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Showing posts from September, 2013

Black Candles

To be honest, I can’t imagine, besides the director who helmed it (Larraz; Vampyres), that Black Candles (1982) would be of much consequence if it weren’t for the involvement of cult actress Helga Liné as the “hostess” for a couple who happen across her, receiving a place to stay and soon learning of her ties to Satanists. Helga Liné is primarily known for earlier films such as The Blancheville Monster, Nightmare Castle, Horror Express (perhaps her most famous), and Lorelei’s Grasp (my favorite of hers; from Blind Dead series director Ossorio). She’s been in everything…a giallo here, a kremi there, with some haunted house and a loosened curse; there wasn’t a genre Ms. Helga Liné hasn’t starred in. The peblum and spaghetti western both have starred Ms. Helga Liné. Well, erotica is no mystery to her, either.

I Spit on Your Grave 2

Vengeance is mine...Katie is a model hoping to make it in NYC, but she has no idea that an audition that proves unsuccessful when she refuses to pose nude will lead to unimaginable horrors.**½
Like a lot of horror fans, I have been mulling over my "watch lists" for the first days of October. I have even set aside two vacation days about the 23rd and 24th specifically for all day horror marathons coming up next month. It is an exciting time for those of us who try to ridiculously cram as many horror movies as we can in each day, only to burn ourselves out by the third week. The fourth week comes around and a lot of us peeter out on our movie-watching. Many this year will take part in the imdb horror challenge, but I felt that I would take a one-year break from that to just watch movies that I want, not adhere to a specific set of rules. I have plenty of "new horror" (that is old horror I've never seen, along with some recent horrors like Sinister & The Woman in Black I have set aside) set aside for the occasion, this year, but I also plan to return to some films that haven't made the cut in the last two (Argento's Phenomenon will return, …
I realize some are probably tired of horror fans (including myself) bitching about the heavy usage of CGI in "spook" horror these days, but I was already groaning ten minutes into Mama (2013), and it continued throughout the whole damned thing. I will have to really summon the inspiration to give this film a review of any depth because it just kind of left me with this constant gag-reflex. It was a ghost that couldn't look more cartoonish and unrealistic. Something out of a Harry Potter movie (except less impressive or creepy) but less-defined. And all those fucking butterflies. Eegad.

The Lords of Salem

A radio disc jockey--part of a popular late night team--living in Salem, Massachusetts, never emotionally recovers after listening to the music of a vinyl record by a band simply called The Lords. When she begins a mental deterioration, and a historian begins to research her past, there could be a link to the curse of burned-alive witches.
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A Nightmare on Elm Street [2010]

For some inexplicable reason, teens in high school of a particular association (perhaps linked to a preschool where a gardener worked) are being tormented and killed in their dreams by a burn-faced man with razor-knife fingered glove, most of the time in some steaming, flaming boiler room. Will any of them survive?
**

Hostel III

On what was supposed to be a fun bachelor party weekend soon descends into a nightmare when the prospective groom and his best buddies find themselves as potential torture toys for a club of sadists.
**

Kiss of the Damned

Paolo is a writer who falls in love (and vice versa) with an aristocratic vampire, with the two soon having to endure the interference of her returning sister, a wild child with no filter on her vampirism.
***

Cruelty - Black Rose Torture

Huntress -- Spirit of the Night

In 1996, I remember watching Huntress (1995) late one night after renting it on VHS. I followed Full Moon since Band first started releasing films from the company on VHS in the early 90s. Huntress wasn't a film I expected...of course, I'm not sure what to expect. It certainly left its impression...or Jenna Bodnar sure did. This is the kind of role that separates all those other softcore outings she participated in. She was just another softcore babe bedding partners; in Huntress, she has the realm of horror/fantasy to strike her seductive pose. And, Bodnar is all in.

Something Weird About Kidnapped Co-ed

I am quite a fan of films that are off beat and feature characters not so easy relatable, having personalities that conceal a great deal, either saying little to nothing at all, not mincing words. Eddie’s an ass upon first evaluation. He smokes away, tosses off the occasional joke (that only amuses him) waves his gun around like some prop that gives him a bit of control, and stages the whole kidnapping plot of the film with a full confidence that his plans will produce dividends. Sandra keeps to herself, almost a mute, seemingly internalizing how she’ll escape. When will that opening come?

A Word from Dr. Arboria

Femina ridens--Scenes that I Love

There's a scene in Paul Schrader's remake of Cat People (released in '82) that I consider one of my top sexiest scenes. To me, it was all in the presentation and the power of true sensuality. Nastassja Kinski is ready to forgo it all--a curse that would turn her into a panther and threaten lives, including perhaps her lover's--so she could bed with John Heard and embrace the desire her character felt so strongly. Articles of clothing up the stairs, like little bread crumbs leading the way, allow Heard to follow his path to a nice surprise. There's a scene later in the film where the two truly take all the necessary precautions to ensure their sexual encounter would not be compromised.

Beyond the Black Rainbow --

Aesthetics are thrown around all the time when we talk about how a film captures our attention in a way where we stare at a screen, caught in the grip of a visual artistry that was painstaking presented by the filmmakers involved hoping to hold us under the spell. I know I sure as hell have used aesthetics quite a bit because it is the go to word to describe a film that totally won me over. “Beyond the Black Rainbow” had me positively excited as Ti West’s “House of the Devil” did so many 80s lovin’ horror fans a couple years ago. It is one of those 80s cult sci-fi oddities made around 2010 that magnificently mimics its influences while also going in its own direction. It doesn’t just want to pay homage to past influences (for me, it seemed aesthetically closer to Robert Wise’s Andromeda Strain, Logan’s Run, or 2001 than perhaps films from the 80s; it’s cult tone, though, reminds me of Cronenberg) but has its own story to tell.

The Colony

I guess I'm just a sucker for anything that remotely reminds me of John Carpenter's The Thing. This doesn't really resemble The Thing in any significant way. A group of survivors in a world now defeated by the continual falling of snow try to make the most of their dilemma. I would have to say this is closer to something like 30 Days of Night than The Thing. I also thought of the rather mediocre, forgettable Whiteout (dealing with Arctic conditions at an enclosed place) , except those dealing with the terror of The Colony are these rabid vampire like human monsters on the rampage. I can already envision yawning upon immediate impact of the very description I laid out. When we get long shots of cityscapes (and a bridge) now buried under the snowfall, The Day After Tomorrow come to mind. In earnest, to me The Colony is a basic assemblage of ideas, both visually and literary, seen in the past. If there had been some imaginative touches that separated it from movies it seems t…