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Posts posted by jaragon

  1. On 9/8/2021 at 6:21 PM, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    Well, Wallach -- the runt, least imposing, and least intimidating of the trio -- had to do something to stand out. For my money, he steals the movie from his rugged, iconic co-stars. He, arguably, has the best line in Leone's epic:

    "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

    I agree about Lee Van Cleef. He didn't need dialogue to make an impression, stand out, or call attention to himself.  His steely eyes and accipitrine features were his claim to fame and fortune. But, when he needed to act, he delivered. For me, Van Cleef's best acting was in El Condor. He invested his character (the wily Jaroo) with humor, sensitivity, craftiness, and murderous villainy -- a laudable, multi-dimensional performance.

    As for Eastwood: Meh! I was never a fan and never got his popularity.

    Wallach was he big star name at the time and of course he is better actor. 

  2. "Prey" (2021) 

    is more suspense thriller than horror. A  brobonding  camping trip goes wrong when a group of men are stalked by a hunter.  The first hour has a lot of tension but once the hunter is revealed the film looses steam.  You can see this German made mash up of "Deliverance" and "The Most Dangerous Game" on Netflix

  3. On 9/9/2021 at 6:31 PM, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    Whatta coinkydink! I watched Curse of the Black Widow just a couple of weeks ago.

    TV movies from Dan Curtis Productions are always worth a look, IMO. This chiller had a Kolchak: The Night Stalker vibe, with Anthony Franciosa's P.I. substituting for Darren McGavin's intrepid newspaper reporter-monster hunter.

    Yes, it's formulaic.

    Yes, it's predictable.

    Yes, it's a cookie-cutter, by-the-numbers, assembly line production.

    Yes, it's all been done before by Curtis, BUT . . .

    It's also and above all, entirely entertaining and a whole lotta fun!

    I agree with all your points- yes did you see "The Norliss Tapes" ? That tv movie is very similar in style and tone and has one really terrifying scene. " Curse of the Black Widow" also is a hommage to the original cat people in which a woman's sexual desires unleashes a monster.

  4. "Curse of the Black Widow" (1977)  Anthony Franciosa  stars as  private detective named Mark Higbie is on the trail of a murderer whose mutilated and predominantly male victims are found encased in silken cocoons.  An effective made for TV horror with Patty Duke, Donna Mills, June Lockhart  and June Allyson.  Directed by Dan Curtis.  You can see it on Amazon Prime

    • Like 1
  5. 17 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    Although I'm not a Fulci fan (because I'm not a "gorehound"), a few of his movies are in my movie library, primarily some of his gialli and a couple of his westerns:

    Le Colt Cantarono la Morte e Fu... Tempo di Massacro (AKA Massacre Time)

    Gatto nero (AKA The Black Cat)

    I Quattro dell'Apocalisse (AKA Four of the Apocalypse)

    Il Miele del Diavolo (AKA The Devil's Honey)

    Murderock - Uccide a Passo di Danza  (AKA Murder Rock)

    Non Si  Sevizia un Paperino (AKA Don't Torture a Duckling)

    Una Lucertola con la Pelle di Donna (AKA Lizard in a Woman's Skin, AKA Schizoid)

    Una Sull'altra (AKA One on Top of the Other, AKA Perversion Story )

    Before I delved deeper into Fulci's oeuvre, I had written him off as a crummy hack -- waaaayyy down on the list of Italian horror filmmakers and definitely not in the same league with Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda, or even Antonio Margheriti. But after viewing the flicks on my list, I have softened my attitude about Lucio Fulci. He was a better filmmaker than I initially thought that he was. That Fulci descended into bloody splatter and grue to become "The Godfather of Gore" (his legacy), to me, was unfortunate and a shame.

    Like  I said I like Fulci's horror films like " House by the Cemetery" but this one was really disturbing in it's anti women violence- the murders were staged like rapes- and there is a really bizarre rape by foot scene which is there just to shock. 

  6. I was watching the extended cut of Sergio Leones western epic and started thinking maybe less is more.  I wish I had seen this on the big screen because Leone is a master of  using the wide frame. And yes it's a great film with some classic scenes and spectacular action. But I would have done with less of Eli Wallach's Tuco.   Eastwood is iconic but the actor that really impressed me was Lee Van Cleef that does more by just staring at the screen than Wallach endless hammy jabbering. 


  7. Lucio Fulci's "The New York Ripper"  (1982) is a sleazy and extremely violent thriller about a psycho killer terrorizing New York City.  I prefer his more fantasy oriented horror film . Fulci wants to out do both Brian DePalma and William Friedkin.  There is an emphasis on kinky sex and the murders are photographed like rape scenes.  Fulci can create suspense but here he seems only interested in shocks.  The  plot makes no sense and the final killer reveal seems to come out of left field- the movie ends in a heart breaking final image . If you are into gore and sleazy there is a really good print on Tubi TV.  

  8. "The Brotherhood" (200) vampire frat boys need hot jock blood to satisfy their cravings in David De Coteaus homoerotic classic...


  9. 13 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    Yeah, the look (cinematography and especially the production design) of Crimson Peak is what redeems the rather blah plot for me.

    I've yet to see a Guillermo del Toro movie that totally grabs me (and I haven't seen all of del Toro's movies). I've come to expect "style over substance" when I watch a del Toro flick.

    Another problem that I have with del Toro is his conception of the horror film as a fairy tale. It's his infusion (for me, infection) of a childlike (or, to be nasty about it, childish) sensibility into The Shape of Water that put me off del Toro's "most personal film" and  "old-fashioned love story" (not what I'm looking for in a horror movie).

         " The idea for me is that if the movie connects with you the way I want it to connect with you, you should be experiencing both the horror and the wonder as a child would.
           From a child's point of view. When we're kids, brutality registers differently than when we are adults. Because as adults, we get too used to violence.

    Thus, I shouldn't be surprised that del Toro has ventured into the sandbox of kid's movies. Oh well.

    I digested my "inner child" long, long, long ago. Now that I'm a man, I've given up childish things. Such as a child's sense of "wonder" . . . and, it seems,  Guillermo del Toro movies.

    Yes Del Toro has a fairy tale sensibility when it comes to horror- had done kid's tv shows like "Troll Hunters"

  10. A group of young people fall under the influence of a mysterious creature that lives beneath "Harvest Lake" (2016) This dark erotic fantasy is like a David Lynch film with plenty of nudity and every form of sex- straight, gay, bi and inter species.    A slow moving but strangely beautiful film. You can see it for free on Tubi TV and Amazon prime


  11. 14 hours ago, Arsan404 said:


    I enjoyed Get Out to a certain degree, but I didn't think it was very good. A mixture of horror styles from Hammer to Levin that ultimately didn't gel; even 2AM: The Smiling Man is referenced in the movie.

    Us is pretty bad and doesn't make much sense. The only good thing about it is Lupita Nyong'o's performance; I think she is very good.

    I liked The Shape of Water. Not among his top movies, but it is well directed and Sally Hawkins is excellent in the lead role.  On the other hand, I didn't care much for Crimson Peak.

    I loved the look of "Crimson Peak" but was not crazy about the story which seems to want to be both supernatural and psycho horror.  "Us" might have made sense if he had gone the supernatural route

    • Like 1
  12. 1 minute ago, txfilmfan said:

    Not a horror movie, but more of a thriller, the 2013 French film Stranger by the Lake.  It takes place on a sunny lakeside beach - what could go wrong?

    Would have been rated NC-17 in the U.S. if it had been submitted to the MPAA for rating, due to its sex scenes.

    Review: Stranger by the Lake (2013)

    It's very sexy with lots of nudity- the climax is like  Jason goes Crusing

  13. "The Phone Call" (1989) Michael Sarrazin plays a straight married man who becomes the target of a gay psycho who he meets in sex phone line!  Yes it "Fatal Attraction" meets " The Boys in the Band" and it's as ridiculous as it sounds.   The made in Canada movie plays like a movie of the week- with the Sarrazin's dealing with his friends and co-workers homophobia once they see him getting kissed by the stalker.   You can see the entire extremely dated movie on You Tube.


  14. 17 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    I have not yet seen The Nun. Based on the trailer, it looks appealing. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for the alert!

    The last period horror movie that I saw and liked -- but not as much as I wanted to like it -- was Crimson Peak. I thought that it should have at least gotten an Oscar nod for production design. Instead the motion picture academy gave its "Best Picture" award to another Guillermo del Toro flick, The Shape of Water . . . which I didn't dig.



    I totally agree about "Crimson Peak" one of the most beautiful horror films ever made- should have been nominated for costume and art direction.  Yeah I was not that impressed by "The Shape of Water" either- I mean it was good but not Oscar worthy- DelToro had made better films-"Pan's Labyrinth" and "The Devil Backbone" are more Oscar worthy.  

    • Like 1
  15. 20 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    I never saw the original, and I'll probably skip the remake. I know that Jordan Peele is, I guess, supposed to be the modern "Master of Horror." But, I wasn't all that thrilled by Get Out and Us.

    Although the horror film is my favorite genre, I must admit, in all honesty, lately it isn't. The last horror movie that I ventured outside my residence to actually see in a movie theatre was The Unholy, which I liked but didn't love.

    I prefer "period horror" (particularly Gothic and Victorian horror) to horror movies set in modern/contemporary times. More, I prefer horror movies that are macabre -- rather than sadistic -- and supernatural in tone. I like old-fashioned "monster movies," and I prefer my monsters to be "old school" vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, and creations of mad scientists. I'm not into "slashers" and "torture porn" nor "human" monsters: maniacs, serial killers, terrorists, and psychos . . . unless they are essayed with restraint (by which I mean no explicit, gruesome, "splatter" violence), élan, and theatrical flair by grand masters. I abhor explicit, graphic savagery -- I want to enjoy a movie, not be subjected to an endurance test.

    Being old enough to remember when there were Horror Film Stars ("See the Master of Evil in his last and most shocking role!"), I nostalgically miss the era of the Silver Screen Boogeymen.

    I prefer stories involving adults, preferably educated, cultured, articulate, and above all, mature. Upon seeing "a group of teens . . ." or "college students terrorized by . . ." in a synopsis, I pass.

    Further diminishing my interest in 21st century horror films are the rise of "femme-centric" horror pix and the invasion of the genre by women filmmakers. <_<  Feh!

    Fortunately, I have alternative choices, thanks to home video and Internet streaming services . . . and, of course, TCM.


    I saw the trailer which seem a bit woke to me - which I will not rush out to see it- "Us" was a mess- the final twist made no sense and added more questions than it answered but I thought "Get Out" was good and Mr Peele is obviously a fan on Ira Levin.     Did you see "The Nun" ?  It felt like a period horror film to me

  16. 4 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

    On American soaps there is a modified version used for female characters...she's a schemer, trying to break up a happy home, and she gets her comeuppance by getting scarred (usually burned in a fire). And she has to go through plastic surgery and a period where she atones for her sins.

    They did this with Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk) on As the World Turns in the early 2000s. And more recently, about two years ago on General Hospital with Ava Jerome (Maura West).

    In Batman you have Two Face


  17. 15 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

    Thank you for the explanation. Rather pointless, IMO, for Universal to bother with a remake if it wasn't going to do it right. The phrase "Go heavy or go home!" springs to my mind.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber emphasized the "Angel of Music" angle (and also the romantic theme), which I was, again, surprised is a phrase that appears in Gaston Leroux's novel. Again, too much opera and not enough Phantom for my taste.

    To which TV version are you referring? Is it the one with Burt Lancaster and Charles Dance (as The Phantom)?

    Yes to the one with Charles Dance as The Phantom- which was based on a musical that was planned before the Lloyd Webber  version-  Universal wanted a prestige picture that year and they turned Phantom into an MGM type horror show - more class less horror and if you cast Nelson Eddy he has to sing more than once-


  18. 14 hours ago, TopBilled said:

    Yes, it would be an interesting theme for the programmers to explore if they scheduled a bunch of these kinds of movies back-to-back.

    In the case of the storyline on Emmerdale, actor Michael Parr (who played Ross Barton the victim of the acid attack) said the writers decided to do this because there was a real-life case of someone in England being badly burned by acid in a hate-crime attack. They wanted to raise awareness about these kinds of dangers.

    But I do think they probably drew some inspiration from Phantom of the Opera. Because they were able to have the character of Ross challenge his own vanity and redefine his masculinity due to becoming vulnerable in this way. It was a great storyline and Parr played the hell out of it.

    I think this has been used many times in fiction- how does the character react after the attack- do they go mad and do evil or become better people because of it?

    • Like 1
  19. 1 minute ago, TopBilled said:


    The British soap Emmerdale  did a gangster plot in 2018 where a good looking criminal in his late 20s was set up by an ex-girlfriend who hired someone to throw acid on him during a car robbery. It was meant as a plot device to get the audience to sympathize towards him, despite all his misdeeds.


    They had scenes with him in the hospital where his upper chest, neck and half his face was scarred. And he remained scarred for the whole next year on the show.


    Ultimately they gave Ross Barton a happy ending where a girl fell in love with him not because of how he looked (she had known him when he was attractive, before the acid attack) but she wanted to be with him because he was now tender not so tough and was showing he had a heart. They had a child and left the show together, and we are told they are still living happily ever after.

    You can't blame the girl he still looks good even with the scars,

    • Like 1
  20. 7 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

    There is a 1962 version with Herbert Lom as the Phantom and Heather Sears as Christine. It was made in England and was a co-production where Universal joined creative forces with Hammer. The acting is excellent and it is in color, but it's not the rich vibrant Technicolor of the 1943 version. And nobody can play the Phantom with as much class and intelligence as Claude Rains.

    The British soap Emmerdale  did a gangster plot in 2018 where a good looking criminal in his late 20s was set up by an ex-girlfriend who hired someone to throw acid on him during a car robbery. It was meant as a plot device to get the audience to sympathize towards him, despite all his misdeeds.

    They had scenes with him in the hospital where his upper chest, neck and half his face was scarred. And he remained scarred for the whole next year on the show. Ultimately they gave him a happy ending where a girl fell in love with him not because of how he looked (she had known him when he was attractive, before the acid attack) but she wanted to be with him because he was now tender not so tough and was showing he had a heart. They had a child and left the show together, and we are told they are still living happily ever after.

    Herbert Lom was a good actor but he is not Claude Rains - The Hammer version looks cheap next to the gorgeous  1943 production. I read somewhere that Cary Grant- yes that Cary Grant was interested in doing a Hammer film and that the remake of "Phantom ' was written for him- but I can't imagine what role he would've played?

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