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 Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018 
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Rock wrote:
"Hey! Lick my plate, you dog dick!"

This one's grown on me with multiple showings. It's missing a second act and I don't like how much time Dennis Hopper spends just sawing away at scenery (literally), but I've warmed up to its shrill-almost-but-not-quite-to-the-point-of-annoying sense of humour over the years. The performances are pretty groovy too. Obviously Hopper is the MVP, but Caroline Williams is one of the better final girls. And I really love that closing shot.


I so much agree with this.

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Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:13 am
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A drama film
An Iranian film



A Separation (2011)

Saw this last night, and I thought it was very, very good. A really good snapshot of life in Iran, from a social, religious, and legal point of view. All of the cast and performances were great, but Peyman Moaadi was excellent as the husband/father. I would give his character the "Patient Man of the Year" award :D

Grade: A

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Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:19 am
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Thief wrote:
A drama film
An Iranian film



A Separation (2011)

Saw this last night, and I thought it was very, very good. A really good snapshot of life in Iran, from a social, religious, and legal point of view. All of the cast and performances were great, but Peyman Moaadi was excellent as the husband/father. I would give his character the "Patient Man of the Year" award :D

Grade: A


I was choosing between this one and The Salesman for my Iranian film before feeling burned out on dramas and going for the shorts.


Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:31 am
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Watch a film that lost Best Picture at the Oscars: Arrival (August make-ups)

Maybe feeling the feels from the Kavanaugh hearings and the little boy with autism who died in the woods wasn't the best emotional state to watch this kind of film. Whatever the circumstance, this one hit me pretty hard.

I know that many of you have seen this one: a dozen alien spacecraft land in various locations around the world. Linguistic specialist Louise (Amy Adams) is called upon by the army to assist in interpreting the communications of the alien beings. She works closely with a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner). As Louise comes to understand more and more about the alien language, the interactions begin to merge with her personal life, and specifically memories of her daughter, Hannah, who died of cancer at a young age.

I thought that this movie was really good. It did have some predictable beats (like the trope of the soldier who is foolishly aggressive toward the aliens, endangering the mission). I also feel like Renner's character . . . didn't do much? Like . . . where was the physics? I was also unclear on one really central plot point, namely (MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILER)
that there are three kinds of "know the future" sci-fi systems: (1) the future is fixed and can't be changed, even if you try, (2) there are some major "fixed points", but smaller things can be changed, or (3) it's all able to be changed. Many events in the film point more toward the first system--that the future is determined and Louise is accessing it because she no longer sees time in a linear fashion. And yet at the end (and a few times in the final act), her decision to have Hannah is referred to as a choice that she is making, as if it were something she could change if she wanted. This left me a bit confused. We only ever see a future with Hannah in it.
I should say that while I was confused about this point, it didn't really detract that much from my enjoyment of the film. As someone who has worked with children with disabilities and spent two weekends volunteering at a camp for children with muscular dystrophy (I was working as a massage therapist for the counselors, not working directly with the kids), I appreciated the message that
the life of a child, even if it might be short or not perfect, is worth respecting.


Overall, this was a very satisfying film. The emotional beats hit hard. It was really interesting watching the scientific process of trying to build a common understanding between two very different languages. I liked the creature design and the design of the aliens, both of which are nicely ambiguous in a space between benevolence and menace. The performances are all solid, and the bulk of the film rests on Adams, who does a great job.

This was a solid sci-fi drama, and I can see why it's gotten so much praise.


Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

I was choosing between this one and The Salesman for my Iranian film before feeling burned out on dramas and going for the shorts.

Salesman is good, but Separation is better. So there.


Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 pm
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Watch a film by Alfred Hitchcock
Watch a British film
Watch a film with a number in the title


The 39 Steps (1935):

Full review to come.

The lead character meets this woman who turns out to be a spy and goes on the run when she gets killed and he's accused of her murder. To clear his name, he has to find the head spy and learn what the title name is referring to. Reluctantly, a blond woman ends up helping him.

Solid thriller, outside of a few vintage "Gee; women didn't have it so good back then" moments.


Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:14 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Watch a film by Alfred Hitchcock
Watch a British film
Watch a film with a number in the title


The 39 Steps (1935):

Full review to come.

The lead character meets this woman who turns out to be a spy and goes on the run when she gets killed and he's accused of her murder. To clear his name, he has to find the head spy and learn what the title name is referring to. Reluctantly, a blond woman ends up helping him.

Solid thriller, outside of a few vintage "Gee; women didn't have it so good back then" moments.


I really like The 39 Steps, probably my most watched Hitchcock. There was a remake a few years ago that tried to be more modern and sexy and it was so painful to watch.


Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:23 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I really like The 39 Steps, probably my most watched Hitchcock. There was a remake a few years ago that tried to be more modern and sexy and it was so painful to watch.


I have no need to see the "modern" and "sexy" version. I'm more curious on whether it was better than the 1959 remake.


Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:35 am
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A film based on a book
A film with a number in its title



The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three (1974)

Well, this was surely a fun and thrilling film. Not sure why I never had ventured seeing it, but I enjoyed it a lot. Matthau was great, but Robert Shaw was excellent as the bad guy. Hector Elizondo was also pretty good as one of the baddies. There were a couple of supporting characters and moments that seemed to lead somewhere and eventually didn't. But regardless of that, the film stuck to its straightforward, simple premise and it was never at all boring.

Grade: A-

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Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:26 pm
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Thief wrote:
A film based on a book
A film with a number in its title



The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three (1974)

Well, this was surely a fun and thrilling film. Not sure why I never had ventured seeing it, but I enjoyed it a lot. Matthau was great, but Robert Shaw was excellent as the bad guy. Hector Elizondo was also pretty good as one of the baddies. There were a couple of supporting characters and moments that seemed to lead somewhere and eventually didn't. But regardless of that, the film stuck to its straightforward, simple premise and it was never at all boring.

Grade: A-


It's a really solid film that you just don't see mentioned much. I think that the tepid remake probably doesn't do its reputation any favors. But I was really pleasantly surprised by it. I also really enjoyed seeing the old subway control center in all of the scenes where they are tracking the train.

Watch a film where money is the focus or major plot point. (National Dollar Day is August 8): Trapped (1949) (August make-ups)

This was an okay thriller/crime film. A government team is trying to track down plates that are being used to make counterfeit money. They make a deal with the man, Tris, who used to own the plates (now in prison), but he double crosses them, escapes, and makes a play to get the plates back on his own. In the mix are his old girlfriend, an agent who is deeply undercover, and the man who now has possession of the plates.

The best part of this film is the middle, where all of the pieces are coming together. Tris just wants to get the plates and high-tail it for Mexico with his girl. The government agents are determined to put together a sting to catch everyone in the act. It's reasonably tense stuff.

The end was a bit underwhelming. A bunch of men who look very similar in suits and coats running around chasing each other and firing guns. I thought that the action was a bit muddled and uninteresting. You never really connect with any of the characters, so I just didn't have much emotional investment in the ultimate outcome. The performances are pretty good, and it is an interesting story.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:05 am
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A film from Sweden: Phantom Carriage

This is one of those films whose name I have known for years and years, and then watch and think "Why didn't I check this out sooner?!".

The film is about a man named David, a drunk who is killed in a graveyard brawl over his refusal to go and visit a dying woman. A phantom horse and carriage arrives, driven by none other than one of David's old friend. It seems that the legend is true that the last person to die in a year must drive the carriage, collecting the souls of the dead for a year. Georges, the man driving the carriage, takes David on a sort of Christmas Carol-esque journey, visiting both the past and the present to understand who the dying woman is and how David came to be living in his own situation.

I'd seen this title on a few horror movie lists, but it is certainly not that. I say that not because I'm the genre police, but because I think it sets up an incorrect expectation for the film. This is a dram with a supernatural framing device.

I think that this is perhaps the best acted silent film that I've seen. I feel like there were far more subtleties to it than I normally associate with older/silent films. For example, the look exchanged between the two men after one of them fatally strikes David with a bottle. The actor playing David is excellent, and his path to redemption is so well-realized that it takes a bit of the edge off of the fact that one man's journey to salvation comes at the literal price of the lives of at least two women.

The special effects also add to the emotion, as David and Georges materialize through walls, or watch, unseen, events unfolding with no ability to stop or alter them. Even an early establishing shot of the phantom carriage retrieving the soul of a drowned man from the bottom of the ocean was beautiful and horrible and memorable.

If for some reason you've been holding off on watching this one, I'd highly recommend it. It more than lives up to its reputation.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:24 am
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Well, that wraps up my September (and August make-ups!). In summation:

The Best

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx*
Murder Ahoy/Murder, She Said
Lion
A Bomb Was Stolen
Certified Copy
Torment*
Teorema
Phantom Carriage*
Arrival*
Sun Don't Shine


Worth Seeing-Mildly Recommended

The Corsican Brothers
Youth of the Son
The Toxic Avenger
The Dressmaker
Perdida
3 Godfathers
10th Kingdom
Young and Innocent
Supernova
That Sugar Film
The Girl King
Ceremony for a Friend
Tulip Fever
All Girls' Weekend
We Think the World of You
Braven
Trapped


Avoid

Gigi
Calla Lily
Cryptic Road


Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:31 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A film from Sweden: Phantom Carriage
I'd seen this title on a few horror movie lists, but it is certainly not that. I say that not because I'm the genre police, but because I think it sets up an incorrect expectation for the film. This is a dram with a supernatural framing device.

I always make it a point to mention this whenever I'm asked about it. It's a drama that happens to feature one of my favorite cinematic depictions of a ghost. But it's not a horror movie. And yes it is great.

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:54 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
I always make it a point to mention this whenever I'm asked about it. It's a drama that happens to feature one of my favorite cinematic depictions of a ghost. But it's not a horror movie. And yes it is great.


It took my brain about the first 20 minutes to adjust my expectations, but it was fine because what was on the screen was so great. But anyone classifying it as horror is doing the film and viewers a disservice.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:06 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A film from Sweden: Phantom Carriage

I initially wasn't blown away by this one mainly because I wasn't expecting for most of it to be told by flashbacks. However, after I revisited it upon knowing what to expect, it grew on me to an extent so great that it's now one of my favorite films. Glad you also liked it. It's a very haunting and compelling story which lingers with you long after watching it. I also agree that it shouldn't be labeled as a horror film, because that's probably why it took me a couple viewings to fully appreciate it.

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:57 am
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An Italian language film


Deep Red (1975)

A bit of a cheat on this one, but I seriously thought it would be in Italian. Anyway, it has a couple of scenes in Italian, so I'll give it a pass :D This is only my second Argento, after watching Suspiria about a month ago. After two of his films, one can immediately notice that this guy has a talent for bold colors and striking scenarios (not to mention, gooey fake blood). The film is moody and atmospheric, and like I said above, strikingly beautiful in its shots. I thought David Hemmings was solid as the lead, and the supporting cast was ok. The kills were effective and, although I think the final twist was a tad underwhelming, I still felt the film as a whole was effective.

Grade: B+

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:20 am
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Thief wrote:
An Italian language film

Deep Red (1975)

A bit of a cheat on this one, but I seriously thought it would be in Italian.



Mm-hmm . . . a likely story!


Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:45 am
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Takoma1 wrote:


Mm-hmm . . . a likely story!


I must rest, I'm tired.

Thief, you're not the only one to make that mistake this month. But on the plus side, I think we both can agree that Deep Red is another solid film from Dario Argento.

I think I'm about done for September. Relaxing with a nice documentary about a woman willing to upset traditional Hasidic Jews by opening up an ambulance service by women for women. :up:


Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:30 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

I must rest, I'm tired.

Thief, you're not the only one to make that mistake this month. But on the plus side, I think we both can agree that Deep Red is another solid film from Dario Argento.

I think I'm about done for September. Relaxing with a nice documentary about a woman willing to upset traditional Hasidic Jews by opening up an ambulance service by women for women. :up:


Yeah, I'm already closing shop. Thought I might be able to sneak one last film at night, but couldn't. Not my best month, but first weeks of the month had me really caught up with work stuff.

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:43 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A film from Sweden: Phantom Carriage

This is one of those films whose name I have known for years and years, and then watch and think "Why didn't I check this out sooner?!".

The film is about a man named David, a drunk who is killed in a graveyard brawl over his refusal to go and visit a dying woman. A phantom horse and carriage arrives, driven by none other than one of David's old friend. It seems that the legend is true that the last person to die in a year must drive the carriage, collecting the souls of the dead for a year. Georges, the man driving the carriage, takes David on a sort of Christmas Carol-esque journey, visiting both the past and the present to understand who the dying woman is and how David came to be living in his own situation.

I'd seen this title on a few horror movie lists, but it is certainly not that. I say that not because I'm the genre police, but because I think it sets up an incorrect expectation for the film. This is a dram with a supernatural framing device.

I think that this is perhaps the best acted silent film that I've seen. I feel like there were far more subtleties to it than I normally associate with older/silent films. For example, the look exchanged between the two men after one of them fatally strikes David with a bottle. The actor playing David is excellent, and his path to redemption is so well-realized that it takes a bit of the edge off of the fact that one man's journey to salvation comes at the literal price of the lives of at least two women.

The special effects also add to the emotion, as David and Georges materialize through walls, or watch, unseen, events unfolding with no ability to stop or alter them. Even an early establishing shot of the phantom carriage retrieving the soul of a drowned man from the bottom of the ocean was beautiful and horrible and memorable.

If for some reason you've been holding off on watching this one, I'd highly recommend it. It more than lives up to its reputation.


I've actually OWNED IT for almost a decade and haven't watched it. I pulled it out TONIGHT to watch and then someone reminded that it was September 30th and not October 1st. So I think I definitely have this one on for the month, now. Thanks, Tak.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:56 pm
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Well, this is how September ends...

A road trip film:
A Spanish language film:
A British film: The Day of the Triffids (1962)
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s:
A Japanese language film: Battle Royale
A film about food:
A Palm D'Or winner:
A Bollywood film:
A film from the 1960s: The Day of the Triffids (1962)
A drama film: Killer's Kiss
A film based on a book: The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three (1974)
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s:
A film with no CGI or special effects:
A film set in Eastern Europe: A Bomb Was Stolen
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long:
An Italian language film: Deep Red
A film that was a box-office bomb:
A cult classic film: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
An Iranian film: A Separation
A film from Sweden:
A film famous for its twist/ending: Unbreakable (rewatch)
A film with a number in its title: Six Degrees of Separation
A film by Kobayashi Masaki:
An Alfred Hitchcock film: Saboteur
A period drama film:

Not my best month; only 11 films, but considering I pretty much lost the first week to work stuff, I'm happy with what I got.

My favorite of the month? A Separation, The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, and Killer's Kiss.

Least favorite? There wasn't really a bad, bad film among the ones I saw, but maybe The Day of the Triffids could count as the weakest.

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:31 pm
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September 2018:
A road trip film:
A Spanish language film:
A British film: The 39 Steps (1935)
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1946)
A Japanese language film:
A film about food:
A Palm D'Or winner:
A Bollywood film:
A film from the 1960s:
A drama film: Schoenfeld Boulevard (2014)
A film based on a book: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1946)
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s:
A film with no CGI or special effects: Schoenfeld Boulevard (2014)
A film set in Eastern Europe:
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long:?
An Italian language film: Deep Red (1975)
A film that was a box-office bomb: mother! (2017)
A cult classic film:
An Iranian film:
A film from Sweden:
A film famous for its twist/ending: Deep Red (1975)
A film with a number in its title: 39 Steps (1935)
A film by Kobayashi Masaki:
An Alfred Hitchcock film: 39 Steps (1935)
A period drama film: Frantz (2017)

Saw 10 this month. Other titles included The Crime of Monsieur Lange, 93Queen, Set It Up, and Stranger with a Camera.

Best? I'll go with The 39 Steps followed by Frantz and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Worst? All things relative, I've warmed slightly on mother! after several discussions. But not enough.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:47 am
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Ok, here's what I'm doing this October. As usual, I'm posting 25 categories. But, to keep with the Halloween spirit, I've taken some of my favorite categories and adjusted them with a "horror" theme.

A horror exploitation or B-movie:
A classic horror film you've never seen:
A horror comedy film:
A horror cult classic film:
A documentary about horror or horror films:
A horror film about an animal:
A horror film based on a book:
A horror film considered a box-office bomb or one of the worst ever made:
A horror film directed by a woman:
A horror film famous for its twist/ending:
A horror film featuring a non-human lead character:
A horror film made for under $5,000,000 made after 1990:
A horror film starring someone you dislike:
A horror film under 90 minutes long:
A horror film with a character's name as the title:
A horror film with a child protagonist:
A horror film with a color in the title:
A horror film with a number in its title (not a sequel number):
A horror film with either a RT score above 95% or from the IMDb Top 250:
A horror film with a season in the title:
A horror film with less than five major characters:
A horror film in a foreign language:
A horror science-fiction film:
A horror sequel:
An animated horror film:

Plus, to keep things more interesting, try to fit each film into one of the following decade slots:

A horror film from the 1900s:
A horror film from the 1920s:
A horror film from the 1930s:
A horror film from the 1940s:
A horror film from the 1950s:
A horror film from the 1960s:
A horror film from the 1970s:
A horror film from the 1980s:
A horror film from the 1990s:
A horror film from the 2000s:
A horror film from the 2010s:
A horror film from the current year:

For example, Cujo ("a horror film about an animal" and "a horror film from the 1980s") or Häxan ("a horror film under 90 minutes long" and "a horror film from the 1920s").

Since there are 25 categories and 12 decade/time slots, use each twice (i.e. only two horror films from each decade). Consider the remaining slot a freebie for any decade you like.

Hope it's not too convoluted/complicated and hope some of you join in.

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:21 am
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Thief wrote:
Since there are 25 categories and 12 decade/time slots, use each twice (i.e. only two horror films from each decade). Consider the remaining slot a freebie for any decade you like.

Hope it's not too convoluted/complicated and hope some of you join in.

That looks like fun. I've already got a theme in place for October (of course.) But if anything I watch overlaps here I'll report back.

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:17 am
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Although I'm not sure how this will vibe with my other plan of catching all the 2018 films, I'll try to fit this in with the horror films I watch in October.

Let's see if I can get 10+ titles two months in a row!


Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:20 am
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A horror film based on a book (Era: 1900s): Frankenstein (1910)

At first I thought this one was pretty dumb. It takes very liberal shortcuts through the source material.

There is, however, a really cool reverse special effect in which the creature's body seems to assemble itself onto a skeleton. (Frankenstein's process seems to be that he puts a skeleton and some chemicals into a slow-cooker and . . . LIFE!). There's also a scene where the creature sits atop Frankenstein on Frankenstein's bed that is a fabulous recreation of the Fuseli painting The Nightmare.

The film then goes back to being a bit silly as the creature moons after Frankenstein's girlfriend, and the ending is just straight up weird as, in the face of love, the creature's evil cannot survive and it just vanishes. There is one more really cool shot where Frankenstein looks into a mirror and sees the creature instead of his own reflection.

All in all some interesting visual ideas that don't ever really add up to a satisfying story.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:41 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A horror film based on a book (Era: 1900s): Frankenstein (1910)

At first I thought this one was pretty dumb. It takes very liberal shortcuts through the source material.

There is, however, a really cool reverse special effect in which the creature's body seems to assemble itself onto a skeleton. (Frankenstein's process seems to be that he puts a skeleton and some chemicals into a slow-cooker and . . . LIFE!). There's also a scene where the creature sits atop Frankenstein on Frankenstein's bed that is a fabulous recreation of the Fuseli painting The Nightmare.

The film then goes back to being a bit silly as the creature moons after Frankenstein's girlfriend, and the ending is just straight up weird as, in the face of love, the creature's evil cannot survive and it just vanishes. There is one more really cool shot where Frankenstein looks into a mirror and sees the creature instead of his own reflection.

All in all some interesting visual ideas that don't ever really add up to a satisfying story.


Where did you see that one?

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:47 pm
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A horror film under 90 minutes long
A horror film from the 1930s



The Ghoul (1933)

This one popped up in Amazon Prime and I thought it would be a good choice. Boris Karloff plays an agonizing Egyptologist who believes he'll gain immortality if he is buried with a mysterious jewel. When his servant steals it after he dies, Karloff comes back from the dead to take it back. There were some intriguing things here and Karloff plays the role well, but in the end, it felt like just a mish-mash of The Mummy with other similar stories. Plus, the second act really drags for too long with uninteresting characters and uneventful scenes. Despite the short length, it isn't until the last 20-25 minutes that Karloff comes back, and his "rampage" is a bit disappointing. If anything, I think the whole film is worth a watch only for Karloff, but there really isn't a lot of relevance here.

Grade: C

------

Quote:
"We all know that dead men don't come back."


Unless you're on a film, that is. And that's exactly the premise of this British horror film starring from director T. Hayes Hunter and starring Boris Karloff. Karloff plays eccentric Egyptologist Henry Morlant, who on his deathbed threatens to come back from the dead if he isn't buried with a mysterious jewel. Unbeknownst to him, his servant (Ernest Thesiger) steals the jewel after he dies and, surprise! he does come back. The plot is rounded out by a group of visitors that come to Morlant's house for the reading of his will, until he starts terrorizing them while looking for his treasure.

The Ghoul's premise doesn't bring a lot of innovation to the table; the story feels more like a mish-mash of The Mummy, Golems, and other similar stories, including Karloff's Frankenstein. Fortunately, he plays the role well and manages to command every scene he's in. Unfortunately, he's missing for most of the second act, which is the lapse of his character's death and his return from the dead. It is precisely that act the one that drags for too long with uninteresting characters and uneventful scenes. None of the supposed lead characters has enough charisma or gravitas to carry the film, which ends up feeling, well, dead for most of its duration. There are also some attempts at comic relief with two of the characters which end up feeling awkward and/or not that funny.

It isn't until the last 20-25 minutes that Karloff comes back, and even though he's good in the role, his "rampage" is a bit disappointing and the conclusion feels lackluster. Aside from Karloff's performance and some mildly effective visual atmosphere, there's little of relevance here. He is, after all, the jewel of the film, and when he's not in it, it's as lifeless as the ghoul itself.

Grade: C

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:57 pm
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Thief wrote:
A horror film under 90 minutes long
A horror film from the 1930s



The Ghoul (1933)

This one popped up in Amazon Prime and I thought it would be a good choice. Boris Karloff plays an agonizing Egyptologist who believes he'll gain immortality if he is buried with a mysterious jewel. When his servant steals it after he dies, Karloff comes back from the dead to take it back. There were some intriguing things here and Karloff plays the role well, but in the end, it felt like just a mish-mash of The Mummy with other similar stories. Plus, the second act really drags for too long with uninteresting characters and uneventful scenes. Despite the short length, it isn't until the last 20-25 minutes that Karloff comes back, and his "rampage" is a bit disappointing. If anything, I think the whole film is worth a watch only for Karloff, but there really isn't a lot of relevance here.

Grade: C

Not sure how much difference it makes, but I've seen where Prime has, at different times, both the public domain version and the restored version. The story will not be improved, but the difference in quality of the print is remarkable. And, as I pointed out in the Horrorcram thread, for me these films pretty much live or die based on their visual atmosphere.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:25 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Not sure how much difference it makes, but I've seen where Prime has, at different times, both the public domain version and the restored version. The story will not be improved, but the difference in quality of the print is remarkable. And, as I pointed out in the Horrorcram thread, for me these films pretty much live or die based on their visual atmosphere.


I read that this film was lost for a while and that the quality of the prints they found was pretty bad. However, I thought the quality of the print I saw was pretty good, and the visual atmosphere and overall look was pretty solid, so I assume it had to be a restored version.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:28 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A horror film based on a book (Era: 1900s): Frankenstein (1910)
There is, however, a really cool reverse special effect in which the creature's body seems to assemble itself onto a skeleton.

That blew my mind the first time I saw it. Such a simple idea but it looks great.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:43 am
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I've only seen The Ghoul once and I also thought it was a bit of a drag. It's been a good 10 years now so maybe I'll try again.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:45 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
That blew my mind the first time I saw it. Such a simple idea but it looks great.

It really is amazing. Absolutely one of the coolest, creepiest things I think I've ever watched. If I was going to put together, and I've always wanted to do this since the first time I went to The House Of Shock, a background horror montage to act as a sort of running mood-setter for Halloween, I would have several clips from this interspersed prominently therein.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:07 am
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Wooley wrote:
If I was going to put together a background horror montage to act as a sort of running mood-setter for Halloween,

ha ha, I've had this same idea for years now but never got around to it. I've got an unwritten list of clips I'd use and some soundtrack ideas but that's as far as I ever got. Some day...

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:11 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
ha ha, I've had this same idea for years now but never got around to it. I've got an unwritten list of clips I'd use and some soundtrack ideas but that's as far as I ever got. Some day...

Yeah, I just don't know how to do it, like on a computer. I'm not that savvy. I have a friend who could teach me but he's too busy running his company.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:45 am
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A horror exploitation or B-movie: Night of the Creeps
A classic horror film you've never seen: Rosemary's Baby
A horror comedy film: House (1985)
A horror cult classic film: The Wicker Man
A documentary about horror or horror films: Terror in the Aisles
A horror film about an animal: Alligator
A horror film based on a book: Phantoms (Affleck was DA BOMB)
A horror film considered a box-office bomb or one of the worst ever made: The Creeping Terror
A horror film directed by a woman: Pet Semetary
A horror film famous for its twist/ending: Psycho
A horror film featuring a non-human lead character: Cat People (1982)
A horror film made for under $5,000,000 made after 1990: Open Water (budget 500k, made 50 mil)
A horror film starring someone you dislike: Lord of Illusions (see my theorem on the Scott Bakula Effect)
A horror film under 90 minutes long: The Birch
A horror film with a character's name as the title: Carrie
A horror film with a child protagonist: Let Me In
A horror film with a color in the title: Black Rainbow
A horror film with a number in its title (not a sequel number): Se7en
A horror film with either a RT score above 95% or from the IMDb Top 250: Don't Look Now (96%)
A horror film with a season in the title: Dark Summer (2015)
A horror film with less than five major characters: Misery
A horror film in a foreign language: Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
A horror science-fiction film: Lifeforce
A horror sequel: Jaws 3-D
An animated horror film: The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

Plus, to keep things more interesting, try to fit each film into one of the following decade slots:

A horror film from the 1900s:
A horror film from the 1920s:
A horror film from the 1930s:
A horror film from the 1940s:
A horror film from the 1950s:
A horror film from the 1960s:
A horror film from the 1970s:
A horror film from the 1980s:
A horror film from the 1990s:
A horror film from the 2000s:
A horror film from the 2010s:
A horror film from the current year:

yeah fuck that.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:49 am
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Thief wrote:

Where did you see that one?


It's on YouTube in its entirety.

Just a note: Hellraiser used the same effect to show the character of Frank "reassembling" himself, and it's such a simple, effective, creepy effect.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:09 am
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A horror comedy film
A horror film made for under $5,000,000 made after 1990
A horror film under 90 minutes long
A horror film with less than five major characters
A horror film from the 2010s



Crush the Skull (2015)

After 30 minutes browsing Hulu, Prime, and Sling looking for something to watch, I settled on this one, which I saw Takoma mentioned in Apex' thread. What a pleasant surprise it was. A fun mixture of horror, comedy, and thriller, the film follows a pair of professional robbers that find themselves trapped inside the house of a maniac killer. Being an independent film apparently funded via Kickstarter, the film is a bit rough in the edges. Directing is a bit amateurish at times, but still competent and you can really feel the commitment of the filmmakers. The performances are also mostly solid. It had more comedy than I expected, but it mostly worked.

Grade: B+

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:54 am
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Thief wrote:
A horror comedy film
A horror film made for under $5,000,000 made after 1990
A horror film under 90 minutes long
A horror film with less than five major characters
A horror film from the 2010s



Crush the Skull (2015)

After 30 minutes browsing Hulu, Prime, and Sling looking for something to watch, I settled on this one, which I saw Takoma mentioned in Apex' thread. What a pleasant surprise it was. A fun mixture of horror, comedy, and thriller, the film follows a pair of professional robbers that find themselves trapped inside the house of a maniac killer. Being an independent film apparently funded via Kickstarter, the film is a bit rough in the edges. Directing is a bit amateurish at times, but still competent and you can really feel the commitment of the filmmakers. The performances are also mostly solid. It had more comedy than I expected, but it mostly worked.

Grade: B+


I was really pleasantly surprised by this one when I first watched it as well, and I try to mention it when people are looking for something fun. The film it most makes me think of is Botched, which is another not-great-but-heartfelt horror/comedy.

And given that I don't find
child captives of killers/rapists to be a topic that I handle very well, I thought that this one managed to pull off that plot element without feeling like it was making light of that premise
.

Glad you liked it! It's not amazing, but I think it deserves to be a film that horror folks are familiar with.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:05 pm
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There are a thousand versions of House on Haunted Hill (1959) on Prime. Any recommendation to which specific version I should seek?

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:00 am
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Thief wrote:
There are a thousand versions of House on Haunted Hill (1959) on Prime. Any recommendation to which specific version I should seek?


You mean a lot of versions of the '59 film?

I would just make sure that it's the full runtime.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:13 am
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Thief wrote:
There are a thousand versions of House on Haunted Hill (1959) on Prime. Any recommendation to which specific version I should seek?

That's because it's a public domain title. I'd just scan a few minutes in and if the quality looks ok you should be fine. I'm not aware of any versions with major differences.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:18 am
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Thanks!

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:27 am
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Something about the humor in Crush the Skull just hit me in the right spot. I thought it was hilarious.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:55 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Something about the humor in Crush the Skull just hit me in the right spot. I thought it was hilarious.


I liked that they didn't go overboard with it. It had just the right amount of comedy vs. thrills vs. horror.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:04 am
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Thief wrote:

I liked that they didn't go overboard with it. It had just the right amount of comedy vs. thrills vs. horror.

Now I'm in the mood to watch it again, but I've given myself a theme to follow this month and I shudder to think what would happen if I veered off topic. Riots in the streets, probably.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:11 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Now I'm in the mood to watch it again, but I've given myself a theme to follow this month and I shudder to think what would happen if I veered off topic. Riots in the streets, probably.


It'll be anarchy!

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:21 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Something about the humor in Crush the Skull just hit me in the right spot. I thought it was hilarious.


I think that it has generally pretty likable characters and it establishes solid relationship dynamics in the beginning that pay off later. I think that it also feels like a movie that was made by people who really like horror films. It tries to be scary and funny but doesn't make the mistake of trying to be edgy.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:35 am
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A horror film with a number in its title (not a sequel number): The 400 Tricks of the Devil (1906)

This is a silent film by Melies (and available on YouTube).

The film follows a man, Crackford, who wants to go on a quick trip around the world. An alchemist (Satan in disguise) sells him some magic pills that grant wishes. Crackford signs a contract for them, not realizing he's sold his soul to the devil. As Crackford tries to go about his work, he and his manservant are tormented by devils and other mysterious happenings.

This film is basically a series of well-staged on-screen magic, and I loved it. There's something consistently entertaining about the way that devils pour, clown-car like, from different unexpected places. I also liked the weird movements of the puppets employed, especially the skeletal horse pulling a carriage.

This was a really fun film, but it also had some creepy parts, like with the horse or a part where Crackford's family is seemingly killed and he just shrugs it off. Highly recommended.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:05 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
A horror film with a number in its title (not a sequel number): The 400 Tricks of the Devil (1906)

This is a silent film by Melies (and available on YouTube).

The film follows a man, Crackford, who wants to go on a quick trip around the world. An alchemist (Satan in disguise) sells him some magic pills that grant wishes. Crackford signs a contract for them, not realizing he's sold his soul to the devil. As Crackford tries to go about his work, he and his manservant are tormented by devils and other mysterious happenings.

This film is basically a series of well-staged on-screen magic, and I loved it. There's something consistently entertaining about the way that devils pour, clown-car like, from different unexpected places. I also liked the weird movements of the puppets employed, especially the skeletal horse pulling a carriage.

This was a really fun film, but it also had some creepy parts, like with the horse or a part where Crackford's family is seemingly killed and he just shrugs it off. Highly recommended.

This sounds like it's up Wooley's alley.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:55 pm
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