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


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masterofoneinchpunch

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on The Purge. It is a movie I have been interested in since release but for some reason haven't read about it much or just watched it yet. I saw an episode from Rick and Morty that referenced it recently, which further interested me in the movie, haha.

You know I haven't seen any of the "classic" horror films. I am not really sure what to expect either. I recorded The Curse of Frankenstein sometime this Halloween season though.

... Sam Raimi definitely pulled off something special. It is also really fun seeing the foundation of his style, and many scenes that were kind of improved upon and reused in the sequels.

...Its funny to see how he started off as the average terrible horror movie 20 something actor.


The Purge:
 

The Purge has a relatively low IMDB rating and a relatively low rotten tomatoes percentage and some reviews that just trash it like Simon Abrams of rogerebert.com, but in some ways I liked it regardless of its plot issues (and there are plenty if you think about it, though if you read through the forums on IMDB they come up with many that I do not agree with.) My brother calls it a glorified The Twilight Zone episode (he likes it) as it uses an idea and keeps most of the action in a singular place -- the house of James Sandin (Ethan Hawke.) I do think a lot of the complaints on the film have more to do with what was expected of the film versus what the film actually was. They wanted much more violence and would have been happier if the story took place in an inner city.

The strength of the film is in the idea of a purge. In this dystopia a once-a-year happening that is used as a catharsis to weed out your yearly aggressions. Certain weapons can be used (I do wish they went into more details on this during the film) to most people (of course not the politicians) and the results of these yearly rituals are a lower crime-rate. The movie delves into this unfairness as a social-economic tool (obviously having more money means you are better protected, but it hatches some other ideas of thinking you are protected when you are actually not), but it only dips into this area in which I think it could easily have been more philosophical and more attention should have been paid to the dialogue (and pacing.) It has a few subtle points like the Bloody Stranger (the stranger the family protects at the cost of being sieged) having dog-tags (what was his military background.) Part of the problem with this film was that it tried to take a more moderate approach by playing down the middle touching some social and political issues and also trying to be a slasher film.

I actually like the sociopathic Polite Stranger who initiates the siege, somewhat bizarrely but effectively played by Rhys Wakefield. I tend to like calm and calculating antagonists. The Sandin family just happen to get in the way of his fun. He is probably a spoiled society frat boy the rest of year, he just happens to be homicidal for those few hours in his God-given New Founders rights.

The whole last act I could have done without. It was predicable based on dialogue early on (one aspect I was hoping to avoid when I noticed it), though it does add an interesting uneasiness and fits within the themes of the movie. Though that night I would take the advice Stone Cold Steve Austin used to give: Dont Trust Anybody.

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There are a lot of good Hammer horrors like The Curse of Frankenstein.  They have great use of sets and actors.

Edited by masterofoneinchpunch
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Lady Jin Szu-Yi

Thanks for that review Master. Doesn't sound like one I'll watch (but I skip most modern horror anyway. Like almost everything else.)

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I too skip most modern...everything? Lol, but I probably will check out The Purge. Thanks for that masterof1.

 

Yeah I'll watch Curse of the Frankenstein soon and see if I'm up for more Hammer horror after that.

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Lady Jin Szu-Yi

paimeifist, speaking of Hammer Horror: If you like good vs. evil, The Devil Rides Out (a.k.a. The Devil's Bride) is terrific, Christopher Lee plays a rare good guy (it's my favorite performance of his.) It's a little dated in the FX, but fun. 

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Secret Executioner

I always thought The Purge was not up my alley (sounded like another excuse to give us some gratuitious violence ala Saw) and yeah, I guess I was right on that one.

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Hm, it never struck me as a torture film like the Saws or Hostel films. If it is I wouldn't be interested either, but m1ps review doesn't really seem to indicate that. Given the premise I can see how you could expect that though.

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Secret Executioner

Hm, it never struck me as a torture film like the Saws or Hostel films. If it is I wouldn't be interested either, but m1ps review doesn't really seem to indicate that. Given the premise I can see how you could expect that though.

I didn't mean close to Saw due to torture, but because of the gratuitious violence (though I reckon you have some kind of premise leading to that, but it could well lead to debate seeing the violence can go against anyone but your usual handful of priviledged ones).

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Yeah I guess I'm okay with a lot of violence as long as it isn't too graphic (ala the Saw sequels). If something is making me squemish I have no desire to watch it, haha.

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Lady Jin Szu-Yi

If it's violence for the sake of shock and gore, and it does not serve the characters or story, then I skip too.  I pass on a lot of what falls under horror because some veers towards too real for me. I haven't seen Saw or Hostel for these reasons (because there probably could be some nut bag who would do these things to people.) 

 

I cannot watch a lot of things I used to, not just because of the gore but because they're just not what I consider entertainment. Horror, like any other genre, is a means of escape for me. 

 

 

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masterofoneinchpunch

 

I didn't mean close to Saw due to torture, but because of the gratuitious violence (though I reckon you have some kind of premise leading to that, but it could well lead to debate seeing the violence can go against anyone but your usual handful of priviledged ones).

The Purge is not particularly gratuitous (it happens mostly at the end like say Straw Dogs), as I mention in my review many people complained of the slow sections and the build-up. 

I tend to eschew (or dislike because I almost always finish a film I start, not always the same day though :)) misogyny and overly misanthropic films.  I have avoided the "torture porn" films. I watch nowhere near as much newer horror films as I used to.  I do have a rather large collection of earlier horror/suspense films from the beginning of cinema through the 1950s (have improved a lot of the 60s as well.)

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Well I just watched "The Curse of Frankenstein" which would be my first Hammer movie. I liked it a lot. I don't have much to say about it though, it had a really cool feel to it and I liked the sets. The movie was entertaining even though nothing was really going on for most of the run time, Peter Cushings performance kept it entertaining all the way through for me though. Looking forward to seeing more some time.

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Lady Jin Szu-Yi

Glad you liked it. Hammer is a lot like Shaws. Great sets, costumes, atmosphere and some good acting too. Anything with Cushing and Lee is worth seeing at least once. 

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Lady Jin Szu-Yi

Here's two favorites of mine, paimeifist: The Devil Rides Out a.k.a. The Devil's Bride (1968) and The Mummy (1959). 

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I got to see Phantasm: Remastered on Blu-Ray last week. J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot did a good job with the restoration. I'm still waiting for my copy of Phantasm: RaVager the final installment of the series (especially with the death of Angus Scrimm in January)

https://worldfilmgeek.com/2016/12/06/review-phantasm-remastered-19792016/

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Here are some new indie horror films coming out or just came out.

Bonejangles - starring Reggie Bannister (The Phantasm films)

Ice Cream Truck

Devil's Domain

And I don't have a trailer yet, but Francis Ford Coppola's 1963 horror film Dementia 13 has been remade with an October 6 release set from Chiller Films.

 

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Blue Underground has released Amsterdamned on Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack and on Halloween, they will be releasing both The Lift and its 2001 remake Down on Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs. As a Dick Maas fan, I'm planning to get these! (Lionsgate originally released Down as The Shaft, but it will be released under the original title for Blue Underground)

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And the resurrected Vestron Vdeo will be releasing on Halloween an 80's gem of a horror film...Slaughter High on Blu-Ray

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Edited by AlbertV
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Secret Executioner

October's right around the corner, so I'm resurrecting this good old thread.

 

Having a review project I also browsed the thread for past reviews of horror movies I already wrote in here.

Mario Bava's Lisa and the Devil (Italy, 1973) + some words on David Cronenberg's The Brood (USA, 1979), F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (Germany, 1922) and Lisa and the Devil's alternate (as in The Exorcist cash-in) version The House of Exorcism (Italy, 1975) - I don't think I have much to add on those, though I could expand on The Brood a bit.

 

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Germany, 1919) - a classic among classics, still a top film for me.

 

Friday the 13th Part III (USA, 1982), which I had planned to do among other movies from the franchise this year... Weird, but at least I know people won't get mad at me for covering sequels in random order. :coveredlaugh I still say it's a damn good entry in the series, and that theme music is one of the awesomest tracks you'll hear in these movies.

 

Crocodile Fury (HK/Thailand, late 1980s), a Filmark cut-and-splice job (oh boy).

 

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I am aiming to watch as much horror as I can this October. Tomorrow, I plan to start with Crawl and Midsommar. Hopefully, I'll be able to sneak another two or three in since I have the day off.

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I'm going to challenge myself to watch at least one horror film each day this month. Tonight, I'm starting with Frankenstein the 1931 original film.

 

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Secret Executioner

That's the spirit, @Drunken Monk and @AlbertV:BL-4YouDaMan:

 

First review for this month, so let's go get some drinks at... The Monster Club (UK, 1980).

After attacking a man who turned out to be a horror writer (John Carradine) whose work he is fond of, a vampire (Vincent Price) offers to buy him some drinks at his favorite spot, the titular Monster Club. There, the vampire proceeds to tell him stories he thinks the writer could use as inspiration for future books.

  • The first story is about a Shadmock, a monster that results from crosses between various kinds of monsters. The one we have here is an all-around very sweet character, but who has a very destructive power he uses when crossed - something the woman he hired as an help will find out for herself when she rejects him and makes it clear she only took the job out of greed.
  • The second story deals with a vampire adapting the story of his childhood to the big screen, and notably how as a child he was tricked into leading a vampire hunter (Donald Pleasance) to his father.
  • In the third and last story we follow a movie director who gets lost in an eerie old village he thinks would make a perfect set for his future horror film - but the horror may become quite real when he finds the cursed village is inhabited not by humans living in the past, but by ghoules.

 

This one was among the first films I saw as an horror fan. Vincent Price being in it played greatly, as the name was familiar due to the man's work with Alice Cooper. And he is of course really good in this movie, altering between dark and threatening and lighter and more tongue-in-cheek - which is the tone of this anthology film. The framing device of the club allows for some lighter, if not comedic moments with a vampire waiter who suggests drinking tomato juice in order to avoid drawing attention, random conversations between our two main characters who comment on the performers - because you also get musical acts, which makes for an enjoyable soundtrack and interesting visuals, notably with a stripper taking it all off all the way to the bone(s). The club also has some colorful, creative monsters hanging out, it may look a bit cheap at points, but I quite enjoy the looks of these creatures. The waiter also looks quite intimidating at first, but the tomato juice remark and an exchange with Vincent Price on the availability of blood types tonight quickly change your opinion. 

The segments however are much darker and grimer (well two out of three are).

The first one is kind of the old "who's the real monster ?" type of story with a broke couple trying to get rich quick and the woman gets hired and tries to steal some of the potentially expensive monster's old stuff. The monster doesn't seem to mind, and is shown being a very nice guy though some strange occurences may lead one to believe his whistling can have destructive effects, especially when pissed (as the remains of a cat that attacked the birds living in a birdhouse in his garden may indicate). And when his employee lashes out on how ugly and horrible she finds him after he was nice to her... No doubt about it, the greedy couple gets quite a come-uppance. This one has a slow build-up and you really take a liking to the "monster" as you see him be very kind to his birds and always be very nice to the woman, even if she is shown to be more and more nervous and her boyfriend is pushing her to keep going so they can strike it rich.

The second segment with the vampire family stuff is kind of odd. It feels lighter, with the boy being a bit naive about his father going out for "work" and eventually leading the vampire hunters to him. The vampire father is also quite light-hearted, and the twist as to why the hunters failed to kill him sounds like something out of the 1960s Batman series.

The third and last segment has a very eerie atmosphere, as it's mainly set in some old, decayed-looking village. It has strange inhabitants that welcome the rather pricky lead character and who want to make him comfortable. He eventually meets a little girl who explains what's going on here and helps him escape the ghouls thanks to a cross reflecting sunlight in the church. His escape is made harder by the car having been sabotaged but he ends picked up by a police car that may not be what it appears as it ends bringing him back to the village where he finds out who or rather what the two officers really are... Th failed attempts at leaving make the tension escalate and the fight against the ghouls has some instensity as our main character is obviously quite outnumbered and the ghouls are quick and seem to pop out all over the place by this point (after we saw just a few in the previous scenes). The character's escape and his finding a police car randomly passing by and picking him up feel like he got very lucky, but the ending proves it was not the case at all and I found it quite unsettling, even though I kinda expected this rather obvious twist. Maybe the way it's done, all slow and creepy - does help with making the situation even more tense and the reveal go from "saw that coming" to unsettling. I find this kind of slow, creepy, unsettling horror much more efficient on the audience than today's horror where you know some obnoxious jumpscare will come at you if things go too quiet.

 

My call ? Clearly a must-see in my book. The club segments are fun, the stories have a great pace with solid build-up and a good pay-off, they aren't too scary but have atmosphere and tension just in the right amounts and executed as they should - I'd just say as a negative that the second story isn't that memorable. Add a very good cast, some memorable music and a bizarre ending that tries to have some meaning

Spoiler

with the vampire making a speech for the human being to be inducted as a monster due to their ability to come up with ways to destroy their fellow humans in spite of lacking fangs or claws in the first place

, and you get a very entertaining movie that is neither too goofy (for me at least, I've seen reviews complain about that) nor too horrific (some disturbing/shocking visuals pop up but nothing too graphic), just what one needs for a good 90 minute of old-school horror. 

 

Fun fact: this was Roy Ward Baker's last theatrical movie. He would work only on TV material after that. He had been a prolific director since the 1950s, worked a lot on TV in the 1960s - directing episodes of classic shows such as The Avengers, The Saint or The Persuaders! - and was a prolific horror director in the 1970s. His best known theatrical efforts include the classic Titanic-related movie A NIght to remember in 1958, The Vampire Lovers (starring the oh so sensual Ingrid Pitt) in 1970, the anthology film Vault of Horror in 1973 and the 1974 Hammer/Shaw Bros collaboration The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

Edited by Secret Executioner
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Drunken Monk

Today, I’ve watched Midsommar and Child’s Play (remake).

The first film really is a masterpiece. As deep as it is eerie and shocking. I can see why everyone is talking about it. Loved it:

The second film may be the worst remake I have ever seen. Heck, one of worst horror films I’ve seen. It’s abysmal. They took Chucky, a charismatic icon of horror and made him a killer iPhone.

I’m now halfway through the found-footage vampire film, Afflicted. So far, so good.

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Drunken Monk

I don't know how Afflicted fell under my radar. It's one of the best found-footage films I've ever seen. It's like Chronicle but with a horror twist and a million times better. I highly recommend it.

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