Movie A Day!: Taste Of Tarzan

It’s been a long week of hospital visits. things are getting better. Hold tight, we’re nearly through this year.

Here’s what I have watched this past week and a bit.

Dario Argento's World of Horror Poster
451 12/29 Dario Argento’s World Of Horror (1985) 2.5/5   Documentary on Argento that features some great behind the scenes footage, primarily from Phenomena, but takes itself so seriously as a “horror” type film with clips that it’s more ridiculous than interesting and feels like a missed opportunity.

Mulberry St. Poster
452 12/01 Mulberry St. (2010) 3/5   Abel Ferrara’s documentary on the street he was from in New York, and where many of his films took place. Focusing mostly on the feast of San Gennaro, it’s a rambling film of neighbourhood stories that is far more watchable than it should be.


453 12/04 Bat Pussy (1973) 1.5/5   Possibly the first superhero porn parody, this one is so inept in every way that it’s a chore to watch at 50 minutes. Majority of the film is take after endless take from the same camera set-up of a couple improving lines on a bed and engaging in action. A few bits are Bat Pussy out to save the city from them? Only fun to be had is watching Bat Pussy bouncing around on a Hop-It. Everything else is bad bad, not fun bad in any real way. It could have been a lot of fun, but it ultimately fails.

Next are a couple of shorts found on the Bat Pussy blu-ray.

454 12/05 Dating: Do’s and Don’ts (1949) 3/5   Instructional film showing boys & girls how to have a classy date. I could have used this 30 years ago.

455 12/05 The Shoplifter (1964) 3/5   Instructional short showing retail business how to spot and prevent shoplifting. It’s actually pretty interesting to see all the tricks of the trade. I’m pretty sure I can get away with some five-finger discounts now.

This next one is a bonus film found on the Bat Pussy blu-ray and manages to be even worse.

456 12/06 Robot Love Slaves (1971) 1.5/5   A dire softcore cheapy about a scientist reanimating dead girls into love slaves. Only notable for some cult adult stars like Sandy Dempsey. Not worth seeking out.

Love Camp 7 Poster
457 12/07 Love Camp 7 (1969) 3.5/5   I can’t believe I’m rating this one this high. A nasty exploitation in every way about a couple of women agents infiltrating a Nazi sex camp to smuggle out a rocket engineer. It’s all high concept for the most base sexploitation, and is pretty much irredeemable morally. But for what it is, it’s not bad? This is my second viewing and it holds up despite being reprehensible.

Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction Poster
458 12/08 Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction (2013) 1.5/5   Trailer compilation of naziploitation that is low quality in every way despite showing the “good” bits.


459 12/09 Abar: The First Black Superman (1977) 2/5   Abar is fighting the man, especially after the white folk go bonkers when a black doctor moves into their neighbourhood. Problem with this one is it takes almost the entire running time to get going. Once it does, it’s not really worth it.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze Poster
460 12/09 Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975) 3/5   Finally got around to this one and frankly it left me a little conflicted. It’s goofy, played too kiddy and light in tone and more than ridiculous. It’s also fairly accurate to the book. Give this a more serious tone and it would have been a classic. As it is, it’s more a curio.

Tarzan the Ape Man Poster
461 12/10 Tarzan The Ape Man (1981) 2.5/5   John Derek has to film his wife Bo nude again, so this time it’s the Tarzan story that gets the excuse. I vaguely recall seeing this one back in the 80’s and revisiting it, it’s not good. It’s goofy and frankly not filmed very well with lots of dodgy slow motion. It also features Richard Harris being maximum Richard Harris which I find kind of fun but it wears a little thin.

Movie A Day!: The Story of Running

Late posting this one despite not getting any movies in since the weekend. Put my back out and any sitting and typing was just not going to happen. Finally caught up today.

End of November and I hit 450 titles. Not bad.

Dzieje grzechu Poster
440 11/22 The Story Of Sin (1975) 3/5   Walerian Borowczyk follows up Immoral Tales and the still shocking The Beast with this one, a quieter picture about a young woman who falls for a man, and keeps falling, pretty much out of society. While not as explicit as the previous two films, the look of this one is gorgeous and despite not finding it the most exciting film pacing wise, I have to admit it’s sticking with me. I’ll be revisiting it in the future.

Possessed Poster
441 11/23 Possessed (1947) 4/5   Joan Crawford takes the lead in another cracking noir, this one playing almost like a horror film. Crawford plays a woman obsessively in love with a man who is not in love with her in return. It feels a bit against type for Crawford, seeing her playing a weaker role compared to the man eaters she is typically known for, she’s fantastic. This one is well worth your time.

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442 11/24 Stranger On The Third Floor (1940) 3.5/5   A young reporter is the prime witness at a murder trial, and has doubts about his testimony that leads to a conviction. Then Peter Lorre shows up. This one was a tight film noir dripping with paranoia and suspense. Lorre doesn’t get much to do, but steals his scenes anyway, but the real treat is how good John McGuire and Margaret Tallichet are who are the actual leads in the film. I’m not familiar with them, but they carry film. Pack in a ton of style with the direction and this one is short, sweet and suspenseful fun.

Next up, a series of short films from Gorman  Bechard, the director of Psychos In Love and found on the Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray.

443 11/25 The Only Take (1985) 2/5   Short film from that is more of a one joke sketch. It is what it is. To tell anymore would ruin the joke.

444 11/25 Bartholemew (1982) 2/5   A short about a man having a breakdown due to an overbearing mother. Nothing too exceptional.

445 11/25 Objects in the Mirror Appear Further Than They Appear (2001) 3/5   Decent short that tells the story (all told in narration) of a prostitute that runs into trouble. Told mostly in stills, it’s creative and works.

Next up, the first animated short films from Walerian borowcyzk and found on the Arrow Academy Blu-ray of Story of Sin.

446 11/25 Once Upon A Time (1957) 3.5/5   A really fun, colourful and creative cut-up animated short from Walerian Borowcyzk.

447 11/25 Dom (1959) 3/5   More experimental and surreal cut-up short than Once Upon A Time, it’s a huge step forward for Borowcyzk.

448 11/25 School (1958) 2.5/5   This one features a soldier all filmed and animated from still photographs. It’s impressive but not as full fulfilling as Borowcyzk’s other shorts.

Snowpiercer Poster
449 11/25 Snowpiercer (2013) 4/5   Finally got around to this one and loved. Deals with some big ideas, big ideas that feel like prophecy as each day passes, while maintaining an action hook that never lets up. My second South Korean film watched this year that takes place completely on a train, I never would have guessed I’d be such a fan of this genre.

Long Time Running Poster
450 11/26 Long Time Running (2017) 3.5/5   Documentary following the Tragically Hip on their last tour after Gord Downey was diagnosed with Cancer. It’s good and worth watching but I can’t help but feel there’s a better, longer form documentary to be had to tell their story.

Movie A Day!: Split Anorexia

Another week of non-stop news horror. Apparently everyone involved in the media industries I love are scumbags. I mean, I figured as much, but the level of it is getting ridiculous. Here’s the latest bunch of stuff I watched. Mostly special features from discs watched in October and some documentary things.

Split Second Poster
431 11/14 Split Second (1953) 3/5   Tight noir about a couple of killers holding hostages at a nuclear test site on the eve of a nuclear test. It’s good, but I found it couldn’t hold the tension once it became a one room deal.

Bygone Behemoth Poster
432 11/14 Bygone Behemoth (2010) 3/5   Fun animated short about a past its prime monster that can no longer get Godzilla like movie roles. It plays mundane which helps make it special and the stop motion animation is top notch.

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433 11/15 Louis Theroux Dark States: Heroin Town (2017) 4/5   Theroux starts his new documentary series with this look at how prescription medicine has resulted in 1 in 4 people being addicted to heroin in Huntington West Virginia. It’s bleak stuff, but presented well as always.

434 11/16 Louis Theroux Dark States: Trafficking Sex (2017) 4/5   Theroux looks at prostitution in Houston, talking to both the women and the pimps. Another rough look at life but fascinating to see.

A Fish Called Wanda Poster
435 11/17 A Fish Called Wanda (1988) 3/5   I saw this one back in the theater and recall it being hilarious. It still is, but it’s weird that the Americans are funnier than I recall Cleese and Palin being. It still works, but the whole thing feels a little slow and the soundtrack dates it badly. Not to mention the casual joke plot that reeks of homophobia in this age. It’s hard to be mad at though since Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline are so good.

Rogue One Poster
436 11/18 Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale (2016) 3.5/5   This one tells the unnecessary story of what happened immediately before episode four. I found it superior to The Force Awakens. The plot moves better, cast is great. Only real problem is the digital recreation of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher is monstrously creepy. Let’s keep the digital actors to those who have never existed in real life.

437 11/19 Re-Animator: Resurrectus (2007) 3/5   A fine documentary on the making of the film that covers all the bases.

438 11/19 Louis Theroux Dark States: Murder in Milwaukee (2017) 4/5   Theroux’s latest documentary series ends with a look at gun violence in Milwaukee, a city that has a disproportionate amount of gun violence based on its population. As always, it’s dead solid and this whole series is well worth your time. The brilliance with Theroux is that he is there to learn and understand, as opposed to opine and judge, and you end up getting a better understanding of complicated issues that have no easy answer. Just watch all his damned docs!

439 11/20 Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia (2017) 4/5   I’m presuming this one was filmed in the same period as DARK STATES, but aired separate as it’s not about an american issue. It’s a tragic look at what anorexia really is to those who suffer from it, and shows how complicated it really is. All without judgement.

 

Movie A Day!: Salome Brain Damage

Only thing worse than the news is family thinking that all the horrible people are correct.

Salome Poster
420 11/06 Salome (1973) 2.5/5   Experimental short film from Clive Barker is just that. Didn’t make any sense but had some nice visuals.

421 11/07 The Forbidden (1978) 2.5/5   Another experimental short film from Clive Barker that is bigger on ideas and image than actually being fun to watch.

The Blue Sextet Poster
422 11/11 Blue Sextet (1971) 2.5/5   Directed by the man who brought us I Drink Your Blood, this one find a group of people meeting up to remember a friend who passed away, only to discover what a total bastard he was. It’s an ambitious softcore film that emphasizes plot but didn’t really hold my attention.

The Keepers Poster
423 11/11 The Keepers (2017) 3/5   A Netflix true crime series about the murder of a nun is actually a disturbing outing of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It’s easily two episodes too long, and a massive trigger warning to anyone who survived abuse. The death of a nun bit almost seems like a trick to get you to watch.


424 11/11 Kinky Tricks (1977) 3/5   Okay look, this is probably a one-day wonder as far as porno goes, but star Candida Royalle is a firecracker of personality and the short run-time helps to keep it fun. It also delivers “kinky tricks” and is generally lighthearted. For what it is, it’s pretty good, but no must see.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poster
425 11/12 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) 2.5/5   I enjoyed this one more the second time but it still relies way too much on nostalgia for the past and what they have done with “The Force” is horrendous. It’s a shame since the new cast is great.

426 11/12 China Lust (1976) 1.5/5   Low rent porno quickie that barely has a plot and no real star power to make it stand out.

Next are a pair of short films from Emiliano Rocha Minter.

Inside Poster
427 11/13 Dentro (Inside) (2013) 2.5/5   A short film that manages to pack in a ton of style into its running time and has a good sense of dread as two people build a mysterious thing in the woods.

428 11/13 Videohome (2014) 3/5   This one feels more like a warm-up to images the director will explore in WE ARE THE FLESH, but manages to be impressive all the same.

The Window Poster
429 11/13 The Window (1949) 4/5   A real spooky film noir about a young boy who witnesses a murder only no one will believe him. The boy is Disney wunderkind Bobby Driscoll who manages to carry the film without ever being annoying. It makes what happened to him in later life all the more tragic. Everyone else is great as well and really makes this one worth checking out.

430 11/13 Listen To The Light: The Making of Brain Damage (2017) 3.5/5   Really well done documentary on the making of the film despite missing the directors input. Can be found on the recent Arrow Blu-ray.

Movie A Day!: Desperate Hellraisers

Another week of film, film fans! Catching up on special features from discs I watched in October, but snuck in a few films.

Desperate Poster
410 11/01 Desperate (1947) 3/5   Better than average noir about a truck driver that gets roped into committing a crime and has to clear his name. Main issue is that lead Steve Brodie is completely overshadowed by heel Raymond Burr, so you find yourself waiting for Burr to show up instead of getting wrapped up in the main story. Still good time though.

Train to Busan Poster
411 11/01 Train To Busan (2016) 4/5   South Korea proves once again that they are one of the best at producing genre movies. If there’s a tired genre, it’s the zombie film. Having a contained outbreak on a literal train is a bit of a stroke of genius, and the film completely delivers not just the action, but enough humanity that you may find yourself tearing up.

Ronin Poster
412 11/03 Ronin (1998) 4/5   It’s a film that’s  completely driven by a MacGuffin, but it’s so well done it’s hard not to love it. The car chases are great, but what really keeps it interesting is the film never feels like it has to give everything away as far as the characters go, as well as the purpose of the plot. Makes for a tight action film and at a level with John Frankenheimer’s other classics.

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413 11/03 The Sinful Pleasures of Reverend Star (1977) 2/5   A cult is using hypnotism to prey on young women in this poverty row porno. Not much to make it stand out.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Poster
414 11/04 Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) 4/5   Massive, four hour documentary going into the complete Elm Street history and featuring nearly every major person involved. If you’re interested in the history of the series, this one is for you since it’s made for the fans.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Poster
415 11/04 The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) 3.5/5   Film noir about three childhood friends who cross paths as adults. Barbara Stanwyck is Martha, and neither Van Heflin or newcomer Kirk Douglas are a match for her. Stanwyck really is just the best.

Document of the Dead Poster
416 11/04 Definitive Document Of The Dead (2012) 3.5/5   Documentary on George A. Romero. Starts off strong, going pretty deep in the process with Dawn Of The Dead, but starts to wander later on. Still well worth a watch.

Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II Poster
417 11/05 Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II (2015) 3.5/5   Massively detailed and long documentary on the making of the two films that manages to tell everything you want to know, without the participation of Clive Barker. Which means that despite how packed with info and stories it is, you can’t help but feel like you’re missing something.

Django, Prepare a Coffin Poster
418 11/05 Django Prepare A Coffin (1968) 3/5   I’ve not dived into the Django films, which means I was honestly lost for most of the set up to this film as I’m guessing there’s a presumed familiarity at play with it. Once it got going it ended up being a good but not particularly memorable spaghetti western.

419 11/05 Hell On Earth: The Story of Hellraiser III (2015) 3/5  Significantly shorter documentary by the team that brought you Leviathan. It’s the story of Hellraiser III which sadly never mentions cult porn legend Flame as one of the dancers, but tells you everything else you need to know about the film.

Scary Movie Challenge 2017: Part 8

Only a couple of days left of the challenge as of this post. I’m also back to work soon, so I think there will be one last Scary Movie Challenge post after this one.

The House of Seven Corpses Poster
384 10/25 The House Of Seven Corpses (1974) 2/5   A film company shoots a series of deaths in the original, haunted location and weird stuff happens. Slow moving and not much happens in this one.

The Lair of the White Worm Poster
385 10/25 The Lair Of The White Worm (1988) 3/5   An excavation on a family estate awakens the white worm of legend. I can see people wanting more from a Ken Russell and Bram Stoker collaboration. It’s all a bit silly, but silly Ken Russell is better than nothing. More stylish and silly-sexy than scary, but still worth putting your eyeballs on.

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386 10/25 Serial Mom (1994) 4/5   The shocking true story of America’s favourite serial mom! I love John Waters and I think this one might be his funniest film. Kathleen Turner and the rest of the cast are all perfect and it plays like a Douglas Sirk film only completely hysterical with everyone acting at a fever pitch.

Ghoulies Poster
387 10/25 Ghoulies (1984) 3.5/5   Probably the worst of the Gremlins knockoffs (I thought so prior to seeing Hobgoblins which is probably a Ghoulies knock off…), I’ve always had a soft spot for this one. A group of kids get mixed up in some demon hoodoo, and poor Jack Nance is along for the ride. The Ghoulies are pretty shit puppets and none of the gags work, but I like it anyway and you can all go chase yourselves.

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388 10/25 Multiple Maniacs (1970) 3.5/5   Divine runs a freak show scam and goes completely off the rails. I think this might be John Water’s first film with sync sound, it’s full of the filth and depravity you come to love in a Water’s picture. Divine and David Lochary are perfect in this, and you get a giant lobster monster.

Ghoulies II Poster
389 10/26 Ghoulies II (1988) 2/5   This time the Ghoulies are at a going broke amusement park. It’s not fun and no one should be surprised at the step down in quality.

The Void Poster
390 10/26 The Void (2016) 4/5   Lovecraftian horror in this one. Really liked it. Lots of style, great effects and a new approach.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe Poster
391 10/26 The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) 4/5   A father and son morgue team has to stay late to autopsy a mysterious body found at a crime scene. This one managed to spook me, which is saying something. Both Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox are perfect and carry the show. The film has great atmosphere and manages to keep making sense despite how strange the mystery is.

The Ghoul Poster
392 10/26 The Ghoul (2016) 2.5/5   An ambitious idea and approach to a noir type film that I think sounds better on the page than in the film. I found it more frustrating than interesting to watch.

The House on the Edge of the Park Poster
393 10/27 House on the Edge of the Park (1980) 3/5   David Hess from the superior Last House On The Left gets his boogie on and terrorizes a house party. Starts off strong but I find that it goes for a bit of a wander. Not to mention the out dated and problematic depictions of assault.

Night of the Comet Poster
394 10/27 Night Of The Comet (1984) 4/5   I don’t know if this is a cult classic but it should be. I’ve loved it since it’s VHS debut. A couple of girls are the lone survivors after a comet has wiped out the earth’s population, aside from turning some into zombies! The leads are great, the film is fun, and movie crush Mary Woronov is one of the baddies so there’s lots to like in this.

Manhunter Poster
395 10/27 Manhunter (1986) (directors cut) 4/5   The first crack at turning Red Dragon into a film is still the best one. Michael Mann adapts the book into an incredibly tight and dense film, the performances from William Patterson and the rest are perfect. You could make the case that Brian Cox is even scarier as Hannibal Lecktor since he seems so normal, yet not. Anyway, it’s tense and a fantastic procedural as well.

Scary Movie Challenge 2017: Part 7

Another chunk of films. Caught up on my Vinegar Syndrome releases.

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373 10/23 Trip With The Teacher (1975) 3/5   Tame sleaze-fest about bikers terrorizing an all-girl trip in the desert. I still enjoyed it though, and Zalman King was great as the biker leader.

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374 10/23 Demon Wind (1990) 3/5   This one has literally zero to do with farting. A group of friends head out to a farm to check up on a guy’s family and discover some demon stuff. Not the greatest film ever released by Vinegar Syndrome, and it’s takes a while to get going. Once it does though it redeems itself a bit with some decent practical make-up.

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375 10/23 Blood Beat (1983) 3/5   A family reunite for some Christmas hunting and encounter the spirit of a samurai. It plays like a weird knockoff of Evil Dead, only not as successful despite some arty touches.

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376 10/23 The Corpse Grinders (1971) 3/5   The Grindhouse classic holds up not bad though it’s much more tamer than the title would suggest. A cat food company is using human meat and it’s turning the cats into KILLERS! It’s ridiculous, but fun.

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377 10/23 Don’t Torture A Duckling (1972) 3.5/5   Pretty tight giallo from Lucio Fulci about child murders in a small Italian town. This one was less over the top than later Fulci, but you could see some of where the gore was going to go. A tight crime who done it, I have no complaints.

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378 10/23 A Woman’s Torment (1977) 3.5/5   A mentally disturbed young woman starts to lose control and submit to urges while left alone. It’s not the greatest horror film, but it is a pretty ambitious XXX one, all things considering. Roberta Findlay manages to keep things moving and build some characters in this one, and works better than most ambitious hardcore films do.

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379 10/24 Prime Evil (1988) 3.5/5   Ancient satanic priests causing trouble in our time. I think what sets this one apart from the typical ropey horror tropes is Roberta Findlay bringing a woman’s viewpoint to the characters. There’s still tits and whatever, but the characters feel richer than the usual, especially the women who are typically victim bait. It helps to keep this one interesting.

Lurkers Poster
380 10/24 Lurkers (1988) 2.5/5   A woman is haunted by her past in this one. Some edgy stuff, but not enough to set it apart. I found it plodding.

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381 10/24 The Creeping Terror (1964) 1.5/5   Sometimes a bad movie is simply a bad movie. The monster is terrible, but gloriously terrible that makes it a shame that it’s wasted in this completely inept film. There’s just a complete lack of fun or ambition, and the narrated plot (there’s barely any properly spoken dialogue) just plods along painfully.

Too Young to Die Poster
382 10/24 The Suspicious Death Of A Minor (1975) 3/5   This one was billed as a giallo but it’s really more of a straight up crime film. It’s okay, but there was too many bits played for humour that I think too away from the narrative. There are better Sergio Martino films to be found.

The Creep Behind the Camera Poster
383 10/24 The Creep Behind The Camera (2014) 3/5   Bio-pic/documentary on the man behind The Creeping Terror. He was a garbage human being. Interesting film, better than Creeping Terror anyway.

Scary Movie Challenge 2017: Part 5

Another 10 in the bag. After a days delay due to God smiting the power int he theatre, Dedfest X finally started last night. So BLUE titles are ones seen in the theatre.


337 10/17 Evil Ed (1995) 2.5/5   A meek film editor gets assigned to cut horror and it has an effect on him. It’s gooey and an excuse to have fun with horror tropes, it just didn’t work for me.


338 10/17 Madhouse (1981) 2.5/5   A teacher for deaf kids gets stalked by her evil twin sister. Or is it in her head? Pretty typical slasher for the era that adds in a killer dog but none of it is particularly interesting.


339 10/17 Re-Animator (1985) 4/5   First time watching the integral cut. Herbert West thinks he’s Baron Von Frankenstein. I prefer the shorter cut as I find the added bits in this kill the pacing a bit. Still worth a watch or three. This one is a classic deserving of all it’s cult fandom. It’s also the right way to have comedy in a horror film. Play the horror straight and the comedy comes from the situation. Makes this one a delight and the Arrow Blu-ray set is suitably gorgeous.


340 10/18 The Slayer (1982) 2.5/5   A woman appears to be cracking up from stress so her husband takes her with some friends on a vacation. Some nice gore can’t help this one, despite being more ambitious than the typical slashers of the era. It plays it pretty straight but I found it draggy.


341 10/18 Children of the Corn (1984) 3.5/5   Small town kids discover religion and the parents don’t like it. This one will never go down as the greatest Stephen King adaptation but it works. It’s been too long since I read the original short story so I can’t comment on how close it is, it simply works as one of the better creepy kids/Village of the Damned type movies.

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342 10/18 The Zodiac Killer (1971) 3.5/5   It’s absolutely bananas that prior to the Fincher film Zodiac, this was the best telling of the Zodiac story. It’s not actually a “good” picture, it’s cheap beyond belief, spends too much time on a red herring and then goes off on flights of fancy. When it does stick to the facts, it’s kind of effective. That expert Paul Avery backed it just shows how scared everyone was at the time, they producers thought it would help catch the actual killer. Viewing it now, it has a goofy charm.

For a Good Time, Call... Poster
343 10/18 For A Good Time Call… (2017) 2.5/5   Short film about a douche-bag who secretly films a tryst and suffers the consequences in an extreme way. It’s good for what it is, but I tend to find that horror shorts tend to feel more like demo/audition reels than proper stories.

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344 10/18 Replace (2017) 3.5/5   A young woman deals with bad skin problems in a icky way. An interesting play on beauty expectations, and a great play on body horror. It goes for a bit of a wander in the last act but the stuff leading up to it is great.

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345 10/18 Hell Haunt (2017) 3/5   A short filmed in my hometown of Edmonton about a killer replicating murders at a horror movie premiere? Maybe? I have to admit, I couldn’t follow it. It was damned pretty and well executed which I guess makes it a success. Have I mentioned that I find horror shorts to feel like demo/audition reels?

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346 10/18 Fake Blood (2017) 3/5   Documentary about a pair of amateur filmmakers exploring if exploiting violence on screen can affect people to commit violence in real life. It’s well done in that it doesn’t feel like a fake documentary, but it’s also not as clever as it thinks it is.

 

 

Scary Movie Challenge 2017: Part 4

As warned, now that I’m on staycation, there will be more of these posted since I’m doing nothing but movie watching. Lots of good stuff in this one, and some garbage. Business as usual despite the scary theme.


327 10/15 C.H.U.D. (1984) (Integral Cut) 3.5/5   First time watching this version, and having only seen the film once before, I couldn’t tell you if it’s an improvement or not. One of the most mocked titles of the 80’s, it’s actually not a bad film when you sit down with it. Homeless people are going missing, could it be cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers? It’s obviously a low budget monster film, but every cent of that low budget is on the screen and they play it pretty straight as well. I’ve certainly seen worse.


328 10/15 C.H.U.D. II: Bud The C.H.U.D. (1989) 1.5/5   Everything done right in the first film is done wrong in this one. It appears to have a higher budget, but instead of monsters the C.H.U.D.’s are now just lazy make-up zombies played for laughs. It’s closer to a Return of the Living Dead sequel, and none of it works. I typically reserve scores less than 2 stars for films that are inept as far as craft, but this one rubbed me so wrong, I docking it half a star.


329 10/15 Wolf Guy (1975) 3.5/5   Sonny Chiba uses his moon driven werewolf powers to try to solve a mysterious crimes where guys are being torn apart by the spirit of a tiger. Sadly, there is no proper werewolf transformations in this one, but it is a blood soaked sleaze-fest of a cypto-crime film. Plus Chiba gets more than a few spots to show off his karate.

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330 10/15 Ghostbusters (2016) 3.5/5   Finally got around to this one and really enjoyed it. Rather than basically remake (see Star Wars: The Force Awakens) or mock (see the countless comedy reboots of TV shows) the original, they made a new Ghostbusters movie and it was a lot of fun. I liked the casting, I liked the set pieces, a bunch of jokes worked. It’s all you can ask for from movies like this. The Blu-ray weirded me out though, a bunch of CGI goes outside of the frame mattes. It’s weird and distracting more than neat. Stop doing that.  


331 10/15 We Are The Flesh (2016) 4/5   Mexican film that can be best described as “Jodorowsky takes a crack as Salo.” Not a horror film in the traditional sense, there’s a never ending sense of dread and by the end I was thinking the characters had created hell. Gorgeous and explicit, it won’t be for everyone. Images from this will be stuck in my brain for a while, and I’m sure being ignorant of Mexican history and culture means I’m missing out on many of the themes tackled.


332 10/16 Psychomania (1973) 2.5/5   British horror biker film, of all things. A gang leader figures out how to return from the dead and convinces his gang to follow him.  It’s not a bad film per say, and I can see how it has a cult following. I just didn’t find it all that interesting despite the gimmick. I can also see how if could have been problematic upon release since the returning from the dead bit is so simple, anyone could do it. I’m not one to cry about filmmakers being irresponsible, but this one could make a case if someone was stupid enough to try.

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333 10/16 House (1985) 3.5/5   Another one from back in the day that I seem to think was stupid but revisiting it I thoroughly enjoyed. A Vietnam vet horror writer returns to his late aunt’s house and encounters things that go bump in the night. It’s played light, but also pretty straight so the tone works in it’s favour as opposed to against it.  


334 10/16 House II: The Second Story (1987) 2.5/5   The sequel tells a brand new story about a guy who moves back into his ancestral house to discover his great grandfather stole an Aztec crystal skull that allows wishes. Played much more lightly than the first one, it simply doesn’t work. I found it tedious.


335 10/16 Wicked Wicked (1976) 2.5/5   The split screen Duo-Vision is unleashed onto the public, and it’s mostly just annoying. Sparingly, dePalma proved that it can be an effective technique. An entire film is split screen though ends up being annoying. Anyways, it’s a third rate thriller that isn’t heightened by the gimmick.


336 10/16 Brain Damage (1988) 4/5   Frank Henenlotter’s follow up to his cult classic Basket Case holds up fantastically. A young man become host to a psychedelic parasite that thrives on brains. It’s silly, but it works with some great, and considering the budget, ambitious effects.

Scary Movie Challenge 2017: Part 3

10 more movies down in the challenge. Another horrible week of real world news to live through. I feel befuddled.


317 10/10 At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964) 3/5   The Coffin Joe myth starts here! Long whispered about, long desired by me, and I have to admit, it’s a bit of a let down. It’s not bad for what it is, more a case of not knowing what to expect. Coffin Joe the character is more of a prick than a macabre genius. The blasphemy I’m guessing plays better in 1960’s Brazil. That said, it’s fun and surprisingly graphic for the era so I’ll give it a three out of five.

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318 10/12 This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967) 4/5   This one was a huge improvement over the last. Coffin Joe still is looking to sire a son in order to achieve immortality. Joe’s main character trait is still mostly that of being a giant prick to everyone, but the film packs in more style and gimmick – including a genuinely brilliant colour sequence- to really put it over the top.

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319 10/12 Get Out (2017) 4/5   I loved this one, a perfect twist on paranoid thrillers. Others better versed than me can comment on a the racial politics. I’ll just say that if you took race out of the picture, it would still be damned fine. As it is, it’s fantastic.


320 10/13 Embodiment of Evil (2008) 3.5/5   40 years after the last picture, Coffin Joe is back and he is NOT messing around. Marins is back in the role and the director’s seat, and the character is still on his mission to have a son. Marins does not hold back though, amplifying the gore and ugliness like you would not expect. It works though, and I have to admit this ended up being a much stronger trilogy than I expected it to be.


321 10/13 Billy The Kid Versus Dracula (1966) 2.5/5   Exactly as advertised. Dracula is buzzing around the old west and ends up preying on Billy’s fiance. It’s ridiculous, John Carradine is awarded no favours as Dracula. It is “Fun-Bad” though, and we discover that while bullets won’t stop a vampire, a gun chucked to the face will drop one cold.


322 10/14 Waxwork (1988) 3.5/5   First time seeing this one since it came out and I know I enjoyed it a lot more than I did before. In my mind most of this era was garbage, but revisiting them I’m enjoying them a bit. There’s nothing really exceptional or scary, they’re just fun little movies. This one uses a wax museum as an excuse to use the exhibits as sketches of other horror tropes. It does it’s job and that’s all it needs to do.


323 10/14 Waxwork II: Lost In time (1992) 2.5/5   All the goodwill earned in the first film is lost on this one. Instead of playing with horror tropes, they attempt to spoof other films (In particular the Evil Dead series) and it makes for a terrible sequel to a film that was fun but no masterpiece in the first place. You’re in trouble when you cast Bruce Campbell is a small role in your comedic horror film and it brings no laughs.


324 10/14 Creepshow 2 (1987) 2.5/5   I’ve just never warmed to this one. It’s not terrible, it’s more a case of none of the stories being as interesting as those in the first one on top of what appears to be a significant budget cut so it doesn’t look that good either. First and last segments are fine for what they are, with THE RAFT being the weakest.


325 10/14 Kong: Skull Island (2017) 3.5/5   I had a little bit of trepidation going into this one after that last Godzilla movie that never wanted to show the monsters. Thankfully, they don’t mess around with this one and they get to the monster stuff quick. It makes for a fun picture and John C. Reilly is a gift to be treasured.


326 10/14 Dark Dreams (1971) 2.5/5   Young newlyweds get a flat tire and knock on the door of a witches coven in this early hardcore effort. Sadly nothing much happens. It manages to be both ambitious and not very good at the same time.