Friday, November 15, 2013

Post-Halloween update (Part 2)

Okay, picking right up from where we left off yesterday...

Hey, whaddya know! I'm finishing this off exactly a month from the day I announced I was going to do this one. Completion!


Guillermo Del Toro.

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Hated it.

I did these in random order by impulse of what I felt like seeing most at the time, and this ended up being last, and what a crummy one to go out on.
As if viewing 60 movies wasn't enough of an endurance trial, I had to end it on this.

Like one last punch in the back of the head of running a gauntlet.

Boring, boring, boring.

The closest thing to likable characters where the kid who gets left at the orphanage, and the old man.
And they're a twerp and a cuckold respectively.
Everyone else is a scumbag, a brat, or a doormat.
We don't get inside anyone's heads, we're not given a reason to give a shit.
The core ghost story is predictable from the first few minutes of the movie, then seeing it play out to its inevitable conclusion is a slow crawling slog through mud.
The movie is an hour 45 minutes, and feels like 3 hours.

Sprinkled heavily with pretentious words and images that don't pay off in the story.
Including the source of the fucking title.
(It's an aborted fetus in a jar with a deformation of the spine)

The ghost isn't scary, they use some jump scares, but that's so played out and cheap.
The whole "Paranormal Activity", series is based on jump scares.

Fuck this movie.
I wanted so much to like it, I'd heard such glowing praise.
I want that time back for a better movie, dammit.

Amazon Women On The Moon (1987)

A couple chuckles, but mostly pretty fucking stupid.

I would have loved it at 8 years old, because I could have WRITTEN this fucking thing at 8 years old!
This was the kind of corny humor I was doing back then!
How the fuck did this get greenlit?

Don't garner from my indignant tone that it's angry-bad.
You'll be amused, just...geez, this thing was after "Gremlins", and "Ghostbusters", there's no history/evolution excuse for this to be so corny.

If you're specifically curious about this, fine, see it, but if you more generally want to see a funny 80's movie, see "The Burbs", or "Gremlins", or "Goonies", or "Ghostbusters", or...hell, anything with Bill Murray.
Not this.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Wow, I'm so glad I didn't watch the show.
I mean, I saw some episodes, enough to know I didn't care for it, but man, glad I'm not one of the saps who sat through the whole fucking thing.

I'm sap enough for sitting through the 2 and a half hours of this fucking thing.

You get Laura Palmer down the throat, and up the ass, and in every other hole, and you can't WAIT for her to fucking die already.
What a loathsome ditz of a character.
It's a wonder everybody in the whole town didn't kill her at the same time.
Jumpin' Jayzus.

Another endurance trial.
This should have been a harbinger to everybody of the "don't trust prequels", rule.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

*Wavey hand* Ehhh...

I read a pretentious dissection on to see if I missed anything. 
Not much. I got it all. 

"Blue Velvet", "Wild At Heart", "Dune", and "Elephant Man", are still my favorite Lynch-es. 
This, not so much.

Okay, if you bother with this flick, I'll spoil this, because you need to know it to crack the fucking thing.
The ending is reality, the whole rest of the movie is a fantasy of how Naomi Watts wished it had been, and the whole fantasy is compressed into the moment Watts is fingering herself.

So, when Watts shoves her hands down her panties, and starts huffing and puffing, put on your 4-D glasses.

The Devils (1971)

I dug it.
Shows every disgusting thing the Catholic church did to repress sexuality, and its nasty effects on the human psyche.
Both of the victims, and the perpetrators.
This ought to be shown in schools.

There's a good reason the power elite don't want you to see this.
See it.

Lisztomania (1975)

Loved it!!

Hilarious, raunchy, politically incorrect, it's a blast!
If you love "Tommy", and "Rocky Horror", you've gotta add this to your library.

Whether you like it better than "Tommy", is up to your personal tastes.
Me, I like it better.
Just by a smidge, but still.

The songs are better in "Tommy", I'll give it that, but this tells a more coherent story.
And, IMO, way funnier.

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994)

Said it all here.
I started the list watching toward the end of the Halloween-a-thon.

The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)

Ahhh, this was my antidote movie to fucking "Crash".
What a relief.

Not one of Price's greats, but still pretty damned good.

All the Price Poes are worth a watch.
You can't lose.

Galaxy Of Terror (1981)

Another one I love, love, loved.

Everything about it.
Atmosphere, design, it's just spooky and cool, and I loved the shit out of it.

"1408", "Knightriders", "Slither", "Father's Day", "Lisztomania", and this, I'm absolutely apeshit over.

Might never have seen them if not for this marathon, so I'm grateful.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

A greatest hits album of everything that makes Vincent Price cool.

Avenging a dead wife, plays the organ, says cool lines, invents gadgets and booby traps, creative murders, etc, etc.

*Hops up and down*

Required viewing.

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Not as good as the first, but okay.

The first one ended pretty decisively, so, the beginning of this one is sort of forced, but they have fun with it, and it kind of lets you know with a wink they just wanted another one, and if you bought a ticket, so did you, so who are we fooling.

Madhouse (1974)

I dug it.
Not as much as the Phibes-es, but it's decent.

If you're at all good at Scooby-Doo, or Law & Order, you'll guess who the real killer is pretty quick.

Nice couple of scenes where they even try to psychoanalyze the horror film as an artform.
That was nifty.

Yeah, I'd recommend this one.

House Of The Long Shadows (1983)

Eh, a bit on the tongue-in-cheek cutesy side, bordering on corny at times, but okay.
Just neat to see these old dudes together for one last go-round.

I enjoyed it.

Mark of the Vampire (1935)

Geez, I might almost like this better than "Dracula".

The style is creepier, you've got more bats, and bugs, and just overall weirdness, Browning was upping his game here.

And that's if it had played out to expectation, but there's a twist ending that flips it all upside down that had me chuckling with joy.
Worth a look.

The Return of the Vampire (1944)

Kinda silly.
Lugosi has a talking werewolf as his Renfield, and I had trouble getting past that.
If you accept it as dumb fun, and not scary, it's a hoot.

The Black Sleep (1956)

I didn't expect to like this, but it was actually pretty good.

This is a mix of Haitian Voodoo zombies, and mad scientist brain surgery.

"The Black Sleep", refers to the zombie drug, and the state it puts you in.
The mad scientist uses it as anesthesia for his brain operations.

He also uses it to save the hero from the gallows by faking his death, and then blackmailing him into helping with the surgeries.

His failed surgeries have created disfigured cripples he keeps as monsters in his dungeon.
The hero finds out.
Hi-jinks ensue.

Lugosi is in it, but not much, and as a mute.
Hollywood was shitting on him pretty hard by this time.
A shame.

Good movie though.

The Earth Dies Screaming (1965)

I was hoping to like this a lot more, but it's still pretty good.
I was entertained.

Black and white, cheap as hell, it looks like an old 60's "Dr. Who".

And, sadly, the title is a lie.
The Earth most assuredly does not die screaming.

Everyone killed by the gas quietly passes out, and dies in their sleep.
It's a nice clean euthanasia.
And the victims of the robot death touch get shocked, and make a stunned face.
Nobody screams.
British, you know. Wouldn't be proper.

Marnie (1964)

Loved it.
Come on, it's Hitchcock.

Family Plot (1976)

Finally seen this!
And it's really fucking cool!

Has a John Williams score!

And Karen Black!
*Sad sigh* poor Karen Black. (:-(

Torture Garden (1967) 

Ehhh, it was all right.
Not scary, but fun.

I got it wrong last time, Cushing is the collector with Poe in his collection, and Palance wants to steal him.

The Raven (2012)

I liked it all right, but only worth one watch.

John Cusak was good in it.
He's pretty reliable, I gotta appreciate him more.
So, he's a stand-in for Stephen King in "1408", he's Poe here, now he just has to play Lovecraft to complete the trifecta.

Die, Monster, Die! (1965) 

This was really cool.
And I was right, it was better than "The Curse".
It pretty much had to be.

See "The Dunwich Horror", below for the rest.

The Dunwich Horror (1970) 

So, if you take this, and "Die, Monster, Die", and smoosh them together, you pretty much get "Evil Dead".

"Die, Monster, Die", has women turned into rotting witches, one of them dies and her face melts off, a woman gets attacked by animated plants, Karloff is infected with sprouting glowing green veins like the black veins in ED, and then in "The Dunwich Horror", you've got the Necronomicon, and spells, and an invisible dimensional creature growling as it travels the landscape, physically disrupting its environment, a woman is sexually violated in a dream state on an altar, combine that with the plant thing from DMD, you get the girl raped by trees in ED, yeah, these flicks are ED's parents.
For damned sure.

I still like ED, I'm just saying.
Interesting to see the evolutionary lineage.

The Curse (1987)

Said it all here.

Like I said at "Pumpkinhead II", I was already starting to watch these.

Cast A Deadly Spell (1991)

The longest hour and a half in my life.
I swear, it felt like 5 hours.
Son of a bitch.

Maybe this thing actually has a Lovecraftian curse on it....


Hatchet III (2013)

Said it all here.

Curse Of Chucky (2013)

Came straight to video.
Saw it along with "Hatchet III".

Ehhh....didn't care for it.

Yes, it went back to the style of part 1, like they promised, and that was a mistake.
A big fucking mistake.
I knew it would be.
They should have listened to me.
I'm wicked smaht. ;-)

They just rehashed everything that drove me nuts about the first three, and that had made me glad 4 and 5 were parodies.
No one ever sees Chucky, they blame the protagonist for the killings, everyone's stupid, and dies by their stupid actions, all that shit.
Tiring fucking horror cliches played straight.

But, the ending kind of saved it, with the surprise guests, and the continuity links to "Bride", and "Seed".

Overall, I'd skip it if I were you.

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Y'know what, I'll just link to Hyla's review, that said it all.

I saw it on his recommendation.
I dug it.
Thanks, Hyla.

Wolf Creek (2005)

Yeah, this was actually genuinely creepy, and well done.
I wouldn't watch it again, but it was a good way to spend an afternoon.
I recommend it.

I've got Fangoria on my Facebook feed, and it jogged my memory of this one.
Ditto the next one.

The Visitor (1979) 

Yeah, this is another one I'm apeshit for, and I'm glad I'm ending the entry here.

Dream dimension travel, space-Jesus training bald Padawans, flying saucers, potty-mouthed telekinetic anti-Christ girl, basketball of death, ice skating of death, John Huston as a stand-in Gandalf, a really young Lance Henriksen as part of a creepy conspiracy that wants to breed anti-Christ girl into a race, killer hawk, dated gaming/video technology, this movie has everything.

There's never a boring moment, there's always something gorgeous, hilarious, weird, wtf, awesome, goofy, etc, happening on the screen.
You're never bored.

Absolute masterpiece.
Another "how in the fuck did I not know of this?", movie.

Okay, now, mini updates.

As annotated here....

Soska sisters next project will be "XX", an anthology with multiple female horror directors.

The Lineup will also include Mary Harron ("American Psycho", yay!), and Jennifer Lynch ("Boxing Helena", booo!).

And, from here...

Well, short and sweet of it, Brian Yuzna is doing a sequel to "Society", after all these years.

So, hey, pay attention to that sidebar.
I annotate old posts as far out as a year or so after.
There's a whole separate show you're missing if you don't.

Aaand...that's the end!!! (8-D


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