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It's October baby....Horror flick time!


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1 minute ago, DrNgor said:

I'm always tickled pink by the fact that Mel Novak, a supporting character from Game of Death, gets so much work in low-budget horror and sci-fi films these days.

It's clear he just loves to work. Believe me, he's done more stuff with Dark Infinity, including the wonderfully titled Ebola Rex. He even appeared in a low budget martial arts film, Drifter TKD, in 2008 with No Retreat No Surrender's Ron Pohnel as the lead and writer/director. 

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Drunken Monk

C.H.U.D (1984) - This is absolutely, without exaggeration, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The first hour is a mundane drama about homelessness in America and the last half an hour is a tortuous monster movie with very little gore, tension or entertainment. I can't even say much about this one because there's not much to say. It's simply terrible.

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9 hours ago, Drunken Monk said:

C.H.U.D (1984) - This is absolutely, without exaggeration, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The first hour is a mundane drama about homelessness in America and the last half an hour is a tortuous monster movie with very little gore, tension or entertainment. I can't even say much about this one because there's not much to say. It's simply terrible.

The sequel plays the same scenario as a comedy, which may be even worse, depending on your tolerance for a) horror comedies and b) horror comedies on the heels of a serious original.

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Drunken Monk
9 hours ago, Koravec said:

@Drunken Monk Not ur kind of flick (speaking of Chud) or truly terrible?Kinda made me interested lol.

I felt it was truly terrible. Nothing happens until the last twenty minutes and what does happen feels like something from a badly directed 60's movie rather than an 80's horror. 

I'm a big 80's horror and creature feature guy. And I can tolerate cheesy, bad movies. But this one is just so offensively dull. So, feel free to give it a go but be forewarned!

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Psycho Goreman- had this beside void on my ‘horror to watch’ list (void to rewatch) without realizing they are from the same director until after watching the movie. The horror character in this is just like one of the cenobite inspired ones in Mandy, but just one instead of a squad, though there are several other extra terrestrial species that sit at a meeting table and appear later in the films battle. These creatures are much stranger and goofier looking; one being a giant brain, a white robot lady looking one, a mechanical brown looking one like he just walked off the set of a steampowered giraff stage, etc. 

This a horror comedy, but with the main cast being two sibling children Im not entirely sure what theyre making fun of, kids movies or movies of the 80s even? Really low budget filmmaking and acting alongside incredible creature design (psycho goreman that is, the others mostly silly looking) and a couple very brief amazing flashback scenes told by PG. Not a fan of gore but some of the gore effects shown here seem pretty crazy too. Not quite funny enough to be a comedy not scary enough to be a horror. Seems to have mostly positive reviews but I completely see why others on this forum have talked so poorly about it, Id say its very skippable unless your that interested.

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Jigoku (1960, dir: Nobuo Nakagawa) - Infamous Japanese horror film depicting the Buddhist Hell. The first two thirds is this really weird soap opera: Shiro Shimizu is a young man with a promising career as a scholar and who has just gotten engaged to Kyuhiko, the daughter of one of his professors. Unfortunately, he has a dark secret: he was involved in a hit-and-run (his "friend", Tamura, was driving) and Tamura seems to show up out of nowhere every time Shiro tries to turn himself in to the police. Meanwhile, the victim, a Yakuza leader, has a vengeful mother and his moll on Shiro's tail. The second act gets even more brazen, as Shiro goes to the countryside to visit his dying mother. His dad runs a 1960s Japanese equivalent of a retirement home, which is staffed and frequented by some of the worst people in existence. It looks like there are a lot of people who will have reservation in Hell.

That's where the last third comes in. We get a vision of Hell, which is pretty much as you might expect: people are mutilated, sawn asunder, flayed alive, and then put back together so they can go through it again. Some souls are forced to drink from pools of pus and bodily fluids while others are consigned to crawl across deserts where pools of water disappear once they come in reach. The movie ends ambiguously, with a smidgen of hope for a couple of characters. Come for stylish depiction of the suffering of the damned, stay for totally warped soap opera.

Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968, dir: Hajime Sato) - One of the few horror/sci-fi films produced by Shochiku studios. This was brought to you by Hajime Sato, who also directed the loopy Golden Bat and The Terror Beneath the Sea. This one has a fairly basic premise: an airplane carrying some of the most unlikeable characters committed to film crashes after having a close encounter with a UFO. About nine or ten people survive; one of the survivors is a political assassin who tries to escape the wreckage, only for his body to get taken over by the blob-like inhabitants of flying saucer. He becomes a space vampire and preys on the survivors one by one. This is one of the absolute bleakest and spiritually-oppressive sci-fi films of the 50s-60s era, suggesting that mankind was far too divided to ever stand up to an alien invasion. Imagine if it happened today. It is a far cry from the hopeful sci-fi invasion films--The Mysterians and Battle in Outer Space--that Ishiro Honda directed for Toho. Apparently Hajime Sato was influenced by Mario Bava and it shows in this film, which looks great.

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Black Cat Mansion (1958, dir: Nobuo Nakagawa) - Produced by Shintoho. In a premise similar to My Neighbor Totoro, a doctor moves out of Tokyo with his sick wife to the countryside of Kyushu so she can get away from the smog of the city and breathe some fresh air. And the mansion that they buy to change into his new clinic just happens to be haunted...or so the locals believe. Then an old lady whom only the wife can see starts stalking the place and attacking her. The rational-thinking husband finally visits the priest to learn the history of the place. Notable for having one of the earliest examples of the Spring-Loaded Cat. I like how the framing story is in black and white, but the flashback sequence is in color. There are elements to the story which would later find their way into contemporary J-Horror flicks like Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge.

The Snow Woman (1968, dir: Tokuzo Tanaka) - Produced by Daiei. Two woodcarvers--an old master and his apprentice--are in the forest one winter afternoon looking for the perfect tree to use in a sculpture of a goddess for their village's temple. Later that evening, an intense snow storm forces them to find refuge in a nearby barn. That night, they are visited by the legendary Snow Witch. She freezes the barn and kills the old man, but allows his apprentice, Yosuko, to live on account of his youth and handsome features. The catch is that he must swear to never reveal to anyone that he met her. The same story had also been told in the critically-acclaimed Kwaidan (1964), which was based on the works of Lafcadio Hearn, who spent the last 14 years of his life living in Japan and compiling folklore stories. This story is also the basis of the gargoyle segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990). Music by Akira Ifukube.

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Gemini (1999, dir: Shinya Tsukamoto) - original title: Soseiji - Produced by Sedic/Distributed by Toho. While generally billed as a horror film, this is more of a warped family drama with a few disconcerting elements. Masahiro Motoki plays Yukio, a doctor in Japan circa 1910 who had served during the Russo-Japanese War and now has a promising career before him. He has recently wed Rin (Ryo), a noblewoman who has suffered from amnesia since her home burned down. His world is turned upside down after his parents die under mysterious circumstances. One day, he is assaulted from behind by an unknown assailant and thrown down a well. The assailant reveals himself to be...HIM. What's going on?

Obviously, lots of people in the family household have been keeping secrets, right down to Rin herself. And sometimes keeping secrets of certain magnitudes comes back to haunt you. There is a lot to chew on here. I might venture to say that Gemini is mainly about class warfare. Yukio is something of a eugenics type: he's a doctor, but ascribes to the Scrooge "surplus population" theory of "why fight to keep people alive when you know they're going to die anyway?". Also, "if plagues are born in the slums, won't razing the slums solve the problem at its root?" He's a jerk: an educated and polite jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. Nonetheless, the squalor he endures at the bottom of the well does give him a taste of his own medicine. There is also talk about how savage man is beneath the thin layer of civilization, which comes to the fore at the climax.

The film is hardly violent, nor is it ever scary. It has been called "erotic" by critics, but the multiple sex scenes never show more than bare back. There is a feeling of strangeness hanging over the entire film, though. The scenes in Yukio's household are shot in color, but might as well have been in black and white. Very muted tones, blacks, whites, greys, and dark blues are the order of the day. In contrast, the scenes in the ghetto are shot with vibrant reds and loud opera-esque music that borders on outright camp. I'm sure that those differences may cause some viewers to feel unsettled.

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The Trip (1967)- What an amazing piece of media for its time. Can only imagine how widespread this flick further popularized the use of psychedelics (lsd). I thought this was a very good movie, great visuals and simulates the tripping experience quite accurately. 

Tripping on psychs isnt just a magnitude of colors and dreamlike mental state, (both of which this movie has in spades) but also paranoia, confusion, and bad mental directions. 

The film follows the protagonist weave through all these emotional areas of his trip. Includes a nightmarish chase sequence that permeates throughout the film of a group of reapers (robed cult) running after him through different terrains on horses. At times depicting the robed figures holding a casket. Perhaps the fear of dying or death and rebirth of the protagonist. The film may or may not depict his death as we see him flashing through different mental scenery.

The Wall- Yes, of the biggest prog/space rock band Pink Floyd. Also godfathers of the 60s psych era, but this album cycle and film coming much later of course. 

Another brick in the wall depicts children being processed in a dark factory into a meat grinder having disturbing molded faces. Glimpses of these molded faces flash a couple of other times throughout he movie as well. The rest of the film is a nightmarish orwellian or kafka-esque story of a man’s haunting isolation and grieving through his life starting from the death of his father, to the education system, loss of his wife, then corrupt rise to power. Not a great fan of most of the story, very contrived and I really dont like contrived storylines.

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Recap/Intermission:

The month of October has flown by feels like just yesterday it had just begun. I finally learned how to be paranoid of the dark in my own house again (lol). Also think I started to become slightly addicted to some horror this season. But still only scratched the surface of a few titles I wanted to check out. Yet most of the titles I will want to check out I probably dont even know exist yet.

So the question: Do we extend our horror viewings into November? 🤔

I may want to just start watching other things the second October is over, kinda too soon to say with only a week left for me. 

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Drunken Monk

Shadow in the Cloud (2021) - Not exactly a horror but it is a monster movie. For the first fifty minutes this is an interesting little war thriller with a creature thrown in. At the fifty minute mark it goes SO FAR off the rails it’s insane. It’s like the director starts laughing at the audience and asks us “Can you believe this shit?” Things get sillier and sillier and while it’s obnoxious as hell, it’s also kind of fun. Not a great film but an easy watch if you can forgive its outrageousness.

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Behemoth (2011) - A Sy-Fy original that is basically Dante's Peak, but replace the "big eruption" with the emergence of a ginormous, primordial monster. Obviously, being what it is, you have a smaller cast of Canadian unknowns, limited monster footage, and a insultingly-easy way to defeat the monster, but I didn't think it was all that horrible. The CGI monster was pretty good (both in design and execution), even if the CGI rocks weren't. Not great, but better than a lot of Asylum opuses (or opera).

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Drunken Monk

Willy’s Wonderland (2021) - I’ve been having a poor mental health day today so I decided to go with the film I assumed would be mindless fun. In fact, I didn’t even expect to enjoy it all that much. I’m happy to say I really liked it. It’s totally unapologetic about its insanity and it’s fully committed to being as outlandishly entertaining as possible. Nic Cage plays a silent (he has no lines), energy drink chugging, pinball playing destroyer of demon animatronics and, for some reason, it just works. Not exactly high budget or anything but it pulls off the visuals and everything comes together nicely.

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1 hour ago, Drunken Monk said:

In fact, I didn’t even expect to enjoy it all that much.

My thoughts exactly, just needed something to kill a couple in hours in the theater with and this happening to show on the showtimes list.

Cage is as cool silent and mysterious as Gosling in Drive. And the ending explanation is disturbing along the lines of the character group in the movie Haunt. Were you a huge fan of Mandy too? Probably need to see Color of Space now myself, that a good one?

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Drunken Monk
1 hour ago, Koravec said:

My thoughts exactly, just needed something to kill a couple in hours in the theater with and this happening to show on the showtimes list.

Cage is as cool silent and mysterious as Gosling in Drive. And the ending explanation is disturbing along the lines of the character group in the movie Haunt. Were you a huge fan of Mandy too? Probably need to see Color of Space now myself, that a good one?

I thought Mandy was ok. It didn’t blow me away like it did some people. However, I loved Color Out of Space and think it’s an underrated modern gem.

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)- Eh, its a classic so should mostly speak for itself, if it can considering its bizarre unsettling themes. I dont even know what Id say if I had to. Interested or not, how could I go without crossing this one off the list.

Not as scary as I anticipated, still quite unsettling when you begin to try to process whats happening beyond the absurd nature of it all. You just know what your in for, and can only imagine how gross and gorey it Could get, after the story existing for so long that you anticipate the worst. Because of this the killers are nearly as scary as harry and marv in home alone and the main murderer’s mask is almost scarier without the actual film reference.

The little violence in the ending comes across as slapstick to me, making me laugh a little all the way til the end. Theres something hilarious about that handing the axe to the barely abled geezer to chop the victims head off, then hes not even able to do it anyway. Then the almost scooby doo like chase sequence of the girl going in one door of the semi out the back instead of them just driving off. Then the skin masked killer slips, as if by a banana peel, and gets a small cut into his leg as the chainsaw lands on him. Its funny stuff, and I imagine I probably have a knack for dark humor. However Im sure the sequel takes the absurdity too far even for myself given the extended length of absurd comedy, if Im not just continuing to project my anticipation of these creepy movies.

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Black Cat (Italy, 1981: Lúcio Fulci) - The opening credits state that the story was "freely based" on the eponymous Edgar Allan Poe tale. "Freely based" is an understatement. This is one strange concoction of different ideas, mixing imagery of the original story; communication with the dead; hypnosis a lá Svengali; and even a hint of Robert Chambers's "The Repairer of Reputations." An inspector from Scotland Yard is called into a Scottish town to investigate a rash of bizarre murders. He employs the assistance of an American photographer to help him document the case. Not as gory as Fulci's zombie films, and while a lot of people like Pino Donaggio's score, I thought the melodramatic flourishes deflated some of the tension. You know you're in weird territory when the biggest flaw in the script is the lack of the clarity in the cat's motives.

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DragonClaws
17 hours ago, Koravec said:

However Im sure the sequel takes the absurdity too far even for myself given the extended length of absurd comedy, if Im not just continuing to project my anticipation of these creepy movies.

 

The sequels a full blown over the top black comedy, that sends itself up in a big way. The third one I recall being much more darker and serious. The first thrity minutes of the orignal is the strongest part, after that gets bogged down.

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beyond the black rainbow- After watching mandy I was curious about other works from the director. You can certainly see the colorful and trancelike filmmaking style in its early stages here. I recently realized that such psychedelic sometimes sci fi movies are my favorite types of films. Reason I loved Mandy so much. But these types of movies dont always hit the mark for me. This one fell in that realm of colorful out there flick, but left me disengaged, I felt similarly to the movie neon demon. Im sure Id appreciate it more on a rewatch knowing what Im getting going into it. Its a small scale movie given thats its low budget and only takes place in a lab. The cult leader still makes a great character statement being so instantly questionable and eery, just like in mandy. Would definitely rewatch. Though as of now wouldnt really consider it that great of a movie.

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Drunken Monk

Nightbreed: Director's Cut (1990) - Goddamnit, this film is garbage. Every ten tears I seem to revisit it and dislike it more each time. I appreciate Clive Barker's imagination and eye for horror but Nightbreed is a near plotless slog. It's just scene after scene of "Hey look! A weird monster!" with a side plot about David Cronenberg's serial killer character.
I understand this is a cult classic but it does absolutely nothing for me. It's not shot well enough, it's low on actual horror, it features little gore... There's not much to enjoy. I prefer Barker as a writer, I think.

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3 minutes ago, Drunken Monk said:

Nightbreed: Director's Cut (1990) - Goddamnit, this film is garbage. Every ten tears I seem to revisit it and dislike it more each time. I appreciate Clive Barker's imagination and eye for horror but Nightbreed is a near plotless slog. It's just scene after scene of "Hey look! A weird monster!" with a side plot about David Cronenberg's serial killer character.
I understand this is a cult classic but it does absolutely nothing for me. It's not shot well enough, it's low on actual horror, it features little gore... There's not much to enjoy. I prefer Barker as a writer, I think.

Did you ever watch Ryuhei Kitamura's adaptation of Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train"?

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Drunken Monk
15 minutes ago, DrNgor said:

Did you ever watch Ryuhei Kitamura's adaptation of Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train"?

I did. I actually like it more than most people do. It’s not exactly high brow cinema and the ending doesn’t work at all. But most of it is just a gory cat and mouse chase on a train. I’m down for that.

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14 minutes ago, Drunken Monk said:

I did. I actually like it more than most people do. It’s not exactly high brow cinema and the ending doesn’t work at all. But most of it is just a gory cat and mouse chase on a train. I’m down for that.

It has (to me) both the freakiest neck break and one of the best decapitations in movies.

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