Monday, June 9, 2014
Chiller Minis: Episode 50
Not as much a found footage as a dramatic recreation of events that occurred to two paranormal teams investigating this asylum, one a group who work to refute claims and leaning towards the science of electromagnetic energy instead of the spiritual while the second group is a religious bunch believing that an "inhuman" (demon) exists in the place. You have a character (this girl who can "connect" with spirits) at odds with her spiritual boyfriend over placing herself in danger just so he can prove the afterlife exists, a paranormal investigator in awe of the supernatural and this obsession placing her in peril (including receiving some punishment from what appears to be a doctor), and the emergence of talk regarding a child entity and a rapist known for the murders of women who possibly haunts the halls.
While there are scenes which carry the found footage procedure (some first perspective steadicam shots and interviews of those involved in the investigation and authorities on the science and religious sides of paranormal activity), there are just so many instances where camera set ups and shots up close and then at a distance remove the authenticity so Episode 50 basically feels like a movie. And it feels like a rotten movie at that. Some putrid acting especially from the actors who portray the lead Christian of the religious group and the Scottish interviewer who takes part in the investigation. The debates regarding what is real and not real between the buddies of the P.I. don't have much effect because the performances are so stale and reek of desperate attempts at evoking dramatic tension. What makes matters worse is the style and the dull effects of the ghosts (a nurse and this doctor) and the final demon's revealing is a joke. The lead skeptic's sudden embracing of the Lord against the demon leaves much to be desired, particularly asking us to expect him to truly believe as he stares down evil incarnate. I think the the film suffers from just a rather pale, boring presentation. Everything is really serious although what we see can't be taken very seriously. These kinds of films are recognized for the use of a low budget, but Episode 50 doesn't have the talent involved in front of or behind the camera to launch their film creatively anywhere that will interest those who continue to flock to these paranormal horror flicks. A sin in these films is when your location isn't even spooky. There's no turning back when that's the case.
I'm burned out with these films, I believe. I have seen so many of them by this point, they all kind of mesh together. Some have their moments, with a little skill and an imaginative flair on occasion to provoke a response, but Episode 50 is one of those that tries to leech off the success of more successful films. This was a yawner. Even if you love these flicks, I can safely say skipping this one won't be a loss.
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Dracula's Daughter ('36)
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
Mad Love 1935
Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?
Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.
Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.