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 Wooley's Half-Ass Horrorthon 
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So, Doctor X is a fucking weird movie.
I had forgotten.
I haven't seen it in 8-10 years. My memory was that I liked it a lot and I liked it because it was weird. Weird like, this-can't-be-from-1932-right-? kinda weird.
Filmed in 2-color Technicolor, which only makes it fucking weirder, this pre-code film may or may not involve murder, cannabalism, rape, truly mad science, and Fay Wray (of King Kong). And directed by none other than Michael Curtiz (of The Adventure Of Robin Hood, White Christmas, and Casa-fucking-blanca). They may or may not have got caught in a celluloid jam.
There have been some murders and they are peculiar. Dubbed "The Moon Killer Murders" by the press, they all occur in the vicinity of the medical academy of one Doctor Xavier, and they may involve cannabalism. Doctor Xavier is brought in as a consultant on the case, but his colleagues are also brought under suspicion. Because they are bizarre motherfuckers. While not above suspicion himself, Doctor X sets about his bizarre tribunal with himself as one of the defendants, to determine which, if any of these mad-scientists could actually be a the cannibal killer.

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Meanwhile, his trusting, loving daughter (Wray) lives in the academy-home with the Doctor and finds all of these characters eccentric, sure, but perfectly normal... but is she living with a cannibal?! Enter our sort-of-hero, the plucky, determined reporter who finagles his way inside the academy... and possible Fay Wray's heart. Can he help uncover the bizarre goings-on inside the esteemed medical research facility? Will he solve the mystery of these bloodthirsty crimes and their relationship to the Doctor in time to save his lady-fair? Can he provide enough comic relief to make this already surreal little number tonally baffling as well?
And what the absolute fuck is going on here?

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This is just a freaky, sometimes nightmarish, sometimes awkward movie with the strangest vibe I can imagine. It is because of movies like this that The Hays Code was established with its taboo subject-matter and generally almost icky yet surreal tone. Yet, it is also an almost-forced horror-comedy, with Lee Tracy brought in (as the plucky reporter) to spread some almost slapstick light in this dark corner of the cinematic world. Honestly, I don't really know if this movie even works, but it's fucking weird and people should probably just go ahead and watch it.


Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:51 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
But like people are saying up above, it's just a good, fun little flick. And I think it would make a good antidote to your 80s slasher burnout.

Oh hell yeah.
Honestly, Cap, just scrap that shit for one night and watch something fun.


Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:52 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Well then. You know what you have to do.

Fight the staff and forcefully reshelve it, Fett-style?

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Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:02 pm
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Night of the Comet fizzles out once they go in that research station thingy near the end :(


Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:08 pm
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Wooley wrote:
So, Doctor X is a fucking weird movie.

Yes, one of my favorites of course. I'd say Mystery of the Wax Museum is the better film, but X has its own charms (?) as well.
Something about that not-quite-right Technicolor gives everything a nightmare quality, even more so with Wax Museum. I can't stress how much I love that one (even the comic relief).

Someone mentioned The Vampire Bat recently and I realized that if one were to put together a Fay Wray marathon, you'd have 5-6 solid movies including one or two outright classics. And they were all released in a 3-year span.

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Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:11 pm
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I was gonna mention Mystery of the Wax Museum with the sassy blonde and Fay Wray's "You fiend" moment :up:


Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:24 am
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Rumpled wrote:
Night of the Comet fizzles out once they go in that research station thingy near the end :(

I am inclined to disagree with you, I really like that part. It's not as "big" as it might have been, but I think they did a good job making it happen on the budget. And of course the classic denouement.


Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:07 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Yes, one of my favorites of course. I'd say Mystery of the Wax Museum is the better film, but X has its own charms (?) as well.
Something about that not-quite-right Technicolor gives everything a nightmare quality, even more so with Wax Museum. I can't stress how much I love that one (even the comic relief).

Someone mentioned The Vampire Bat recently and I realized that if one were to put together a Fay Wray marathon, you'd have 5-6 solid movies including one or two outright classics. And they were all released in a 3-year span.

That was me. I considered it, I own Wax Museum on DVD and I did really enjoy The Vampire Bat in the past, so it's food for thought. Maybe this weekend.


Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:08 am
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Rock wrote:
Fight the staff and forcefully reshelve it, Fett-style?


*puts gasoline tank back on shelf*

Um, yeah. Re-shelve it.


Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:56 am
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Wooley wrote:
I am inclined to disagree with you, I really like that part. It's not as "big" as it might have been, but I think they did a good job making it happen on the budget. And of course the classic denouement.


Well i ain't seen it for years so i just got the Night of the Comet and Night of the Creeps Blu-rays for Halloween night ;)


Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:23 am
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Rumpled wrote:

Well i ain't seen it for years so i just got the Night of the Comet and Night of the Creeps Blu-rays for Halloween night ;)

Oh nice, that sounds like a good time.


Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:36 am
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A writer who trades in true-crime books (which I did not even know was a thing) decides to move into the home of a recently slain family... with his family... without telling his family that the previous family was hung from a large tree-limb in the back yard with one child just missing altogether. Once moved-in he finds a projector and a box of reel-to-reels in the attic which turn out to contain not only footage of the murders that took place in his backyard, but the murders of several other families as well. It is made clear that it is extremely disturbing to watch entire families murdered and yet, rather than take the evidence to the police, he begins drinking and smoking and thinking he hears things in the house and having strange encounters and such as he tries to figure out what happened to these families. Spooky goings-on ensue.

Look, I'm just gonna say it, this movie is crap. It's amateurism and hackery run amuck. The script sucks. The direction and cinematography suck. The acting is just adequate, probably because the dialogue is poor and the actors struggled to say the lines. This was a stupid movie.
I am really disappointed because I've been told a number of times that this was a legitimately scary movie, and there is some unease early, but then it is pissed away as the hackery mounts. Stupid camera decisions reflected lame attempts to build tension when it was not necessary. Oh look, tense-moment accentuated by Dutch-angle, immediately followed by shaky cam. Crappasses. Unbelievable (and I mean I literally could not believe) decision-making is excused with flimsy character-background and motivation that is poorly assembled into the story and simply isn't credible when lives are on the line. The major red-herring is utterly bungled to where it seems to just sort of fade away completely before the reveal suddenly comes utterly out of left-field... except that it was so obvious the whole time you absolutely knew it was coming. And that is probably my biggest beef with the movie, that in the actual OPENING SCENE OF THE FILM (or maybe within just a few moments after), it seemed so obvious what was happening that the assumption was that it was supposed to be one of those things where at the end you're like "Oh my god! It was right there in front of me and I missed it!" Except that it was really pretty much right there in front of you and you couldn't miss it. I couldn't believe that the end of the movie turned out to be exactly what it seemed like it would be from the very beginning and that it was really just an hour and thirty minutes longer than it needed to be.
Of course, they couldn't even tell the story in the context of their narrative so they had Vincent D'Onofrio come on for two scenes to exposition dump the entire back-story/explanation for everything that happens. That's just shit film-making.
And finally, Mr. Boogie, the "sinister" villain, who seemed like he might be scary early, on failed to amount to anything compelling and actually turned eye-rollingly stupid by the end, after D'Ononfrio comes on and just tells the camera every thing about him... and it was the one time in the movie I actually laughed out loud. I mean, I was like, "Oh, come on, I can't believe he was even able to say that with a straight face, regardless of what they paid him for a halfa day's work."
Wait, I thought I was done but one more thing. I am usually the guy around here who defends the jump-scare. I believe it can be effective to provide jolts of adrenaline which escalate the overall tension of the movie, when used well. This movie is pretty much all jump scares. It's just like, the opening scene followed by a line of dialogue which, combined with the opening scene, reveals the entire plot and conclusion of the film, followed by an hour and thirty-five minute-long string of jump-scares occasionally interrupted by bad dialogue.
Yeah, that's it, that is how I would describe this film. The idea that my man, Roger Ebert, gave the film 3 outta 4 stars and said it was "an undeniably scary movie" just baffles me.
By the end of this movie I was basically laughing at it. If I owned this movie, I would take it out in the backyard and drop it in a hole and piss on it... and then I would probably just walk away because that was already more effort than I should have spent on it.
I can't believe I saved this movie for years for when I was in the mood for something really scary. Man, I'm pissed.


Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:04 am
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I hated the fact that this ancient demon guy looks like a member of a death metal band?


Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:06 pm
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Rumpled wrote:
I hated the fact that this ancient demon guy looks like a member of a death metal band?

It did not help.
And when they give the name of the villain,
it sounds like something Wolfman Jack would say. "It's all accordin' to how your Bughuul situation stands, ya understand."
Which, of course, is intended to be a cute play on the "Mr. Boogie" business, which is in turn supposed to be a play on The Boogeyman, therefore setting up that, "oh wow, the thing from this movie is, like THE BOOGEYMAN from like kids' nightmares and stories, oh wowwww!"

No.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:28 am
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I must be Mother Theresa levels of charitable compared to everyone I see talking about this movie because I just ate that shit. All of it. Didn't question a goddamn thing. The sequel is just pointless trash though.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:39 am
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Charles wrote:
I must be Mother Theresa levels of charitable compared to everyone I see talking about this movie because I just ate that shit. All of it. Didn't question a goddamn thing. The sequel is just pointless trash though.


Nah. I thought in many ways this was two thirds of a good thriller. Ethan Hawke is compelling, he gets able support from Fred Dalton Thompson and Vincent D'Onofrio, and unlike say Insidious, it doesn't overdose on cheap tactics like jump scares or the classic bowling ball on the piano song. Then the last third happened, and eh.

I'd give it a B-/C+ . Wouldn't go so far as to recommend it, but it's certainly better than some other films out there.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:44 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Nah. I thought in many ways this was two thirds of a good thriller. Ethan Hawke is compelling, he gets able support from Fred Dalton Thompson and Vincent D'Onofrio, and unlike say Insidious, it doesn't overdose on cheap tactics like jump scares or the classic bowling ball on the piano song. Then the last third happened, and eh.

I'd give it a B-/C+ . Wouldn't go so far as to recommend it, but it's certainly better than some other films out there.

You must be kidding.
This movie may have the most jump-scares per minute I've ever seen in a film. It is basically ALL jump-scares. And it has its share of music-stabs too.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:34 am
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Wooley wrote:
I can't believe I saved this movie for years for when I was in the mood for something really scary.



Was anyone really touting this as much more than a passable modern horror film? And it is. Which means, in the large scheme of things, it isn't very good. But a little bit better than the glut of most horror films which end up in theaters. I'm sure if it was being held in any kind of real esteem, I would have been kicking this one in the balls just as much as I do The Conjuring.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:45 am
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crumbsroom wrote:


Was anyone really touting this as much more than a passable modern horror film? And it is. Which means, in the large scheme of things, it isn't very good. But a little bit better than the glut of most horror films which end up in theaters. I'm sure if it was being held in any kind of real esteem, I would have been kicking this one in the balls just as much as I do The Conjuring.

I read reviews (from the time) that said it was the best horror movie of that year and that it was mainstream horror the way it should be done, etc. I also read that I had to have my big-boy pants on because it was really, really scary.
I have subsequently read reviews that busted it's balls for being Jump-scare Fest 2012 and a lot of other complaints that I agreed with. But going in, I was expecting something probably solid as a movie but scary as ballz.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:53 am
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Well... I can't say this really satisfied me. I mean, it had parts and stuff but it had a lot of shortcomings, for me anyway.

It's late October, 40 years after Michael Meyers went on his 4-kill mini-massacre in Haddonfield, Illinois. Some dumb-fucks have decided to go to his institution to try to talk to him. He is being transferred the next day, on the same day he escaped from his previous institution 40 years earlier, before going on a murder-spree the next night. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that he escapes and gets his old mask back.

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He then begins killing pretty much everybody he sees. I guess he had a lot more stored-up this time. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode has lived her entire life with PTSD and became a survivalist, living alone in seclusion in a house she has turned into a fortress, raising her daughter to fight, shoot, survive in whatever way the possible return of Michael Meyers, before the state took her away from Laurie. Laurie carries on a strained to estranged life with regard to her daughter and granddaughter who have tried to live a "normal" life. But now, Michael is loose and no doubt headed for Haddonfield and Laurie must try to finally end the nightmare that is Michael Meyers.

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Producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse, director David Gordon Green, and writer Danny McBride try to make a direct sequel to the original film, de-canonizing all other films including the one with Stonehenge, the one with the cult and, obviously, Rob Zombie's films. The movie is full of references to several movies in the franchise, most especially the original, to which it does frequent loud nods. There is an effort here to capture some of Carpenter's style and vibe without being slavish to it, and Carpenter again provides the music. Jamie Lee Curtis is game. Nick Castle reprises his role as The Shape and that part of the movie is all the better for it as he defined the character very clearly with his movement and he manages to recapture that well here. This is the first Halloween sequel in which Michael has felt like Michael to me (other than Zombie's in which they did a good job with the choices they made about the character).
Still, not everything is quite right about this movie. As other critics (like I'm a fucking critic) have mentioned, the tone of the film seems uneven as the constant winking at the audience sets up a lighter vibe, as does the throwback to a more innocent horror movie time feel of the movie in general, and then it suddenly goes into shocking, Rob Zombie-level violence, and then comes back... and forth... and back... and forth. At times it feels like they were actually nodding to Zombie's movies through the violence. And Carpenter's use of sparse, but long, drawn-out stalk/kills does not happen here as Michael literally kills anyone he lays eyes on. DGG and his editor I guess try to capture some of the magic of what made the original so great, and at times they succeed with a couple of scenes of real apprehension, others are rattled off pretty quick. They seem to lack the patience to deliver the slow-kill and accelerate things with a lot more killing (a fact which is actually intentionally foreshadowed, winky, winky, winky, by a conversation early in the movie) and impatient editing. There are a number of scenes that end a beat too early and the tension is lost. This is one of the keys to Carpenter's film is how long he let things breathe and how he lingered on moments to give them more weight, but DGG and editor just can't quite bring themselves to slow down. Maybe they were just too excited about making it. Unfortunately, it diminishes a lot of tension. There was one in particular that struck me as pointless (and maybe I missed something) and quick and it kind of took me out of things and made me feel like I was in one of the sequels.
There is one other thing that really didn't work for me and I will put it in spoilers.
They felt it necessary to subvert the Dr. Loomis character, something Zombie had already done, if unsuccessfully, so it doesn't feel fresh, and it also doesn't really kinda work. When it happens it doesn't feel like it makes a lot of sense, it really comes out of left field, and then it's actually over quicker than it started. It's not set up at all and it's not fleshed out or finalized to any satisfaction. It's a weird choice that really threw the movie off to me. I mean, the whole scene with the doctor and the granddaughter is just weird and doesn't feel like it should have made it past the idea stage of the film.

So, on the positive side, certainly better atmosphere than most of the films in the franchise, Michael is physically himself again and looks grim and scary, JLC gives us a nice turn here, and there are some genuinely good scenes. On the negative, the movie kind of rushes along, sometimes lessening the impact of would-be suspenseful scenes, it probably winks at the audience way too much, it is not as consistent with the original, tonally, as we were led to believe, and there is at least one what-the-fuck part.
I probably wouldn't go lower than 6.5/10 for this movie, but I'm certain I also couldn't go higher than 7.5 at my most generous.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:28 am
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Wooley wrote:
the constant winking at the audience

This is exactly what I didn't want to hear. I'll still give it a shot some day but I'm disappointed that they went that route, especially because I'd somehow gotten the impression that this wasn't the case. Enough with the winking already! I was actually invited to go tonight, now I feel better about declining.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:24 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
This is exactly what I didn't want to hear. I'll still give it a shot some day but I'm disappointed that they went that route, especially because I'd somehow gotten the impression that this wasn't the case. Enough with the winking already! I was actually invited to go tonight, now I feel better about declining.

I actually enjoyed a lot of it, but it kinda got to be too much, maybe.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:40 am
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Sinister has its share of problems, but I do think it works pretty well when it's stripped down to Ethan Hawke up at some ungodly hour drinking and doing research and getting paranoid in the dark. Bughoul (sp?) is kind of ass as a boogeyman but I thought the movie got pretty good mileage out of the home movies and had some neat editing. And I liked a few of the performances too.

The new Halloween too has its share of problems but it easily stands out compared to most franchise horror because of how much it gives you to chew on. I get the sense that DGG doesn't like the Rob Zombie movies very much but I think they both fundamentally take the right approach in trying to actually grapple with the material rather than just deliver the goods.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:42 pm
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I really liked the new Halloween. More on that later, as I have over 20 reviews left to write.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:02 pm
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Rock wrote:
Sinister has its share of problems, but I do think it works pretty well when it's stripped down to Ethan Hawke up at some ungodly hour drinking and doing research and getting paranoid in the dark. Bughoul (sp?) is kind of ass as a boogeyman but I thought the movie got pretty good mileage out of the home movies and had some neat editing. And I liked a few of the performances too.

The new Halloween too has its share of problems but it easily stands out compared to most franchise horror because of how much it gives you to chew on. I get the sense that DGG doesn't like the Rob Zombie movies very much but I think they both fundamentally take the right approach in trying to actually grapple with the material rather than just deliver the goods.

I had sort of heard this and so then was surprised how much he seemed to borrow from those films. At times I thought his Michael was straight out of Zombie's movies and the, not just level-of-violence, but type of violence seemed like it was his specific homage to Zombie's work, as he homaged nearly every other movie (although I don't think I caught a Thorn reference, on my first viewing, anyway).


Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:32 am
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Jumping out of order for a minute, I felt the need to comment on this film while it was fresh in my mind.
Having not seen it since I was young (I've watched other versions but, and I know, I know, but... I just really don't like Spencer Tracy much), I think a lot stuff here, a lot of subtext was missed throughout my life. I don't recall if this is so prominent in the Frederic March version, it was not as at the forefront in the Barrymore version, but this movie seems like a direct study of domestic violence and abusive relationships. When I have heard women refer to abusive men as "like Jekyll and Hyde", I certainly understood it, but holy shit, I didn't think this movie took it so literally.

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I find this movie very sad and parts of it just revolting to watch. There is psychological torture to go along with the physical violence and implied rape. It really is just a portrait of abuse dressed up in horror tropes. Tracy's portrayal of an abusive man is almost nauseating, but it really resonates when he's the "good" version, almost the whole "it'll never happen again, I don't want to hurt you" thing that so many women have had to hear and makes them feel safe just long enough to stick around for another awful run. When he comes back to her for the last time, it's just disgusting.
Honestly, this movie is kinda gross. And sad. I know that I'm sensitive to violence against women for certain personal reasons, but really, I don't particularly ever want to watch this movie again.

Edit: Before I go all negativity here, Tracy gets full marks for going whole-hog on this role. Ingrid Bergman somehow almost steals the show from him, though, I really think she was an actor ahead of her time. Really, it's a good movie, it's just so ugly.


Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:49 am
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Wooley wrote:
"The whole burden of civilization has fallen upon us."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means we do not CROSS against the light."

As a life-long rule-follower, this was the key to my heart right here. The 80s had a tendency to celebrate the obnoxious, so I loved that the sisters were allowed to be awesome without being Ferris Bueller or something.

Wooley wrote:
One of the many things that makes this movie special is the bonding between the two sisters. Whether it be over machine guns, free shopping-spree at the mall, fighting over boys, or really opening up to each other, they care about each other and you feel that their bond is what is going to carry them through. That and their indomitable spirit.

Yep

Rock wrote:
Those looking for fun in the form of ‘80s kitsch should find much to enjoy here.

Holy Lord, every frame of this film screamed 1984. This is the first time I've seen someone named in the credits under "Neon". Gotta say though, I was promised Cyndi Lauper, not an impostor. :)

Rock wrote:
Maroney’s tears as she recollects her deceased friends have a real poignancy

This is the moment I was going to mention also.
Good stuff, Woolz, you recruited a new fan.

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Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:02 am
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I believe my thoughts I posted on DJAMH echoed your own. The performances and drama work very well but it's not a particularly horror driven horror film. I also found the blatantly masked stunt double amusing but also unintentionally disconcerting in appearance. Hammer still has my current favorite version of the story.


Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:40 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
As a life-long rule-follower, this was the key to my heart right here. The 80s had a tendency to celebrate the obnoxious, so I loved that the sisters were allowed to be awesome without being Ferris Bueller or something.


Yep


Holy Lord, every frame of this film screamed 1984. This is the first time I've seen someone named in the credits under "Neon". Gotta say though, I was promised Cyndi Lauper, not an impostor. :)


This is the moment I was going to mention also.
Good stuff, Woolz, you recruited a new fan.

Woot!


Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:21 am
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This is a re-watch here, I saw it in the theater and was underwhelmed... but underwhelmed because the trailers looked amazing. It was really a matter of expectations. I didn't realize that Zombie's star had fallen so far after kinda botching the Halloween franchise that he could only muster a $1.5M budget and the trailer made it look like a huge film. It is actually a small film. But it has huge moments. Understanding this going in the second time, I enjoyed it a lot more.
But, man, it's sad. It's like an actually sad horror movie. It starts out kinda neutral, turns melancholy, and finally ends up just sad. Which is kinda neat.
I would also say it starts off kinda slow, and not necessarily pace-wise, Zombie actually gets the haunted proceedings going from Jump Street, it's slow in a sort of "I think this is actually gonna kinda suck" way. But then it sort of finds its footing, especially once the three sisters get together and Bruce Davison enters the picture, and the descent of our main character into damnation really gets underway.
I will also say, though, that this was the first time I really understood peoples' beef with Sheri Moon Zombie. I mean, I've definitely seen worse actresses in lead roles before, I mean, honestly, nothing Moon does here is worse than Wynona Rider's performance in Dracula, but she's limited and it shows at times here. On the other hand, she really has a great look for the way Rob Zombie uses her in his films so I actually don't mind her in this, but her limitations are visible.
Now, getting to the meat of this movie, Rob Zombie shows again, maybe more in this than anything, how strong his flair behind the camera actually is.

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There are so many good shots in this movie that show a natural talent for composition and color and I was left wondering how good this movie might have been if Zombie had had a Hollywood budget or, honestly, if he could have even scraped together $3M. He's a talented guy and he actually has skill too, I really just think, as I've said many times before, if he had a collaborator to help him rein in some of his ideas and shape them a little better (and he does fine in this one, it's a pretty coherent movie), he could really be a good filmmaker.
Ultimately, I found that I liked this movie, even though it left me with a melancholy feeling, and I will probably watch this again in future Octobers.


Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:02 am
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:19 am
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I ought to give that one another viewing one of these days, but a rewatch of The Devil's Rejects last year confirmed that Sheri Moon Zombie is actually a reasonably effective actress who just happens to be outclassed by her superior co-stars. And just in case anyone's interested, she thinks she's gonna be wanting some ice cream in about 10 miles.

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Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:57 am
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Rock wrote:
I ought to give that one another viewing one of these days, but a rewatch of The Devil's Rejects last year confirmed that Sheri Moon Zombie is actually a reasonably effective actress who just happens to be outclassed by her superior co-stars. And just in case anyone's interested, she thinks she's gonna be wanting some ice cream in about 10 miles.

Tutti fucking fruity?


Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:00 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tutti fucking fruity?

I have calculated the time, and two seconds is the exact amount of time that is a hazard to my fucking health.

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Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:06 pm
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Rock wrote:
I have calculated the time, and two seconds is the exact amount of time that is a hazard to my fucking health.

Bill Mosely deserves a higher profile career than he's garnered. His delivery of even questionable dialogue was astounding.

Same could be said of Sid Haig but I think he's had a wide and diverse career to where it feels less like squandered talent.


Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:36 pm
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Wooley wrote:
?

Joss Whedon has stated that Buffy was partly inspired by the sisters from Night of the Comet.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:50 am
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MadMan wrote:
Joss Whedon has stated that Buffy was partly inspired by the sisters from Night of the Comet.

Oh wow, I had no idea, but that makes a LOT of sense.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:12 am
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Been reading this for a good bit of the month, one of my favorites. While this volume does not contain "The Call Of Cthulhu", "The Dunwich Horror", "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", "The Colour Out Of Space", or "The Haunter Of The Dark", it does contain "The Dreams In The Witch-House", "Pickman's Model", and arguably Lovecraft's best, "The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward", among many other shorter stories involving dreams or out-of-reality experiences.
Great Halloween reading.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:39 am
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Does anyone a favorite go-to Lovecraft bio?


Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:42 am
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Lovecraft is the best. At first I didn't really get the hype, but they go together so well and the theme comes out very nicely if you give it time. My personal favorites are The Shadow Out of Time and The Whisperer in Darkness. The Shadow adds so much depth to the mythos.

I don't know of any written bios on him, but there's a nice doc featuring Carpenter and Gaiman, among others, somewhere. It's where I got most of the info on his background.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:20 am
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Wooley wrote:
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A writer who trades in true-crime books (which I did not even know was a thing) decides to move into the home of a recently slain family... with his family... without telling his family that the previous family was hung from a large tree-limb in the back yard with one child just missing altogether. Once moved-in he finds a projector and a box of reel-to-reels in the attic which turn out to contain not only footage of the murders that took place in his backyard, but the murders of several other families as well. It is made clear that it is extremely disturbing to watch entire families murdered and yet, rather than take the evidence to the police, he begins drinking and smoking and thinking he hears things in the house and having strange encounters and such as he tries to figure out what happened to these families. Spooky goings-on ensue.

Look, I'm just gonna say it, this movie is crap. It's amateurism and hackery run amuck. The script sucks. The direction and cinematography suck. The acting is just adequate, probably because the dialogue is poor and the actors struggled to say the lines. This was a stupid movie.
I am really disappointed because I've been told a number of times that this was a legitimately scary movie, and there is some unease early, but then it is pissed away as the hackery mounts. Stupid camera decisions reflected lame attempts to build tension when it was not necessary. Oh look, tense-moment accentuated by Dutch-angle, immediately followed by shaky cam. Crappasses. Unbelievable (and I mean I literally could not believe) decision-making is excused with flimsy character-background and motivation that is poorly assembled into the story and simply isn't credible when lives are on the line. The major red-herring is utterly bungled to where it seems to just sort of fade away completely before the reveal suddenly comes utterly out of left-field... except that it was so obvious the whole time you absolutely knew it was coming. And that is probably my biggest beef with the movie, that in the actual OPENING SCENE OF THE FILM (or maybe within just a few moments after), it seemed so obvious what was happening that the assumption was that it was supposed to be one of those things where at the end you're like "Oh my god! It was right there in front of me and I missed it!" Except that it was really pretty much right there in front of you and you couldn't miss it. I couldn't believe that the end of the movie turned out to be exactly what it seemed like it would be from the very beginning and that it was really just an hour and thirty minutes longer than it needed to be.
Of course, they couldn't even tell the story in the context of their narrative so they had Vincent D'Onofrio come on for two scenes to exposition dump the entire back-story/explanation for everything that happens. That's just shit film-making.
And finally, Mr. Boogie, the "sinister" villain, who seemed like he might be scary early, on failed to amount to anything compelling and actually turned eye-rollingly stupid by the end, after D'Ononfrio comes on and just tells the camera every thing about him... and it was the one time in the movie I actually laughed out loud. I mean, I was like, "Oh, come on, I can't believe he was even able to say that with a straight face, regardless of what they paid him for a halfa day's work."
Wait, I thought I was done but one more thing. I am usually the guy around here who defends the jump-scare. I believe it can be effective to provide jolts of adrenaline which escalate the overall tension of the movie, when used well. This movie is pretty much all jump scares. It's just like, the opening scene followed by a line of dialogue which, combined with the opening scene, reveals the entire plot and conclusion of the film, followed by an hour and thirty-five minute-long string of jump-scares occasionally interrupted by bad dialogue.
Yeah, that's it, that is how I would describe this film. The idea that my man, Roger Ebert, gave the film 3 outta 4 stars and said it was "an undeniably scary movie" just baffles me.
By the end of this movie I was basically laughing at it. If I owned this movie, I would take it out in the backyard and drop it in a hole and piss on it... and then I would probably just walk away because that was already more effort than I should have spent on it.
I can't believe I saved this movie for years for when I was in the mood for something really scary. Man, I'm pissed.


Saw this a couple of years ago, and I couldn't agree more. To me, it joins the likes of Insidious, Mama, and other early 2010's "horror" films that did nothing for me.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:57 am
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I've been reading this one every day on my lunch break. Great minds think alike.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:30 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
This is exactly what I didn't want to hear. I'll still give it a shot some day but I'm disappointed that they went that route, especially because I'd somehow gotten the impression that this wasn't the case. Enough with the winking already! I was actually invited to go tonight, now I feel better about declining.

I didn't find it particularly wink heavy. I found it to implement it's references tastefully and with respect to the original and audience. There's usually a purpose beyond merely referencing it for fan service.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:55 am
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Thief wrote:

Saw this a couple of years ago, and I couldn't agree more. To me, it joins the likes of Insidious, Mama, and other early 2010's "horror" films that did nothing for me.

Yeah, well, Mama said knock you out!

I dunno. Muschietti I feel is better than he needs to be on the non-horror parts of his movies (both that and It are much better acted than the average modern horror), but his handling of scares hasn't bowled me over. Mama I found mostly inoffensive in that regard, but It got a little too loud too often to work for me.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:17 am
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It's not a biography, but I enjoyed this novel (full disclosure: by a friend of a friend) that's a fictionalized account of Lovecraft's relationship with R.H. Barlow.

Also, Lovecraft used to live in a building I would pass regularly with my kid on our way home from his daycare--I always got a kick out of that.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:50 pm
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The fifth installment in Universal's Frankenstein franchise, this movie survives on its premise, its short run-time, and audience goodwill.
Certainly not at all painful to watch, and starting off with a decent bit of fun based around the resurrection of the decidedly dead Wolf-man, this chapter goes B-movie right from the start with no pretension at all toward better fare. One could argue that they were all B-movies, or one might argue that they were all B-movies after Bride, some might even say that Son Of still managed not to keep things afloat, and one could even argue that while Ghost Of went B, it was still a pretty decent B (largely thanks to Lugosi). But this is just full-on B-movie stuff and as long as you go into it prepared for that and not for Bride and you have a good attitude, you can enjoy its, what, hour and ten minutes for what it is.
What is it?
Wolf-man is accidentally resurrected, goes and finds the old gypsy, Maleeva, whose son bit him in the first one, she believes that this famous Doctor Frankenstein might be able to help fix up Wolf-man, ultimately leads to resurrection of Monster, yadda yadda, and then there is the only thing the audience paid to see, the fight between the Monster and the Wolf-man.
The budget is the lowest yet in the franchise, Lugosi ends up taking over as The Monster (which really doesn't work since Lugosi is sixty years old at this point and also just doesn't have the face for it. Honestly, I hate to say it, but Glenn Strange was definitely a better Monster than Lugosi. Also, famously, when they filmed this, The Monster had learned to talk, one of the reasons Lugosi took the role (according to lore), but the studio didn't like it and had all his dialogue scenes cut. This is super-awkward in the scenes they couldn't cut in which he spoke, where you see The Monster mouthing words but no sound comes out.
Anyway, honestly, its Halloween, if you can't just enjoy Frankenstein meeting The Wolf-man for what it is, well, maybe this just isn't your holiday.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:05 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Does anyone a favorite go-to Lovecraft bio?

Nah, I heard he was a lousy person so I tend to just ignore who he is and enjoy his work.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:07 pm
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Charles wrote:
Lovecraft is the best. At first I didn't really get the hype, but they go together so well and the theme comes out very nicely if you give it time. My personal favorites are The Shadow Out of Time and The Whisperer in Darkness. The Shadow adds so much depth to the mythos.

I don't know of any written bios on him, but there's a nice doc featuring Carpenter and Gaiman, among others, somewhere. It's where I got most of the info on his background.

Oh, I meant to mention The Whisperer In Darkness, I do love that story.
Another interesting thing is the Randolph Carter series (which is only loosely a series but features this same character's journey through the more science-fiction/fantasy aspect of Lovecraft's horror), including The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kaddath, (The Statement Of Randolph Carter, The Unnamable,) The Silver Key, and Through The Gates Of The Silver Key. Same character in 5 stories, although only three of them are a direct continuation.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:17 pm
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Thief wrote:

Saw this a couple of years ago, and I couldn't agree more. To me, it joins the likes of Insidious, Mama, and other early 2010's "horror" films that did nothing for me.

FWIW, I actually thought Insidious was much better.


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:18 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
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I've been reading this one every day on my lunch break. Great minds think alike.

Ha! Cheers, brah!


Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:19 pm
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