Movie A Day!: Pazuzu Nurses

So the first half of the month has wiped me out. Mum was in hospital for most of it, getting out mid this week. Christmas is cancelled while she recovers, which I’m okay with since I lost my Christmas spirit when I lost my marriage years ago.

Lots of variety this post, but be warned, my Vinegar Syndrome package arrived so it’s filthy and tawdry as well.

Pick-up Poster
462 12/11 Pazuzu (Pick-up) (1975) 3.5/5   A couple of hippy chicks get picked up by a guy in a mobile home, they stuck in the everglades and things get weird. This one is a bit of a mess, but it plays like a weird dream that is utterly captivating.

Orgy at Lil's Place Poster
463 12/11 Orgy At Lil’s Place (1963) 3/5   An old school sexploitation about a girl that heads to New York for fame and fortune and gets hooked up in some sleazy modelling. It’s incredibly chaste by today’s standards and one of those cheapies with a narration. It ends up remarkably charming.

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464 12/12 Two Seconds (1932) 3.5/5   Two seconds is the time the brain remains alive after getting the big jolt in the electric chair and it’s all the time the brain needs to recant Edward G. Robinsons terrible life. Ruined by a woman, Robinson is fantastic in this one, a twisted ball of torn nerves. Them 30’s big city dames were RUTHLESS! Eddy didn’t stand a chance, and you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

The Confession Tapes Poster
465 12/12 The Confession Tapes (2017) 3.5/5  A Netflix series of documentaries on cases where confessions in criminal cases appear to have been coerced as opposed to freely given, resulting in innocents being convicted. The opening two on an RCMP case was an eye opener for this Canadian, but all of them are disturbing for different reasons. Worth a look.

Seeds Poster
466 12/13 Seeds (1968) 3.5/5   I’m new to Andy Milligan, mostly new anyway. This one is restored to its original cut by the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome and it’s an eye opener. What starts as a melodrama with an alcoholic matriarch having a fit that her families coming over for Christmas rolls into a bonkers exposure of the incestuous relationships and demons come out. It’s played at a fever pitch that rolls into horror and is absolutely captivating.

Vapors Poster
467 12/13 Vapors (1965) 4/5   This is the short film debut from Andy Milligan and it’s incredibly wonderful. A gentleman goes to the St. Marks Baths for companionship. It should be tawdry, but instead it’s remarkably tender and heartfelt, more about loneliness than gay sex, and frankly an eye opening progressive work. The Seeds/Vapors blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome is a limited edition, so seek it out.

The Breaking Point Poster
468 12/14 The Breaking Point (1950) 4/5   The great John Garfield takes the lead as a boat captain down on his luck who takes a couple of dodgy jobs to pay the bills. Tight noir gets a little fat in the last half but is so damn good you can easily forgive it. Garfield is mesmerizing and the rest of the cast hold its own. Add in some progressing for the time racial casting and this one is all win.

Ice Cream Man Poster
469 12/14 Ice Cream Man (1995) 2/5   Competent but ultimately dull horror comedy about a killer Ice Cream Man! Clint Howard steals the film as the ice cream man, but it’s not enough. The film isn’t nasty or funny enough to elevate it from the cheap-o direct to video slum it wallows in.

Zodiac Poster
470 12/16 Zodiac (2007) 5/5   Hard to believe that this one is ten years old now. I think it’s David Fincher’s best work. The true story of the Zodiac killing that left San Francisco in fear, it’s dead on with the facts as laid out by Robert Graysmith in his classic book. What sets this apart is how deep it goes, and becomes a study on obsession as much as a crime procedural. Doing so shows the impact of crime touches more than the victims. A must see for crime fans.

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478 12/16 Nasty Nurses (1984) 2.5/5   Adult feature starring Herschel Savage as the lead surgeon of a small hospital finding his life spiralling with his cheating and hospital budgets going out of control. Typically hospital set porn is a lame excuse for nurse outfits and comedy. This one at least tries to have more going on, but doesn’t fully succeed despite the competent cast and production value.

 

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Scary Movie Challenge 2016 Part 4

Last week was the Presidential inauguration and I found it to be such a massive cluster fuck that I totally forgot to post this, the last of my Scary Movie Challenge list.The day that this posts is also the Bell “let’s Talk” day on Twitter, where every tweet using the hashtag  results in a $.05 donation to mental health initiatives. A large part of my mental health coping is watching movies.

I’m not sure if watching this many movies in one month helps your mental heath.

080 10/25 Leviathan (1989) Blu-ray 3/5   If I remember right this one came out the same year as The Abyss and was pretty much completely forgotten. The case claims it’s “Alien underwater!” and it really wants to be that. Sadly it’s just a really well done monster movie. No classic, but worth a watch.

081 10/25 Evilspeak (1981) Blu-ray 3.5/5   This is my favourite of the anti-Satan scare films of the early 80’s. A kid who’s being bullied at military academy finds a Satanic text and starts inputting it into his Apple II, awakening all sorts of evil stuff. Clint Howard is great in the roll of the kid, and the film gets totally nuts. Makes me want to track down Mazes & Monsters, the other great scare film from the era. It was also nice to watch this uncut on Blu-ray. My previous viewing was via a bootleg download that had the scenes cut during the Video Nasties period inserted but sourced from a bad VHS looking copy. Funnily enough, most of the cut footage was the goofy Satanic text on the Apple II as opposed to violence.

082 10/25 Attack of the Puppet People (1958) DVR 2.5/5   If your movie has something to do with people shrinking or growing into giants, odds are that Bert I Gordon is behind it. This one was too goofy to really enjoy. A weirdo doll maker is shrinking people into dolls for companionship. They never really “attack” either, and there’s a drive-in scene that showing Gordon’s The Amazing Colossal Man which is a massively superior film to this one and reminding the audience of that doesn’t help matters.

083 10/26 Cat People (1982) Blu-ray 3/5   It’s not as good as the original, but it’s not the worst thing either. It’s a case of style over substance, and it mostly works. I would rate it higher but it has some pacing issues. Gorgeous soundtrack though.

084 10/26 The Dark Half (1993) Blu-ray 2.5/5   George Romero tackles another Stephen King story and it’s just too much of a good thing. Basic story is a writer decides to “kill off” his more popular pseudonym, only to have the pseidonym manifest and start killing people. It’s not a bad idea, and the book is great. At 2 hours it makes for a plodding movie.

085 10/26 Bereavement (2010) Blu-ray 3/5   I forgot I had watched this one before. Not a bad movie that gets pretty crazy, about a madman that kidnaps a kid. I just found out this is actually a prequel to Malevolence so I guess I should track that one down.

086 10/26 Burnt Offerings (1976) DVR 4/5   This one is supposedly one of Stephen Kings favourite movies and you can certainly see aspects of The Shining in it. A family rents a house for the summer and starts to become affected. This one a really good, mainly due to Oliver Reed being so intense through out. The rest of the cast with Karen Black and Bette Davis were great too, but man Reed is shithouse bonkers in his intensity. Worth it just for Reed’s performance, with the movie being equally interesting.

087 10/27 The Believers (1987) Blu-ray 2.5/5  I had memories of this one being hot stuff and controversial on release but it ends up being a pretty boring thriller. Martin Sheen is a police psychologist who gets mixed up investigating Voodoo crimes in New York. Some neat ideas and fine acting but it never really adds up to much.

088 10/27 Mazes and Monsters (1982) YouTube 2/5   Evilspeak had me craving this one and I should have left it alone. I recall it being great, but it’s just plodding and stupid. Tom Hanks and his friends get way to into Dungeons and Dragons and the result is boring.

089 10/28 Deathrow Gameshow (1987) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Goofy comedy that doesn’t work as a comedy or a horror film where convicts compete for pardons. It’s over the top in 80’s smarm and is more annoying than good.

090 10/28 Nightmare Sisters (1988) Blu-ray 3.5/5   A trio a sorority girls become succubi after playing around with a crystal ball. It’s painfully bad in the acting department, but the trio is played by Scream Queens Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, and they turn into naked succubi which makes it all worthwhile. It ends up being a lot of fun.

091 10/28 Hobgoblins (1988) Blu-ray 2/5   Not as bad as Troll 2 as far as Gremlins rip-offs go, but it ain’t very good. When you can’t do better than Ghoulies as a horror comedy, you know you’re in trouble.

092 10/28 Pretty Maids All In A Row DVR 2/5   Rock Hudson stars in this thriller about a series of high school girl murders. Except the majority of the film is about a high school boy with boner problems. This one is supposed to be a black comedy but it never really worked and worse, felt like it would never end. Written and produced by Gene Roddenberry. Gene’s better in space.

093 10/28 Murder Weapon (1989) Blu 3/5

094 10/29 Deadly Embrace (1989) Blu 2/5   A pair of erotic thrillers, meaning “Skinimax” type fair in which women with big hair really get off on kissing guys bellies. Both star Linnea Quigley with “Murder Weapon” about a pair of mob daughters getting out of an asylum being the better of the two mainly due to how insanely gory it gets in the latter half. “Deadly Embrace” sounded like more of the same but sadly it’s just a mediocre skin flick about a neglected wife who hires a pool boy. It’s boring.

095 10/29 The Exorcist (1973) (Theatrical Cut) Blu-ray 5/5   First time watching the original version in years and it still holds up as one of the greatest films ever made. It’s genuinely spooky, of course, but what’s equally impressive is the craft behind it. The score, sound design, acting, shots, editing, all in perfect harmony.

096 10/29 The Doctor & The Devils (1985) Blu-ray 3.5/5   This one is a retelling of the story of “Burke and Hare” legendary grave robbers turned murderers who sold bodies to the London Medical College. This one was really well done. It’s shot more like a drama as opposed to a comedic horror film that the story usually gets. Really worth checking out.

097 10/29 The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) blu-ray 2.5/5   This one isn’t actually one of the worst films ever made, as it’s routinely championed to be. It is a mess though. Adding a bunch of unnecessary psychic mumbo-jumbo to the story doesn’t help. It’s full of ambition and big ideas, it just never actually works. I think this is at least my 3rd time seeing it, and I have to admit it didn’t drive me crazy like it did previously. That said, why Martin Scorsese thinks it’s so great is still a mystery.

098 10/30 The Exorcist III (1990) Blu-ray 4/5   This is one that I never found that great but really clicked with it on this viewing. George C. Scott takes the role of Detective from the first film, this time investigating the murders of the “Gemini Killer”. This one ditches the psychic stuff and concentrates more on the nature of evil. It’s also hilarious while being scary.

099 10/30 Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) Blu-ray 2.5/5   Better than the Renny Harlin re-shoot, but it still doesn’t work. This one follows the story of Father Merrin that is mentioned in the original film, but they change the entire thing for reasons unknown. It’s interesting, but ends up being too muddled to work.

100 10/30 The Puppet Masters (1994) Blu-ray 3.5/5   Another retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This one switches things up a bit by concentrating on a government agency trying to figure out and contain the invasion. Think “The X-Files” only with Donald Sutherland. It works, though it plays more like an action film that a horror.

101 10/30 Darkman (1990) Blu-ray 4/5   Mix-up the best traits of the Universal Monsters and slam them into a pulpy superhero story and you get another winner from Sam Raimi. Raimi nails this stuff with style and humour and the cast featuring Liam Neeson and Francis McDormand manage to pull this one off.

102 10/30 The Conjuring 2 (2016) Digital 3.5/5   I’m a big fan of the first one so I was looking forward to this one. It’s good, and I found it to be pretty spooky. Only problem is they go too big in the second half so it loses a bit of its charm. That said, it’s still a fun journey.

 

103 10/31 The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976) Youtube 2/5   After hearing about this one for years I finally gave it a watch. I have zero nostalgia for Paul or the 70’s, so my interest was only out of the cult/campy aspects. It’s simply bad. Painful skits, painful jokes, Kiss rock and are hilarious and yeah, it all adds up to being weird. It’s still not any good.

104 10/31 The Initiation (1984) Blu-ray 3/5   The latest from Arrow arrived in my mailbox so I gave it a spin. It’s an okay slasher but nothing special despite one of the most convoluted plots I’ve encountered yet. An amnesiac college girl is being stalked by a killer from her past, only it’s way more complicated.

And that is it. I broke 100 films in the 2016 challenge, the “winner” was 149. Oh well, there’s always next year.