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LawrenceA

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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. Night Train Murders (1975) Italy/Dir: Aldo Lado - A pair of young women (Irene Miracle & Laura D'Angelo) are terrorized by two sleazy thugs and a perverse fellow train passenger. Also featuring Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril, Gianfranco De Grassi, Enrico Maria Salerno, and Marina Berti. This sadistic thriller rips off 1972's Last House on the Left quite a bit. It's notorious primarily thanks to a grisly moment of torture that I won't repeat here. I wasn't that impressed with any of it, although an aspect of the ending was mildly surprising. Night Train Murders is the title I've always
  2. The Phantom of the Convent (1934) Mexico/Dir: Fernando de Fuentes - A trio of travelers seek refuge in a forbidding old monastery, where the monks regale them with a scary tale that seems to influence the trio's own behavior. With Enrique del Campo, Marta Roel, and Carlos Villatoro. I enjoyed this one, regarded as the second Mexican horror film. If aspects sound similar to the later Dos Monjes, they were made by the same company, feature a shared writer (Juan Bustillo Oro), and some of the same cast, along with the setting. There were also parts that reminded me of Charles Beaumont's
  3. Dos Monjes/Two Monks (1934) Mexico/Dir: Juan Bustillo Oro - After a violent altercation in a monastery, the two monks involved each explain their motivations, vis flashback. With Victor Urruchua, Carlos Villatoro, and Magda Heller. I see this film listed as "horror" but I wouldn't agree with that categorization. It's a psychological drama that explores madness and guilt. It also uses a Rashomon-style story technique, with conflicting memories that complicate the tale, although the "truth" seems to be settled by the end. The film has a lot of silent movie touches, like German Expression
  4. Thanks! I see that it's on YT, so I saved it to my Watch Later queue.
  5. Impetigore (2019) Indonesia/Dir: Joko Anwar - Supernatural horror tale about a young woman (Tara Basro) and her best friend (Marissa Anita) who travel to a remote village in hopes of claiming an inheritance, only to discover a sinister curse. Also with Ario Bayu, Asmara Abigail, and Christine Hakim. I thought this was excellent, well-crated with evocative cinematography, fascinating locations, and good performances. I was surprised to learn that this was the official Indonesian submission for Best International Film at the Oscars that year. It was nominated for 17 Citra Awards, the Indo
  6. Them (2006) France & Romania/Dir: David Moreau & Xavier Palud - Thriller about a young French couple (Olivia Bonamy & Michael Cohen) living in a rural area outside Bucharest. One night they are terrorized by mysterious strangers. This pre-dates, by a couple of years, the "home invasion" horror boom that began with the release of The Strangers in the U.S. There's very little plot, only an escalating series of encounters and chase taking place over the course of a few hours. Some of worked, some of it didn't. A lot of the film was too dark to tell what exactly I was looking a
  7. Shutter (2004) Thailand/Dir: Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom - Supernatural horror concerning a photographer and his girlfriend being haunted by a vengeful ghost after a hit-and-run accident. This was pretty good, but I wasn't as thrilled with it as many seem to be. Maybe the style is too overdone at this point, as this resembles many of the other "J-horror" type ghost stories of the 2000's. The film was a big hit, and went on to become one of the most widely seen Thai films ever released. It was remade in the US, with poor results, in 2008. (6/10)
  8. Deadly Games (1989) France/Dir: Rene Manzour - Holiday horror as a crazed killer (Patrick Floersheim) dressed as Santa Claus terrorizes an action movie-obsessed boy (Alain Lalanne) and his infirm grandfather (Louis Decreux) in the latter's huge mansion estate. Also starring Brigitte Fossey as the boy's mother. This is an odd movie. The filmmaking is slick, even if the cinematography gets a bit too gauzy, in that particular late 1980's/early 1990's way. The boy dresses up like a miniature Rambo, and he staves off the killer Santa using Home Alone-style tactics. In fact the writer-director
  9. Yeah, Letterboxd lists multiple countries for each film, if applicable. For instance, besides Jordan, Wadjda is also listed for Saudi Arabia (one of only two from there I've seen, the other being The Message), as well as listed under Germany, Netherlands, UAE, and USA. I'd naturally prefer a single nation of origin, but alas. Also, here's a list of countries from which I've not seen any films: Greenland Haiti Belize Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Costa Rica Guyana French Guiana Suriname Bolivia Madagascar
  10. On the Letterboxd website ( letterboxd.com ), if you sign up for a "Pro" membership, you get access to a "Stats" page that includes a world map. If you've logged all the movies you've seen, it will show you what films from each country you've seen. You can also toggle the options to show you all of the movies from each country that you haven't seen. It's not 100% concise, as they include films that were just funded by certain nations, or provided some production facilities (locations, in-country studio, etc.). For example, for Jordan, it says that I've seen 4 films, but they are Under the
  11. Lucille Ball as October Star of the Month. So they're sticking to a horror theme.
  12. No. It's in Indonesian, with English subtitles. At least the version I watched on Shudder was.
  13. The Queen of Black Magic (1981) Indonesia/Dir: Liliek Sudjio - Supernatural revenge tale about a spurned woman (Suzzanna) who is accused of witchcraft by her fellow villagers. After being rescued by a mysterious stranger, she learns actual black magic spells in order to get vengeance against everyone. This was a major hit in its home country, and star Suzzanna achieved cult status. To a western viewer's eyes, the glimpses of Indonesian folk culture are fascinating, while the filmmaking is rather limited in technique and budget. It's entertaining, but also very goofy. It was remade in 20
  14. What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) Italy/Dir: Massimo Dallamano - Giallo mystery set at an English girls' school. When students begin being murdered in gruesome ways, a philandering professor (Fabio Testi) becomes a suspect. He decides to look into the case to clear his name. Also with Karen Baal, Joachim Fuchsberger, Cristina Galbo, and Camille Keaton. The murders are exceptionally grisly, and the mystery a bit trickier than in the usual giallo, with a bit of social messaging in the solution. The cast is good, and the cinematography by Aristide Massaccesi looks nice. Massaccesi was a
  15. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972) Japan/Dir: Shunya Ito - Second entry in the Female Prisoner Scorpion series. Meiko Kaji returns as Matsu, aka "Scorpion", after completing her revenge quest in the previous film. She's back in prison, and the warden swears to break her. However, she escapes with 6 other prisoners, leading the warden and local police on a blood-soaked chase. Highly stylized and light on plot, this won't be for everyone, but I liked it. Meiko has a charismatic presence without having to do much to earn it. It's easy to see why she became a cult favorite to 70's
  16. The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972) Italy/Dir: Giuliano Carnimeo - Standard giallo murder mystery/thriller about a mysterious masked killer stalking beautiful models in a high-rise apartment building. Starring Edwige Fenech (queen of the 70's Italian genre film), and George Hilton as a photographer. There's some enjoyable period atmosphere, but the script is a mess, and none of the performances stand out. Fenech is in various states of undress, as usual. For giallo die-hards only. The original Italian title directly translates to Why Are Those Strange Drops of Blood on Jennifer's Body?!
  17. The Swarm (2020) France/Dir: Just Philippot - Uneven blend of family drama and nature-gone-wrong horror, with a widow (Suliane Brahim) struggling to support her two children by running a farm breeding locusts to be used for food. As she begins to give up hope of ever making a profit, she discovers that the locusts thrive when fed blood, and the more the better, setting in motion an escalating series of horrific events. The performances by Brahim as the mother and Marie Narbonne as her rebellious teenage daughter are good, and the film is well shot. However, the story seems reluctant to g
  18. A Classic Horror Story (2021) Italy/Dir: Roberto De Feo & Paolo Strippoli - A group of strangers carpool in an RV for a trip through the Calabrian countryside, only to fall prey to a mysterious cult. This starts out as another currently-in-vogue entry in the Folk Horror subgenre, and shamelessly parades its cinematic inspirations (The Wicker Man, Midsommar, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), before changing into something else in the final third. I won't go into detail, but I will say that I wasn't a fan, and it undercut some good moments from earlier in the proceedings. (4/10)
  19. The White Sheik (1952) Italy/Dir: Federico Fellini - A young newlywed sneaks away from her husband during their honeymoon in Rome in hopes of meeting her movie star idol (Alberto Sordi). Fellini's first solo feature directing job is enjoyably fun, with many humorous set-pieces and good performances. It's a lot more mainstream than his later films. I don't have much more to say, as I'm sure everyone else has seen this one, but I just got around to it this past weekend after re-subscribing to the Criterion Channel. (7/10)
  20. Yeah, I know my opinion goes against the critical consensus. It's written of ecstatically in multiple film books that I have. But I kind of suspected it would not be my cup of tea. One would be hard pressed to assemble a film that was less appealing to my tastes.
  21. The Mother and the Wh*** (1973) France/Dir: Jean Eustache - An aimless jerk (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is in a terrible relationship with two women (Bernadette Lafont and Francoise Lebrun). My opinion of this differs wildly from the norm. I absolutely loathed this tedious, mind-numbing excursion into pretentious navel-gazing. Everything I hate about French arthouse cinema is exemplified in this torturous exercise in ponderous self-indulgence: uninspired - even ugly - production values (16mm BW cinematography); irritating, occasionally amateurish acting, in service to unappealing and uninterestin
  22. Kandisha (2020) France/Dir: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury - A group of young women, living in poor immigrant housing projects in Paris, summon a vengeful Moroccan spirit known as Kandisha. The girls struggle to find a way to stop the demon, while it goes on a killing spree. Writer-directors Bustillo & Maury were behind the excellent 2007 film Inside, so I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it ended up being too similar to a half dozen other American-made "urban boogeyman" films, with very few surprises along the way. The creature effects are well done, and the multi
  23. Dynasty Warriors (2021) Hong Kong/Dir: Roy Hin Yeung Chow - Historical action/fantasy, based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms stories, and the Japanese video game series. As the Han dynasty loses its grip on China, various factions vie for control. Corrupt general Dong Zhou (Suet Lam) enlists the aid of legendary warrior Lu Bu (Louis Koo) to ensure his rule, while noted young warrior Cao Cao (Kai Wang) gathers his own army. The three brothers-in-arms known as Liu Bei (Tony Yang), Zhang Fei (Justin Cheung), and Guan Yu (Geng Han) try to defeat them all in defense of the people. Also featur
  24. I've seen 62 films from 1929. However, it's been so long since I've seen most of them, I couldn't really comment on the performances definitively. A lot of the films that I ranked highly from that year aren't really acting showcases, either. I'll list the movies that I ranked a 7/10 or higher (excluding shorts), and any performances that I can recall as being noteworthy. Man with a Movie Camera Old and New The Cocoanuts The Mysterious Island (Lionel Barrymore) The Great Gabbo (Erich von Stroheim was fun) The Bishop Murder Case (Basil Rathbone) Where Ea
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