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Recently Watched Horror


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"The Curse of the Werwolf" (1961) one of Hammer films best looking productions.   Oliver Reed gives a memorable performance as the young man doomed to become a monster.   The werewolf make up is the stuff of nightmares.   Terence Fisher directed this gothic fairy tale for adults filled with cruelty, sex, and blood.  I can't wait for the new Scream Factory blu ray

 

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"La Marca del Hombre Lobo" (1968) released in the US as "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror".  Waldermar Daninsky (Paul Naschy) turns into a wolf man for the first time in this moody well done horror film from Spain.   The film lacks the nudity and blood of later movies in the series but it does have  moody Gothic atmosphere.  Naschy does make an athletic powerful monster. There is no Frankenstein in sight but there is thin effeminate vampire who shows up with his sexy wife. to battle the wolfman for the soul of his attractive friends.   You can watch it for free on You Tube in a nice wide screen print but the dialogue is in the original Spanish.

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22 hours ago, jaragon said:

"La Marca del Hombre Lobo" (1968) released in the US as "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror".  Waldermar Daninsky (Paul Naschy) turns into a wolf man for the first time in this moody well done horror film from Spain.   The film lacks the nudity and blood of later movies in the series but it does have  moody Gothic atmosphere.  Naschy does make an athletic powerful monster. There is no Frankenstein in sight but there is thin effeminate vampire who shows up with his sexy wife. to battle the wolfman for the soul of his attractive friends.   You can watch it for free on You Tube in a nice wide screen print but the dialogue is in the original Spanish.

Reading your fine reviews of these films reminded me that I haven't watched a Paul Naschy movie in decades, so I'm going to start looking for them and watch them online.

 

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1 hour ago, Arsan404 said:

Reading your fine reviews of these films reminded me that I haven't watched a Paul Naschy movie in decades, so I'm going to start looking for them and watch them online.

 

I was never a big Naschy fan and his films were badly release in the United States. but after watching them in the great Scream factory sets- one can really appreciate the scope of his talent as writer , director and actor.  On a personal note I spent a lot of Summers in Spain - so many of the locations look familiar

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"Assignment Terror" (1970) ("Los Monstruos del Terror) this one should have really been called "Plan Ten From Outer Space".  Dr Odo Warnoff ( Michael Rennie) is actually an alien from planet Ummo on a mission to invade Earth by reviving classic monsters.  Frankenstein, the Mummy, a Vampire and a Wolfman ( Paul Naschy) .  The movie is a wacky mix of James Bond gagedtry  and old fashion Universal monster mash.  Karin Door a long way from James Bond and Hitchcock plays one of his assistants .  Naschy wrote the action packed script . This is the sort of monster movie one loves when you are a kid but now looks ridiculous but fun.  You can find it on You Tube .

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Lighthouse

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I finally had the chance to see the movie and I wasn't disappointed. Robert Eggers combines myths and madness to horrific results.; the whole movie is a nightmare of isolation and insanity.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are excellent.

I watched it on DVD, and I had to restarted it with Close-Captions because the dialect was at times too thick for to understand.

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The Lodge (2019). I found this to be a tense psychological thriller that leaves you guessing as to where it is going.  Two kids are not happy at all with their father’s new girlfriend.  Neither is the estranged wife.  Why? As played by Riley Keough, the new addition is sweet, thoughtful, considerate.  She’s also the daughter of a religious cult guru who presided over a mass suicide. Years of counseling have helped heal her mental scars.  In fact, she’s the most likeable character. The father is distant and aloof, and the kids are darkly secretive.  With effort, dad talks the kids into staying with her at the family’s isolated lodge during Christmas as a way of bonding, while he goes off to work. Of course, it’s snowy and gloomy, setting up an ideal haunted house movie.  The sound effects, especially, a spine-tingling organ, provided some unnerving jolts.  The ending is well-earned.   

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Room 1408 (2007). John Cusack plays a writer famous for debunking haunted house claims. When he receives a mysterious postcard about the Manhattan-based Dolphin Hotel, and the cursed history of one of its suites, Room 1408, he can’t resist the opportunity spend a night there so he can quash another ghost hoax.  There is much I liked about this horror yarn: the performances of Cusack (the endearing swagger from his 1980s roles on full display), and Samuel L. Jackson as the Mephistophelian hotel manager; the production design; and the ominous use of the Carpenters song We’ve Only Just Begun, which signals the nightmare Room 1408 is about to unleash. A neat twist late in the second act recalibrates the movie, as an overload of special effects was starting to make things redundant.  Room 1408 borrows from The Shining, not surprising in that both are based on books by Stephen King. 

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51 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Room 1408 (2007). John Cusack plays a writer famous for debunking haunted house claims. When he receives a mysterious postcard about the Manhattan-based Dolphin Hotel, and the cursed history of one of its suites, Room 1408, he can’t resist the opportunity spend a night there so he can quash another ghost hoax.  There is much I liked about this horror yarn: the performances of Cusack (the endearing swagger from his 1980s roles on full display), and Samuel L. Jackson as the Mephistophelian hotel manager; the production design; and the ominous use of the Carpenters song We’ve Only Just Begun, which signals the nightmare Room 1408 is about to unleash. A neat twist late in the second act recalibrates the movie, as an overload of special effects was starting to make things redundant.  Room 1408 borrows from The Shining, not surprising in that both are based on books by Stephen King. 

I should perhaps re-watch that. I saw it in the theater when it was new and was disappointed. However, it wasn't as bad as the later Cusack/Jackson/Stephen King adaptation Cell (2016).

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8 hours ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Room 1408 (2007). John Cusack plays a writer famous for debunking haunted house claims. When he receives a mysterious postcard about the Manhattan-based Dolphin Hotel, and the cursed history of one of its suites, Room 1408, he can’t resist the opportunity spend a night there so he can quash another ghost hoax.  There is much I liked about this horror yarn: the performances of Cusack (the endearing swagger from his 1980s roles on full display), and Samuel L. Jackson as the Mephistophelian hotel manager; the production design; and the ominous use of the Carpenters song We’ve Only Just Begun, which signals the nightmare Room 1408 is about to unleash. A neat twist late in the second act recalibrates the movie, as an overload of special effects was starting to make things redundant.  Room 1408 borrows from The Shining, not surprising in that both are based on books by Stephen King. 

Even though I expected the ending, what John Cusak went through in the movie was nightmare.

The John Cusack movie that I really never understood was Identity. I thought I got the story, but then the last scene confused me.

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"Midsommar" (2019) a group of not too bright American college students travel to Sweeden were they fall into a new age cult with a sinister secret.  The film does look great and there are some eerie moments.   But  the movie was not scary- yes there is some disturbing imagery- but seriously if you watch some ritualistic suicide would you not just get up and run?!   

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On 3/22/2020 at 6:16 PM, jaragon said:

"Midsommar" (2019) a group of not too bright American college students travel to Sweeden were they fall into a new age cult with a sinister secret.  The film does look great and there are some eerie moments.   But  the movie was not scary- yes there is some disturbing imagery- but seriously if you watch some ritualistic suicide would you not just get up and run?!   

I didn't like it, either. I has some good scenes, some good images, but I felt the movie didn't deliver. And with those tourists, there were moments when I sided with the cult.

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12 hours ago, Arsan404 said:

I didn't like it, either. I has some good scenes, some good images, but I felt the movie didn't deliver. And with those tourists, there were moments when I sided with the cult.

The more I think about the less sense it makes-  it's suppose to be about a romance gone wrong- but call me sexist but I was on the side of the boyfriend and felt sorry for him at the end. The girl was obviously nuts ( just like her sister) so she fit right into the cult.   The film was never scary or suspenseful.  I hated "Hereditary" but at least that movie had a real sense of dread and some truly horrifying moments. 

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"Abby " (1974) a black exploitation take on "The Exorcist" .  Abby (Carol Speed) is possessed by an African demon and the only one that can save her is William Marshall.  This is an effective low budget horror picture- specially the early scenes. Abby turns into a sexy freak once she is possessed.  Warner Brothers sued the producers because they claimed the film was a copy of "The Exorcist".  The setting and characters are very different. Abby is a woman not a little girl like in the  Blatty novel. But yes there are similar scenes in both films- the demon is first encountered in a foreign land by archeologist.  The movie is available on a very expensive DVD on Amazon but you can watch it on a lousy print on You Tube.

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"A  Study in Terror" (1965) its Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper in this effective horror thriller with some shocking nasty murders.  Great British cast including a young  Judi Dench.  The movie is of course more mystery than horror but it does have a great sense of the dark side of Victorian London- one can easily imagine Mr Hyde or Doria Gray hanging out the shadows.   You can see in a excellent print on You Tube.

 

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"The Secret of Dorian Gray" (1970) also released as "Dorian Gray" might be the sleaziest version of Oscar Wilde's novel about a young man  who sells his soul in order to stay young forever.  Helmut Berger plays the title role with Richard Todd as the painter who creates the infamous portrait.  Herbert Lom gets all the best lines as one of Dorian's bisexual admirers. The movie is sex craze it borders on the pornographic, even before Dorian is corrupted he sleeps with the innocent Sybil Dane here played by Marie Lijedah the star of many soft core porn classics.  Dorian has mostly straight sex with most of the female cast.  The gay sex is kept mostly off camera. The movie has some outrageous 60's fashion. It has that bright Italian giallo look. You can see it on a great print on Amazon prime.

 

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"Cathy's Curse" (1977)  made in Canada cult film about a girl who is possessed by an evil spirit- yeah it sounds like another "The Exorcist" rip off but this one has some really weird moments, cheesy effects and plenty of unintentional laughs.  The movie has been released on a great looking blu ray from Severin.  You get to see both the longer but duller director's cut  and the shorter American release which is a lot more fun.

 

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I watched a couple of newer releases a few days ago.

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Underwater (2020) - Kristen Stewart stars in this deep-sea survival tale. She's part of the crew of a huge drilling station located at the Pacific Ocean's deepest point. One night something goes wrong and the station is catastrophically damaged, killing most of the crew. The handful of survivors band together to try and reach the surface. Their difficulties increase when they are attacked by strange, carnivorous sea creatures. With Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. and Mamoudou Athie.

Much of the running time is taken up with standard deep-sea disaster movie tropes - flooding, loss of oxygen, the dangers of abrupt pressure changes. Things pick up when the creatures arrive, and there's an unexpected development in the last act that almost saves the movie, but too much of the cinematography is dark and murky, and a lot of impact is lost. From what I read after watching the movie, there was a lot of interesting detail cut from the final film (to "pick up the pace") that would have added immensely to my enjoyment.   (6/10)

 

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V.F.W.  (2019) - In a grungy near future, where a new drug has turned the cities into crime-ridden slums, a group of grizzled ex-soldiers gather at the bar (that doubles as a VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] hall) owned by one of them to celebrate a birthday. Unfortunately, a bloodthirsty drug-dealer and his cronies are based across the street, and when their stash goes missing, they send a marauding band of drug-addled psychos to the VFW to look for it, triggering bloody conflict. With Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, and George Wendt as the veterans.

This was produced by Fangoria Films, and was promoted as a horror film, but it's really just an excessively gory action film, similar to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, with a much lesser script. I enjoyed seeing the veteran character actors together, but the dialogue is needlessly crude (and I ain't no prude), the plot developments are silly, and the actions taken by every character range from stupid to just plain unbelievable. This movie somehow garnered rather good reviews (it has an IMDb average score of 6.2 out of 10, and a Metacritic score of 72/100), but I thought it was dumb and boring.   (4/10)

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I watched a couple of newer releases a few days ago.

underwater-A087__1_2_1_rgb.jpg?ssl=1

Underwater (2020) - Kristen Stewart stars in this deep-sea survival tale. She's part of the crew of a huge drilling station located at the Pacific Ocean's deepest point. One night something goes wrong and the station is catastrophically damaged, killing most of the crew. The handful of survivors band together to try and reach the surface. Their difficulties increase when they are attacked by strange, carnivorous sea creatures. With Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. and Mamoudou Athie.

Much of the running time is taken up with standard deep-sea disaster movie tropes - flooding, loss of oxygen, the dangers of abrupt pressure changes. Things pick up when the creatures arrive, and there's an unexpected development in the last act that almost saves the movie, but too much of the cinematography is dark and murky, and a lot of impact is lost. From what I read after watching the movie, there was a lot of interesting detail cut from the final film (to "pick up the pace") that would have added immensely to my enjoyment.   (6/10)

 

vfw-fredsgang-bar-700x379.jpg

V.F.W.  (2019) - In a grungy near future, where a new drug has turned the cities into crime-ridden slums, a group of grizzled ex-soldiers gather at the bar (that doubles as a VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] hall) owned by one of them to celebrate a birthday. Unfortunately, a bloodthirsty drug-dealer and his cronies are based across the street, and when their stash goes missing, they send a marauding band of drug-addled psychos to the VFW to look for it, triggering bloody conflict. With Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, and George Wendt as the veterans.

This was produced by Fangoria Films, and was promoted as a horror film, but it's really just an excessively gory action film, similar to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, with a much lesser script. I enjoyed seeing the veteran character actors together, but the dialogue is needlessly crude (and I ain't no prude), the plot developments are silly, and the actions taken by every character range from stupid to just plain unbelievable. This movie somehow garnered rather good reviews (it has an IMDb average score of 6.2 out of 10, and a Metacritic score of 72/100), but I thought it was dumb and boring.   (4/10)

I really wanted to check out "Underwater" which looks like alien under the sea- but gee couldn't they have come up with a more generic title?

 

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"Graduation Day" (1981) a killer starts murdering the students of a high school track team in this ok slasher.  Christopher George plays the demanding coach and there are some future famous faces among the victims Vanna White, Linnea Quigely and Tom Hintanaus who became the body if Calvin Klein underwear ads.   The various murders are routine and the killer's identity makes as much sense as their motivation.  You can see in on Amazon Prime . 

 

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9 hours ago, jaragon said:

"Graduation Day" (1981) a killer starts murdering the students of a high school track team in this ok slasher.  Christopher George plays the demanding coach and there are some future famous faces among the victims Vanna White, Linnea Quigely and Tom Hintanaus who became the body if Calvin Klein underwear ads.   The various murders are routine and the killer's identity makes as much sense as their motivation.  You can see in on Amazon Prime . 

 

It looks like it's worth a look. Thanks.

 

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"My Bloody Valentine" (1981)  made in Canada slasher about a psycho miner terrorizing a small town by ripping off his victims heart.  The setting and blue collar ambience make if different than  the usual horror film of that period. The young cast is specially convincing and there are some great gory deaths which can now be appreciated in Scream Factory's blu-ray release. The two disk set includes the rate and unrated cut of the movie and the usual superior extras.

 

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"Count Dracula" (1970) Christopher Lee plays the Count in this adaptation which is more faithful to  Bram Stokers classic novel.    Jesus Franco directed with more restrain then usual this atmospheric film which lacks the energy of the Hammer movies.   Herbert Lom is Van Helsing , Klaus Kinski as Renfield  Mariah Rohm as Mina .  Franco does not add lesbianism or gore. You can watch it on Amazon Prime

 

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"The Beast of Bray Road" (2005)based on true events this is an  effective low budget movie about a werewolf like monster terrorizing a small town. You can see it for free on You Tube.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Don't Go In the Woods...Alone!" (1981) may be the most inept slasher ever made.  One is never sure if this is suppose to be a comedy or just bad film making.  A group of obnoxious hikers wonder around a forest getting slaughtered by some deranged mountain man.   There is no story so we never know why the killings are taking place.  The movies has plenty of bloody death scenes but they are thrown in with out reason.  There are a lot of intentional funny scenes- a woman walking around a house coat in the forest but others are of questionable taste like a poor guy hiking in his wheelchair .  The film has been given up a first rate blu ray treatment by Vinegar Syndrome. The print has some stunning Utah locations which could have been put to a better use.  The movie has an annoying musical score which is more reason to scream than any thing on screen.

 

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