but it's got some real howlers within it. Instead of vanilla devil posession, this involves a little girl posessed by the spirit of an old Satanic witch who won't let "the man" get in the way of a quality baby sacrifice.

(As always these days) Watching on Prime, the print is sheer garbage. Colors washed to the point of virtual sepia. And each reel is so mangled that we get rather demonic distortions and damage every 20 minutes, which can also be quite funny, as when the witch's screams peal into deformed green static and appear to literally shred the image apart. The dubbing is also atrocious. I can only hope that little Marian Salgado is a better actress than this snippy bitch reading her lines. But on the other hand, look at this snippy bitch.

Image

Like some unholy cub crossbred with the creepy girl from Fellini's segment in Spirits of the Dead and some stygian witch from Throne of Blood. One of the film's charms was in the pretty accurate resemblance between Salgado and the old witch, and when she's in full gangster back-slapping mode, she's as delightful as a Sunday peach.

Film's still not very good, but at least it's not boring. Which brings us to...

Image

Which is just a waste of everyone's time.


Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:17 am
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Wooley wrote:
I am disappointed to read Guadagnino saying that the color-palette for Suspiria contains "no primary colors". It is "wintry and dark".
The lighting for the original was like a major character in the movie so this saddens me. Not that I wanted some slavish recreation, but I was really looking forward to the color I associate with that film but in the hands of another director.
Also Moretz is not the lead, which I had misunderstood.

I sort of respect that Guadagnino isn't going to try to beat Argento at his own game, but "wintry and dark" seems like too safe a choice, and drastically changing the visual approach seems kind of weird when remaking a movie that's pretty much known for its visuals and certainly not its plot.

I just realized that the only thing I've seen Moretz in is Clouds of Sils Maria, but given how flat out terrible she is in that, I'd be perfectly fine with her never being the lead in anything ever again.

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:40 am
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Ha, I stumbled upon that last night and couldn't click "Add to Watchlist" fast enough. (I mean, the title is Demon Witch Child- like I'm not gonna watch it?)
Skimmed through it to see what I was in for and landed on a scene where the child was speaking with a (poorly-dubbed) adult male voice. Good stuff.

As for Ossorio, you might want to check out Fangs of the Living Dead on Amazon. Not as memorable as the Blind Dead series (what is?) but full of gothic goodness and not nearly as inept as DWC appears to be.

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:43 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
As for Ossorio, you might want to check out Fangs of the Living Dead on Amazon. Not as memorable as the Blind Dead series (what is?) but full of gothic goodness and not nearly as inept as DWC appears to be.

Thanks, definitely interested in that one (Anita!). Part of the trouble is keeping all of the different international names straight. You never know which one is going to come up, so I'll have to check for Malenka as well.


Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:13 pm
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Have you seen Help Me...I'm Posessed, Cap'n? I just don't know if I wanna....


Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:13 pm
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Rock wrote:
I sort of respect that Guadagnino isn't going to try to beat Argento at his own game, but "wintry and dark" seems like too safe a choice, and drastically changing the visual approach seems kind of weird when remaking a movie that's pretty much known for its visuals and certainly not its plot.

To be honest, when I dreamed of making movies years ago, one of my biggest dream targets was to remake the Three Mothers Trilogy with all the style and panache of the first two (the third is, obviously, smoldering garbage) but with a comprehensible narrative. Not losing that dream-like quality, mind you, but just making the story more clear and drawing out the story of these arch-witches a bit.
So I'm thrilled that Guadagnino might be trying to do something like that or that he is doing something different with the source material. But washing out the colors sounds like a terrible approach to me.

On Moretz, I felt she did a really good job in Let Me In, I thought she was genuinely special in Kick-Ass, not Sissy Spacek (but who is?) but strong in Carrie, and good in the generally disposable Hugo.


Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:15 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Have you seen Help Me...I'm Posessed, Cap'n? I just don't know if I wanna....

I haven't but Amazon keeps recommending it to me so it's only a matter of time before I give in. I read a review once that started with "Imagine if Manos Hands of Fate had an extra $100 in its budget..."

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:16 pm
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Also, Help Me...I'm Possessed is from the same director as The Ravager. Looks like there's a double feature in my near future.

Image

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:44 pm
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Yesterday I finished the miniseries Kingdom by Lars von Trier.

Generally speaking I was kind of let down by it. The series goes for a tone of dark humor, but it tended to be hit or miss for me. A girl with severe brain damage just isn't very humorous to me, nor is a child being
tortured to death
particularly funny.

The movie finally goes for madcap over-the-top insanity in the last 20 minutes of its last episode, and that's when it gets engaging. The ending also produces the most memorable image from the series, a woman
birthing a full-grown man after a botched abortion
.

After seeing this series on several horror lists, I was underwhelmed. There are bits and pieces that are fun nods to horror tropes, such as a seance using a candle flame, but overall the good didn't quite make up for the long running time.


Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:30 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Yesterday I finished the miniseries Kingdom by Lars von Trier.

Generally speaking I was kind of let down by it. The series goes for a tone of dark humor, but it tended to be hit or miss for me. A girl with severe brain damage just isn't very humorous to me, nor is a child being
tortured to death
particularly funny.

The movie finally goes for madcap over-the-top insanity in the last 20 minutes of its last episode, and that's when it gets engaging. The ending also produces the most memorable image from the series, a woman
birthing a full-grown man after a botched abortion
.

After seeing this series on several horror lists, I was underwhelmed. There are bits and pieces that are fun nods to horror tropes, such as a seance using a candle flame, but overall the good didn't quite make up for the long running time.


I think it's the worst thing Trier has done and at times, it's unwatchable. I do love the birth of Udo Kier though and for that alone, it was worth watching.


Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:32 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I think it's the worst thing Trier has done and at times, it's unwatchable. I do love the birth of Udo Kier though and for that alone, it was worth watching.


I really don't understand why it pops up on so many horror lists. Yeah, the last 30 minutes achieve a funny, dark lunacy (the unexplainable pregnancy is easily the most interesting thing in the entire series and at the same time the relationship between the pregnant woman and her boyfriend is also the most realistically emotionally grounded element of the series), but the thing is over FOUR HOURS LONG.

And the key plot point (the mysterious girl) is resolved in such a blah way that I found myself really angry at how much time was given to it. And casting two people with down syndrome as a sort of all-seeing Greek chorus is the kind of thing that sounds inclusive and groovy, but instead just felt like a stunt and a repetitive exposition dump.

Also, the scene of the lab rats being killed, clearly meant to be funny, just felt cruel and unnecessary.


Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:41 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I really don't understand why it pops up on so many horror lists. Yeah, the last 30 minutes achieve a funny, dark lunacy (the unexplainable pregnancy is easily the most interesting thing in the entire series and at the same time the relationship between the pregnant woman and her boyfriend is also the most realistically emotionally grounded element of the series), but the thing is over FOUR HOURS LONG.

And the key plot point (the mysterious girl) is resolved in such a blah way that I found myself really angry at how much time was given to it. And casting two people with down syndrome as a sort of all-seeing Greek chorus is the kind of thing that sounds inclusive and groovy, but instead just felt like a stunt and a repetitive exposition dump.

Also, the scene of the lab rats being killed, clearly meant to be funny, just felt cruel and unnecessary.

The only thing in your description that I remember we're the down syndrome folks and I remember being annoyed by their presence due to the exposition dump.

The general sense I have is eye rolling lameness, like the bad effects of Twin Peaks, and tedium.

And Udo Kier.

I'm not even sure if I finished it.


Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:51 am
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I think The Kingdom is chiefly of interest in tracking the development of Trier's style. It's a critical turning point from his earlier formalism into his handheld, jump-cutting, axis-violating middle period. Stuff like Breaking the Waves, The Idiots and Dancer in the Dark would not have happened if Trier hadn't seen Homicide: Life on the Street and decided to make a TV series in a similar visual style. On the other hand, there are still a lot of gags in the series that stick with me, particularly the stuff involving the Swedish neurosurgeon shrieking about his hatred of Danes.

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Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:04 am
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I love The Kingdom parts I and II, but it could be because I enjoyed it as a comedy. It might not be what Von Trier intended, but that's what I got out of it.
I also didn't have a problem with the Downs Syndrome Greek chorus. I like the idea that the most menial workers at the hospital know everything that's going on while the executives are too busy goofing around in their silly club.
Speaking of horror comedies set in hospitals, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is where it's at.

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Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:49 pm
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Wooley wrote:
To be honest, when I dreamed of making movies years ago, one of my biggest dream targets was to remake the Three Mothers Trilogy with all the style and panache of the first two (the third is, obviously, smoldering garbage) but with a comprehensible narrative. Not losing that dream-like quality, mind you, but just making the story more clear and drawing out the story of these arch-witches a bit.
So I'm thrilled that Guadagnino might be trying to do something like that or that he is doing something different with the source material. But washing out the colors sounds like a terrible approach to me.

On Moretz, I felt she did a really good job in Let Me In, I thought she was genuinely special in Kick-Ass, not Sissy Spacek (but who is?) but strong in Carrie, and good in the generally disposable Hugo.


She was the best part of Kick-Ass, well that and Nicolas Cage. Didn't care for its blend of fantasy and reality, but she has that It factor that's gonna make her special.

Carrie did have its share of problems (mainly, I thought it was decent, but a clear step down from the original), but Moretz did well in the title role. I think complaints of her being too "pretty" for the role was a bit laughable; the key to her character was clearly the fact her mother was a religious nutzoid.

Don't have much else I can contribute other than she was fine in Dark Shadows.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:23 am
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I'm a sucker for good reviews and A Quiet Place has them. And apparently, so does The Endless. So that's my top tier.

I'm curious to see how Halloween 3 goes (well, the third Jamie Lee v Halloween film) and Suspiria (yeah for Swinton, Harper and Moretz, boo for the wintry mix, and interesting for the Radiohead influences in the score).

Is the Nun a remake of the direct to DVD film that came out a few years ago? (EDIT: Nope, it's basically Conjuring 5)


Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:33 am
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BL wrote:
I think The Kingdom is chiefly of interest in tracking the development of Trier's style. It's a critical turning point from his earlier formalism into his handheld, jump-cutting, axis-violating middle period. Stuff like Breaking the Waves, The Idiots and Dancer in the Dark would not have happened if Trier hadn't seen Homicide: Life on the Street and decided to make a TV series in a similar visual style. On the other hand, there are still a lot of gags in the series that stick with me, particularly the stuff involving the Swedish neurosurgeon shrieking about his hatred of Danes.


From a stylistic point of view, I can see why it is of interest. But the quality of the show itself, the pacing, the acting, and just generally the balance between comedy and horror all fell short.

Torgo wrote:
I love The Kingdom parts I and II, but it could be because I enjoyed it as a comedy. It might not be what Von Trier intended, but that's what I got out of it.
I also didn't have a problem with the Downs Syndrome Greek chorus. I like the idea that the most menial workers at the hospital know everything that's going on while the executives are too busy goofing around in their silly club.
Speaking of horror comedies set in hospitals, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is where it's at.


But it isn't just the executives who are totally oblivious--it's also the orderlies, the nurses, literally everyone except two kitchen workers.

I do think that the most successful element of the show was its comedy--but having just finished it I can firmly state that it isn't funny enough and there are long stretches that are meant only to advance the central plot that lose their meaning if it's all just a big joke. For example, many minutes are given to the scene where the old woman has the audio technician enhance the sound in the room, and they then hear a little girl's voice say "Why must I be killed?". There is literally nothing funny in this scene and it lasts a long time. But by the end if the girl's death is just a part of a joke, what's the point of this scene.

I think that if the whole show had been about half as long and had embraced the madness of the final 20 minutes, I would have liked it a lot more. I loved the dark comedy of the doctor who is so obsessed with the hepatoma that he
has the cancerous liver transplanted into his own body, only to then become obsessed with leaving it inside himself so that it can grow bigger and become the largest specimen in the world.


But I found distinctly unfunny (and frankly unbelievable) the female doctor who was in love with the Swedish doctor. Like, she was just portrayed as a very stupid person.

Even the end of the Swedish doctor's story (with him randomly
flying to Haiti to learn zombie-making voodoo
) was a dud.

There were some good ideas and some memorable images, but this is a piece of work that needed an editor's hand badly.

ALSO: For those of you who aren't in the other thread, does anyone have a connection with Fiver? We were hoping to track him down. I thought I'd remembered seeing him in here, but I guess not.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:11 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
From a stylistic point of view, I can see why it is of interest. But the quality of the show itself, the pacing, the acting, and just generally the balance between comedy and horror all fell short.
Trier has said he was going for something similar to Twin Peaks (and his introductions certainly seem inspired by the syndicated Log Lady intros), but I think the comparison just shows how much more deliberate Lynch is as a filmmaker. Trier often mashes up tones and styles in a way that's almost reckless. Lynch similarly likes to combine genres and press comedy right up against horror, but he's a lot more precise about it. When he goes for dread, you can feel it build until it's almost overwhelming, and when he goes for (very often broad) comedy, you can see where he's trying to land the joke. He can end up with something tonally different from what you've seen from other filmmakers, but it always feels intentional. With Trier, he'll swing so wildly that sometimes you're not sure just what he's going for. Am I supposed to be finding this creepy? Sad? Funny? I think with The Kingdom he most consistently lands the latter, but it really is just all over the place.

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Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:21 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Image

Which is just a waste of everyone's time.


I just watched this a few days ago. For a second time. So I hated it twice now. I got so far as pulling a single image from it...

Image

...then realizing there was nothing to say beyond 'woman falls to death; croquet mallet does nothing', went to sleep.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:45 am
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BL wrote:
Trier has said he was going for something similar to Twin Peaks (and his introductions certainly seem inspired by the syndicated Log Lady intros), but I think the comparison just shows how much more deliberate Lynch is as a filmmaker. Trier often mashes up tones and styles in a way that's almost reckless.


The problem with the Twin Peaks aspiration is that even when Lynch goes comedic/absurd, there is still a heart to his characters and a human realness. There were too many times where the characters in Kingdom just felt like puppets, doing things because it was convenient to the plot.

The arrogant Swedish doctor and his hubris felt the most real of any of them. And the character with the most dynamic, interesting dimensions (Hook, the guy running the low-key drug lab out of the basement, but also who offers his support to his girlfriend even after finding out she is pregnant with another man's baby) gets minimal screen-time compared to the other much more superficial characters.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:22 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
went to sleep.

I was too late!!!


You know, the reviews are promising, but damn it if those Quiet Place trailers don't look super stupid. Kid just decides to stop and play with his noisy space shuttle toy at the mouth of a train bridge? Why does this kid even still have batteries? This has Shymalanian shenanigans written all over it.


Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:08 pm
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As a 70s kid I was a sucker for the crypto-documentary (Boggy Creek, In Search Of, et al). Didn't matter if your story was utter hogwash; add a narrator and slap a "based on true events" announcement on the credits and I was all in. I still have a fondness for such things so it's always fun to find one I haven't seen before, especially if it's narrated by Rod Serling. Unfortunately this one was kind of a snooze. It's a collection of 3 stories said to be from the files of one Dr Jonathan Rankin, dealing with ghosts, curses, the occult, etc. (After some research I've found that there was no such Dr) Sounds good on paper but I can't recommend this to anyone unless you're also a sucker for these things. The viewer can expect 70s-TV-level acting, awkwardly-inserted 70s folk songs and stories that are not scary to anyone over age 10. If that sounds like something you can handle then this is sort of fun, but everyone else should stay away. I should also admit that I watched this over three sittings, which is probably advisable. Sitting through the whole thing at once must be quite a slog.

Although I will say that the middle segment was pretty cool. It's about a young boy who finds a large hole in the ground with scary noises coming out of it. It's campfire-tale foolishness, but campfire tales are my jam.

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Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:01 am
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I just realized that I should have posted my thoughts on Homicidal, Stage Fright and Who Can Kill A Child in here instead of the recent watch thread.

Quick thoughts:

Homicidal- Too well done for it's own good as Castle's gimmicks feel out of place. Well done Psycho rip off.

Stage Fright- When giallo surrendered to slasher. Effectively directed and a third act that cribs from Torso, which has my favorite giallo third act.

Who Can Kill a Child- Barring the tasteless exploitation of Holocaust footage at the beginning, this is a better version of Children of the Corn that predates CotC. It would make a great pairing with the recent Mom and Dad.


Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:19 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I just realized that I should have posted my thoughts on Homicidal, Stage Fright and Who Can Kill A Child in here instead of the recent watch thread.

Quick thoughts:

Homicidal- Too well done for it's own good as Castle's gimmicks feel out of place. Well done Psycho rip off.

Stage Fright- When giallo surrendered to slasher. Effectively directed and a third act that cribs from Torso, which has my favorite giallo third act.

Who Can Kill a Child- Barring the tasteless exploitation of Holocaust footage at the beginning, this is a better version of Children of the Corn that predates CotC. It would make a great pairing with the recent Mom and Dad.


Homicidal - An unconditionally great film. I didn't have a problem with the gimmick, but I know what you're saying.

Stage Fright - I always enjoy this one, but it never leaves much of an impression on me when it's over. Probably Soavi's best film though (yeah, yeah, Cemetery Man is good too, it's a toss up)

Who Can Kill a Child - It goes on too long, but I don't have much of a problem with the archival footage at the beginning. Not that I want to see those images, but at least it quickly lays out the reason for the animus that the children have out of the gate, without having to bog the actual film down in exposition regarding why they might be acting this way. Are there more subtle ways to do this. Sure. Better ways. Sure. But at least it is there for a reason, regardless of how unpleasant it is. I actually just recently rewatched this about a week ago, and I think it's a very good film, when I initially only viewed it as being decent. It is great at establishing the menace of this empty town, even as it is drenched in hot sunlight. The eventual violence towards the children hits hard, even while they are the clear villains in the narrative. I'm a fan.


Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:11 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Probably Soavi's best film though (yeah, yeah, Cemetery Man is good too, it's a toss up)

I suggest everyone watch The Church tomorrow in honor of Easter.

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Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:39 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
I suggest everyone watch The Church tomorrow in honor of Easter.


I recently watched that one as well. I liked it. But I still prefer the other two.


Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:41 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Homicidal - An unconditionally great film. I didn't have a problem with the gimmick, but I know what you're saying.

Stage Fright - I always enjoy this one, but it never leaves much of an impression on me when it's over. Probably Soavi's best film though (yeah, yeah, Cemetery Man is good too, it's a toss up)

Who Can Kill a Child - It goes on too long, but I don't have much of a problem with the archival footage at the beginning. Not that I want to see those images, but at least it quickly lays out the reason for the animus that the children have out of the gate, without having to bog the actual film down in exposition regarding why they might be acting this way. Are there more subtle ways to do this. Sure. Better ways. Sure. But at least it is there for a reason, regardless of how unpleasant it is. I actually just recently rewatched this about a week ago, and I think it's a very good film, when I initially only viewed it as being decent. It is great at establishing the menace of this empty town, even as it is drenched in hot sunlight. The eventual violence towards the children hits hard, even while they are the clear villains in the narrative. I'm a fan.


I'm happy to see such positive reactions to Homicidal. I was worried I was going to have to go to bat for this one's strength. The wheelchair scene and inital kill were legitimately shocking.

I think I'll probably forget everything in StageFright save the opening and the third act. It sagged a ton in the middle.

I think WCKAC captures the feeling of an implacable wrongness at a place better than most films of it's ilk and would be worth watching on that alone, so agreed there. I struggle to think of anything cheaper than real Holocaust footage though. I can't decide if I liked that my copy was lacking subtitles during the Spanish scenes, which forced me to rely on my wholly inadequate Spanish skills to understand it. It did put me in the place of the lead actress and the film communicated visually strong enough that I don't feel like I missed anything vital.


Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:52 am
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I liked Stagefright the first time I saw it, but it definitely grew on me with a second viewing. The third act is great, but I think Soavi handles the earlier sections pretty well. I like the nuance he brings to some of the characters (particularly the coked out director) and how he makes the extreme violence more effective by not lingering on it. Cemetery Man is definitely more ambitious (and probably a bit more enjoyable for most), but I think Stagefright is quite well done considering its more modest aims.

As far as Soavi's other work goes, I haven't seen any of his other horror movies (unless we're counting stuff he was AD on), but his documentary Dario Argento's World of Horror is definitely worth a watch for Italian horror fans. The interviews are insightful and there's some pretty good behind the scenes footage (it was made around the same time as Phenomena so you get more from around that period, but there are still good anecdotes about the earlier films).

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Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:50 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Image



Image

They could of flashbacked to this womans words of warning just the once.. but not 30 friggin' times :shock:


Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:49 pm
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Oh and Demon Witch Child AKA La Endemonida AKA The Possessed (1975) is awesome trashy fun ;)


Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:57 am
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Rump wrote:

Image

They could of flashbacked to this womans words of warning just the once.. but not 30 friggin' times :shock:

The entire final 20 minutes or so were weird. Just recycled footage from earlier in the film while a new narrator (not Rod Serling) does a voiceover--
"Remember when this thing happened earlier? That was scary, right?" I wonder if this was an hour-long TV show that had some padding added for theatrical release? Anyway, that's why I'm glad I didn't watch it in one sitting.

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Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:24 am
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I spent my 3-day Easter weekend watching all 5 Phantasm movies. (all first-time watches) Any fans?

Hot takes:
Phantasm (Pretty great)
Phantasm II (Unnecessary, but not terrible)
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (A kid sidekick: always a great idea!)
Phantasm: OblIVion (my resolve starts to waver)
Phantasm: RaVager (more like Phan-Service-Tasm. The Force Awakens of Phantasm movies)

Liked the first one a lot. It's got that disregard for logic/plausibility that one finds in Italian movies of the period. An example of an
"it was all a dream"
ending that actually improves the movie, imo. It's a testament to Angus Scrimm that The Tall Man is such a memorable "monster" when he's literally nothing but an old guy in a suit. Also like the sort of sweet brotherly thing that runs throughout the movie. Not flawless by any means, but I can see why it gained a following. Having said that, I wish that this was the only Phantasm movie.

The sequels, in attempting to expand the mythos or fill in backstory, rob the original of its WTF-ness in some ways. The Tall Man is much more interesting to me when I don't know what he's up to or why he's got Jawas in his employ. The more I learned the less interesting it became. Honestly I stopped caring midway through PII. As the sequels dragged on, it became clear that the Reggie character was meant to be some sort of Ash-esque ass-kicker, which again got us further from the original. The only reason I watched IV & V is because my OCD wouldn't allow me to quit midway. I definitely intend to revisit the original someday, after I've had time to let the stink of the sequels fade from my memory. Don't see myself revisiting those ever.

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Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:07 am
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I love the first Phantasm.

The second is worth watching, but isn't particularly good.

It would never occur me to watch anymore.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:50 am
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The Cure for Wellness was a gorgeous, bloated mess, which seemed to be the auteur stamp of Verbinski at that point. His penchant for lazy plotting is only matched by his zest for kung Fu treachery... I mean, well composed images and well executed sequences that belong in a greater whole. Overall, it was decent.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:52 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
I spent my 3-day Easter weekend watching all 5 Phantasm movies. (all first-time watches) Any fans?

Hot takes:
Phantasm (Pretty great)


I really love the first movie, and kind-of-on-purpose haven't watched any of the others. I just love where it ends and the heart of it to me was the dynamic between
Mike and Jody, and sort of also Reggie. I know that Reggie and Jody appear in other movies, but it just doesn't seem like it would be the same.


I think that the atmosphere of Phantasm is otherworldly and amazing. I always feel on-edge and anxious watching it--there's a way that it shifts back and forth from dreaminess to nightmarish that's really cool. It's also a movie that has some really nice "small moments"--some are not plot critical (such as Jody singing his song), but others are (such as Mike choosing not to tell Jody that
he's discovered that the parents' bodies have been taken for slaves
). As you say, the ending is something that many other horror movies have botched, but in this case it is perfect. The reveal of
Jody having died in a car accident hits really hard, and that's largely due to the way that the movie builds the relationship between the brothers.


Literally the only thing that I don't like is that shot where Jody has the girl's underwear in his mouth. Like, why? It's a stupid joke that makes no sense and on two different occasions people I've watched it with have given me a look at that part.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:54 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Literally the only thing that I don't like is that shot where Jody has the girl's underwear in his mouth. Like, why? It's a stupid joke that makes no sense and on two different occasions people I've watched it with have given me a look at that part.


When I read this, it's almost like the memory of this scene came back to me after years of being repressed.

It's a traumatically awful scene that I'd totally forgotten about.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:00 pm
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The best parts of the first Phantasm have a way of needling into your subconscious, but there's some tacky stuff that feels like it should be in a dumber movie. The second one, as a broader, more obvious horror movie, handles some of those elements better even if it's less interesting on the whole. Both movies have some pretty sweet walking-through-corridor scenes and Angus Scrimm is a great villain, so I enjoy them both well enough.

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Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:01 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The Cure for Wellness was a gorgeous, bloated mess, which seemed to be the auteur stamp of Verbinski at that point. His penchant for lazy plotting is only matched by his zest for kung Fu treachery... I mean, well composed images and well executed sequences that belong in a greater whole. Overall, it was decent.


I liked it, but I felt it went on way too long. There are some really cool shots and the premise itself (while a little lazy as you point out) is decently horrifying. The
attempted rape scene at the end seemed both overly graphic and also shot kind of pervy
.

Also, the part where he signs the paper at the beginning WITHOUT READING IT, like, man, that made me really angry.


Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:02 pm
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