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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I was quite happy to come across KEN RUSSELL'S 1988 LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM, which I believe I saw on cinemax or showtime sometime in the 1990's and have been looking for ever since i watched CRIMES OF PASSION last summer.

numerous sources claim this is a "loose adaptation" of BRAM STOKER'S STORY, it's not, it's actually a DECIDEDLY FAITHFUL ADAPTATION moved cleverly to the present day and stands as a pretty good example of someone taking some odd, outdated material and doing a pretty good job at adapting it into something people today would watch. (I actually listened to the story on AUDIOBOOK several years ago and it is...um, really something.)

HUGH GRANT absolutely seems like a future star and is perfect in a role that would be not the least out of place in a JAMES WHALE HORROR movie, PETER CAPALDI is also terrific- the surprising weak spots for me were the three actresses, while KEN RUSSELL movies have their admitted shortcomings, they often have INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCES from actresses who are fully committed to an astonishing degree (KATHLEEN TURNER in CRIMES OF PASSION comes to mind immediately) that's not present here, the female protagonists are quite weak (although CATHERINE OXENBERG is fetching in her NANA KNICKERS (the BRITISH EQUIVALENT TO GRANNY PANTIES); AMANDA DONOHOE seems willing, but  it seems like she was not offered much in the way of direction (she embaresses herself in a dance scene)

it's still fun and cheeky and highly watchable and there are some great locations (including WAYNE MANOR FROM 1989 BATMAN) and the SCOTTISH EQUIVALENT OF GWAR SHOWS UP IN ONE SCENE!!!!

...at the same time, there are also some moments that feel a tad amateurish (I think RUSSELL was a brilliant mind hampered in later years by SOMETHING...drugs? demons? both..?)

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Great movie,with Amanda Donohoe- a revelation for me then,i saw the movie at the Montreal World film festival in 1988, sort of camp movie by Russell, a must see.

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Hunchback of the Morgue  (1973)  -  7/10

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Spanish horror with Paul Naschy as Wolfgang Gotho, a slow-witted hunchback who works at an Austrian morgue. He's in love with a terminally ill girl (Maria Elena Arpon), the only person who treats him nicely, and when she dies, he snaps and starts killing people. He meets a scientist, Dr. Orla (Alberto Dalbes), who promises to restore the dead girl's life if Gotho will supply the necessary biological materials. With Rosanna Yanni, Victor Barrera/Vic Winner, Kino Pueyo, Angel Menendez, and Maria Perschy. I was expecting a sappy cornball romance, but this movie gets pretty crazy, with outrageous gore and bizarre plot developments. I was especially impressed by Dr. Orla's giant vat of pulsating internal-organ meat. Recommended to those with a taste for Euro-sleaze insanity.

Source: Scream Factory Blu-ray

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Bambi (1942)

A year ago hiking along a nature trail, while crossing a bridge, I looked down upon a thicket and saw in a clearing a deer reaching up to eat some leaves off a branch. I was enchanted by the sight and watched the animal in appreciative silence. After a minute or two I saw a slight rustle in the bushes behind the deer and saw a fawn emerge beside her. I watched these two for several minutes. They saw me too, or, at least the mother did, but, as I remained still and said nothing, they didn't flee. I watched them for several more minutes before they disappeared into the thicket. It was a lovely moment.

Last week I hiked along the same path and, as I approached the same bridge, I thought of those two deer. As I did so I glanced down into that same thicket and there, in a clearing, not more than one hundred yards from where I saw the deer last year, I spotted a stag reaching up to eat some leaves off a branch. After about three minutes he was gone, disappeared into the thick bush around him, and I again felt honoured to have seen one of nature's most beautiful creatures. I even wondered if I might have just seen the same fawn from last year, now a young adult.

In view of that sighting I decided to watch one of Disney's most famous animated features for the first time in years. I had re-viewed both Snow White and Pinocchio within the past year and, to be honest, while I appreciated the animation of both, neither feature film really touched me emotionally and I was, in that respect, a little disappointed.

That was not, I'm pleased to say, the case with Bambi. Disney's lyrical appreciation of nature and the circle of life still enchants through a combination of still impressive animation, music and the anthromorphic characterizations of its central figures.

The fairy tale nature of this presentation, of course, is such that (and I accepted it while it has nothing to do with reality) all the animals in the film are friends with one another. The wise old, if slightly grumpy, owl never swoops down to prey upon any of the forest creatures. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, skunks and, of course, deer all happily intermingle with one another in this forest glade. There is only one enemy in this film, and that is first powerfully conveyed in one of the most effective sequences in the production.

A young Bambi, still discovering the wonders of his wooded world, is startled to see all the deer suddenly fleeing in one direction. An ominous musical score is now building on the film's soundtrack, as a cacophony of crows in flight flee high from the woods.  Not only do the deer flee but the birds and all small animals run away in panic. Bambi is startled and scared, too young to understand what's happening, calling out for his mother who, in turn, is searching for him.

There's a shot of Bambi, painfully vulnerable and alone in the middle of the meadow, as he runs back and forth not knowing what to do, until he is joined by a stag, The Prince of the Forest, to whom all the deer look for guidance. He leads Bambi, now joined by his mother, quickly out of the meadow and towards the woods. As he does so the ominous sounds of the music builds and then suddenly stops. There is silence followed by a rifle shot.

Soon after, now in the safety of the woods, Bambi's mother emerges and looks around, calling out to a still frightened Bambi to join her. "What happened, mother?" he asks, "Why did we all run?"

There is a three second delay, building for full impact, before she replies.

"Man," she answers, "was in the forest."

Bambi has a number of lovely moments, particularly those when as a young fawn he is on spindly legs learning to walk and later playing with his friends. Thumper, a mischievious small rabbit, and Flower, a shy skunk, are his two close friends. The voice characterization, in particular, of Thumper, done by young Peter Behn, is a marvel of childlike innocence and curiosity, adding as much to the characterization of this little rabbit as the animators. When Bambi goes sprawling once again, can anyone forget young Thumper's marvelous "Did the young Prince fall down?" rejoinder to the action?

SPOILER ALERT: Of course, one of the most powerful scenes captured in animation occurs when Bambi's mother is killed. Difficult to imagine many audience members not having to fight the tears when a panicked young Bambi ventures into a winter blizzard calling out in vain for his mother. I wonder, too, how many audience members, based on their own life experiences, may be identifying with the little fawn at this moment.

Heart warming and poignant, charming and sweet, with a simple story about nature that never interferes with the characterizations or flow of the action, Bambi still remains the Disney studio at its most affecting.

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3.5 out of 4

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The Loreley's Grasp  (1973)  -  6/10

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Spanish horror from director Amando de Ossorio (Tombs of the Blind Dead). When a bloodthirsty reptilian creature attacks a German town, Elke (Silvia Tortosa), a teacher at an exclusive all-girls school, hires big-game hunter Sigurd (Tony Kendall) to protect the premises. As all of the students (and some of the faculty) pine over the handsome hero, a mysterious woman named Lorelei (Helga Line) arrives in town. Could she be connected to the horrible monster terrorizing the countryside? With Josefina Jartin, Loreta Tovar, Jose Thelman, Luis Induni, Angel Menendez, and Luis Barboo. The creature effects are laughable, and the gory attacks are undercut by the amateurish craftsmanship, but I liked the unusual story, and the bevy of beauties in the cast certainly didn't hurt. Helga Line was over 40 in this but still looked phenomenal, while Silvia Tortosa is one of the most beautiful women that I've seen in a film in some time. Also released as When the Screaming Stops.

Source: Scream Factory Blu-ray

Helga Line as Lorelei

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Silvia Tortosa as the best looking school teacher in Germany.

loreleysgr20.JPG

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Desert bloom (1986)--- Actually saw this yesterday and rewatched much of Terms of Endearment since then, but just wanted to give a shout out to this neglected film. It's excellent. Annabeth Gish, Jon Voight, Jobeth Williams, and Ellen Barkin are all in rare form in a coming of age tale set in 1950/1951 Last vegas where a girl grapples with a mother who puts on a brave face to mask her pain, a stepfather who alternates between kindness,meanness, and vulnerability, and a provocative aunt. Great period detail.

Sourse: Amazon Prime

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Lawrence, you seem to be having a HORROR-ible day. Is this what you meant yesterday or the day before when you said that you were having a horrible day? I thought you meant you were having a, you know, lousy day.

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Just now, laffite said:

Lawrence, you seem to be having a HORROR-ible day. Is this what you meant yesterday or the day before when you said that you were having a horrible day? I thought you meant you were having a, you know, lousy day.

That was Friday, and it was an actual bad day. I don't want to get into it too much, but I had a sudden death in the family. 

These movies today have been very enjoyable, despite the subject matter and the films' qualities. Or perhaps because of them.

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A Man Called Tiger  (1973)  -  5/10

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Hong Kong martial arts action starring Jimmy Wang Yu as Chin Fu, a Chinese tough guy who travels to Japan to investigate the suspicious death of his father. Chin gets caught up in rival gang wars, joining one gang to battle the other which he feels is responsible for his father's demise. With Kawai Okada, Maria Yi, James Tien, Feng Tien, Yoko Minakaze, Kun Li, and Ying-Chieh Han. Originally conceived as a project for Bruce Lee, this was written and directed by Wei Lo, who had helmed Lee's smash hits The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. Lee decided to make Way of the Dragon/Return of the Dragon instead, a film which shares many story similarities with this one. It was strange seeing Jimmy Wang Yu in a contemporary setting, as I'm used to his historical kung-fu flicks. The pacing is off in this one, but I'm not sure if it's just the script or maybe a case of overzealous editing, possibly for the Western film market.

Source: Shout Factory DVD

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

That was Friday, and it was an actual bad day. I don't want to get into it too much, but I had a sudden death in the family. 

Sorry, I didn't know. Condolences.

 

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Tales That Witness Madness  (1973)  -  5/10

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British horror anthology from director Freddie Francis. At an asylum for the criminally insane, a doctor (Donald Pleasence) presents a colleague (Jack Hawkins) with details on four cases. In the first, a young boy (Russell Lewis) has a tiger as an imaginary friend, only it may be more real than his parents (Georgia Brown, Donald Houston) believe. In the second case, a young man (Peter McEnery) inherits an antique bicycle that sends him back in time. In the third case, a man (Michael Jayston) brings a dead tree home to use as home decor, upsetting his wife (Joan Collins. And in the fourth case, a literary agent (Kim Novak) pays special attention to a new writer (Michael Petrovich). Also featuring Suzy Kendall, Frank Forsyth, Mary Tamm, and Leon Lissek. The short stories range from silly (the tiger one), to pointless (the bicycle one), to just plain stupid (the dead tree one). Novak replaced Rita Hayworth, who walked off the set on the second day of filming. This was Jack Hawkins' final theatrical film role. He'd lost his voicebox to cancer 7 years earlier, but continued to act, either in silent cameo roles, or dubbed by other actors. In this he was dubbed by Charles Grey. 

Source: Olive/Paramount DVD

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7 hours ago, TomJH said:

Bambi (1942)

A year ago hiking along a nature trail, while crossing a bridge, I looked down upon a thicket and saw in a clearing a deer reaching up to eat some leaves off a branch. I was enchanted by the sight and watched the animal in appreciative silence. After a minute or two I saw a slight rustle in the bushes behind the deer and saw a fawn emerge beside her. I watched these two for several minutes. They saw me too, or, at least the mother did, but, as I remained still and said nothing, they didn't flee. I watched them for several more minutes before they disappeared into the thicket. It was a lovely moment.

Last week I hiked along the same path and, as I approached the same bridge, I thought of those two deer. As I did so I glanced down into that same thicket and there, in a clearing, not more than one hundred yards from where I saw the deer last year, I spotted a stag reaching up to eat some leaves off a branch. After about three minutes he was gone, disappeared into the thick bush around him, and I again felt honoured to have seen one of nature's most beautiful creatures. I even wondered if I might have just seen the same fawn from last year, now a young adult.

In view of that sighting I decided to watch one of Disney's most famous animated features for the first time in years. I had re-viewed both Snow White and Pinocchio within the past year and, to be honest, while I appreciated the animation of both, neither feature film really touched me emotionally and I was, in that respect, a little disappointed.

That was not, I'm pleased to say, the case with Bambi. Disney's lyrical appreciation of nature and the circle of life still enchants through a combination of still impressive animation, music and the anthromorphic characterizations of its central figures.

The fairy tale nature of this presentation, of course, is such that (and I accepted it while it has nothing to do with reality) all the animals in the film are friends with one another. The wise old, if slightly grumpy, owl never swoops down to prey upon any of the forest creatures. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, skunks and, of course, deer all happily intermingle with one another in this forest glade. There is only one enemy in this film, and that is first powerfully conveyed in one of the most effective sequences in the production.

A young Bambi, still discovering the wonders of his wooded world, is startled to see all the deer suddenly fleeing in one direction. An ominous musical score is now building on the film's soundtrack, as a cacophony of crows in flight flee high from the woods.  Not only do the deer flee but the birds and all small animals run away in panic. Bambi is startled and scared, too young to understand what's happening, calling out for his mother who, in turn, is searching for him.

There's a shot of Bambi, painfully vulnerable and alone in the middle of the meadow, as he runs back and forth not knowing what to do, until he is joined by a stag, The Prince of the Forest, to whom all the deer look for guidance. He leads Bambi, now joined by his mother, quickly out of the meadow and towards the woods. As he does so the ominous sounds of the music builds and then suddenly stops. There is silence followed by a rifle shot.

Soon after, now in the safety of the woods, Bambi's mother emerges and looks around, calling out to a still frightened Bambi to join her. "What happened, mother?" he asks, "Why did we all run?"

There is a three second delay, building for full impact, before she replies.

"Man," she answers, "was in the forest."

Bambi has a number of lovely moments, particularly those when as a young fawn he is on spindly legs learning to walk and later playing with his friends. Thumper, a mischievious small rabbit, and Flower, a shy skunk, are his two close friends. The voice characterization, in particular, of Thumper, done by young Peter Behn, is a marvel of childlike innocence and curiosity, adding as much to the characterization of this little rabbit as the animators. When Bambi goes sprawling once again, can anyone forget young Thumper's marvelous "Did the young Prince fall down?" rejoinder to the action?

SPOILER ALERT: Of course, one of the most powerful scenes captured in animation occurs when Bambi's mother is killed. Difficult to imagine many audience members not having to fight the tears when a panicked young Bambi ventures into a winter blizzard calling out in vain for his mother. I wonder, too, how many audience members, based on their own life experiences, may be identifying with the little fawn at this moment.

Heart warming and poignant, charming and sweet, with a simple story about nature that never interferes with the characterizations or flow of the action, Bambi still remains the Disney studio at its most affecting.

aHxebzN.png

3.5 out of 4

 

this whole write-up spoke to me

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