Saturday, June 28, 2014

I decided to have a good ole marathon of horror flicks today. There wasn't really any sort of theme, just watching a bunch of movies today.



I started with an old favorite from 1986, House: Ding Dong, You're Dead. William Katt's facial expressions, a marvelous cast of faces, hideous monsters, a large house that seems to "feed off of fear", devastating memories that haunt the lead hero, wonderfully used music during absurd situations, and plentiful black comedy. You have a pissed off trophy swordfish on a wall, garden tools floating in mid air with an intent to kill Katt, Richard Moll in skeletal form and ragged fatigues chasing around Katt while mocking him for leaving him behind to be tortured by Charlie, ridiculous set dressing for Vietnam that couldn't look less authentic, George Wendt wearing goggles and equipped with a harpoon gun with orders from a half-crazed Katt to kill "a raccoon the size of a St. Bernard", a grotesque squeaky-voiced ghoul that was imitating Kay Lenz and can't seem to stay dead even after being chopped to pieces by an ax and buried in various parts of the backyard by Katt, a severed hand that won't go away until Katt finally flushes it down a toilet, two monsters with large smiley-faces trying to carry away a neighbor's child (a major hubba hubba babe that coerces Katt into taking her child for a babysit) up a fireplace, the house's former owner (Katt's nutty aunt) with warped paintings that leave onlookers quite repulsed, Katt in war fatigues preparing for a monster right out of Evil Dead 2 to exit a room's closet door as he fills the room with cameras and recorders hoping to catch it, and Katt using a remote control to "turn off" the memory of his giggling child. The film, with all the bizarre goodies it provides, still has enough in the story to actually comment on the loss of a child and how it affects parents and their marriage, how Vietnam (or any war for that matter) truly never leaves once a soldier returns home, and the desire of an author to write beyond just what his audience (and employers) prefers/demands. The ability of Katt to conquer a lot of his demons and put to rest the damned house, taking with it the ability to prey on the fears of those who occupy it, the film really covers a lot of emotional ground for what could be considered just an exercise in "fear and giggles". I think you get your money's worth with this film....just don't scrutinize the plot too much because how long the child spends within the house's "otherworldly realm" and still seemingly psychologically okay considering he was kept in a bamboo-cage, held captive by Moll, the corpse does lend itself to criticism.




A splitting head ache from the constant repeated use of “CAROL ANNE!!!!!” and nonsensical plotting, with special effects that do nothing but add an extra layer of bullshit to the ridiculousness on display, really left me just waiting for Poltergeist III to end. The parking garage scene where cars covered in snow chase after Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen with their head lights resembling demon eyes might actually be considered cool although the reasoning behind them makes little sense besides “the spirits are behind manipulation”.

Here’s what lies within this farce that puts the official nail in the coffin of the franchise:


*Cracks in mirrors
* old age makeup on “evil Carol Anne” as this ghoul on the other side of a mirror grabs a hold of “real Carol Anne” and lifts her off her feet
* the “elevator ride to hell” where Skeritt and Allen believe “it’s all over” when they’re given some sort of “spiritual help” from Zelda Rubenstein’s amulet
* a psychiatrist (or, for lack of a better word, “quack”) believing that Carol Anne’s “gift” is causing those around her to experience “mass hypnosis”
* dead meat in a meat locker “barking” at Skerritt and Allen (they become trapped you see) before bubbling water nearly consumes them
* a hole/pool of “spiritual realm” water contains these monstrous hands that reach out to grab Carol Anne, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle, who looks so young, fresh-faced, and pretty), and Donna’s would-be boyfriend pulling them in
* a window to Carol Anne’s room that “growls” at Skerritt as he uses a shovel to try and break it
* the (over)use of the “mirror effect” to establish the continual presence of Kane and other poltergeists
*”lead me into the light”
*Lara Flynn Boyle (the evil version) bursting out of the skeletal, petrified corpse of Tangina (Zelda) after Kane touches the spiritualist on the back rendering her in this grotesque form.
*Kane’s hand hurling a mug at a window hiding a group of analysts studying the methods of Carol Anne’s quack doc with the doctor telling them it was all his patient’s doing.
*Donna’s boyfriend “breaking open her face” revealing to us that neither is the “real deal” confirming that those taken into the “limbo before the light” are still “there.”

I could go on and on. For me, the film is a sad close to a premature career and that Heather O’Rourke’s passing deserved a better send off that this. Sherman has certainly made better than this poor excuse of a sequel to a popular pop culture classic some Anti-Spielberg haters consider undeserved of its status. Whatever fence one is on, I have a hard time believing Poltergeist III would be considered by many as a worthy follow up to the previous film, much less the first film.




Zombies out of a television set murder suburbanites, fueled by fear, playful during their vicious savagery, seem to stay close to a specific area near a house that contained the device that released them from a cheap undead movie called, “Zombie Blood Nightmare.” Yes, this is the plot of The Video Dead, a small-scale, low-budget zombie film set within a certain suburban neighborhood obviously to keep the story (what little there is) around a brother and sister waiting on their parents to return from overseas, and this Texan in their area to retrieve the evil television set that has some sort of supernatural power that allows characters from inside out into the realm of the real. Well, at least the film isn’t the usual zombie film; its story is quite bizarre, to say the least. The zombie makeup is variable, but I did like the “chief” zombie with half its lower jaw gone, upper teeth visible. The bride zombie is clearly used significantly for laughs. At points in the film, the bride zombie leaps from a washing machine to surprise a victim, with that victim’s legs sticking out of that very washing machine not long after and wielding a chainsaw as an arrow protrudes from her chest! There’s a nifty little gag with an iron as it is buried in the head of a zombie who is undaunted and strangles the victim despite the weapon lodged in his forehead. The first human victim is decorated in a grotesque display by the escaped zombies for the two deliverymen, who had mistakenly brought the crate carrying the television set to the wrong house, to open the front door and see. A poodle and a teenage girl die of fright. Mirrors are used as weapons to subdue the zombies (reminding them of what they now are and look like) and if treated without fear and as if welcome, they react without violence, actually accepting invitation warmly! Oh, and if placed in a room unable to free themselves, these zombies will eat each other! The preposterous finale where the television set returns to the film’s heroine while in a hospital is the icing on the cake of this absurd little zombie movie. The use of rock music is rather obtrusive, acting might cause you to either cringe or giggle, and plot developments regarding the zombies, although different from the norm, continue to get more and more laughable as the film reaches its conclusion. I can only imagine this is a cult curiosity certain to have its fans. It’s too strange not to.

//////Below added 8/8/14/////


My favorite scene actually has nothing to do with the zombies, but is once again an example of how absurd the plot to The Video Dead really was. The television set just doesn’t “let out” zombies, one scene has a female seductress (with an odd sultry giggle) encountering the brother of the house (he was smoking dope so this all was like a bad case of laced pot to him), naked, blond, with black-painted nails and a seeming willingness to bed him. However, before he can truly enjoy the benefits from her release from a bad slasher film, she returns to the set (why? I never understood that, but, oh well…) and has her neck sliced by a man dubbing himself as a “garbage man” (he gets rid of human garbage, he says). The guy proceeds to caution the brother, warning him to get rid of the set, using a mirror to keep its realm closed. It is just another bizarre scene among many, but I liked the idea that a seductress could leave one film and engage in a potential sexual tryst with the viewer watching her character…it plays on a fantasy that many of us has. The idea that a willing and able character emerging from a set to provide you with what you so desire…it’s quite compelling to me, at least.
 

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I had a fun dialogue with a young lady I work with about the rather hilarious scenes particularly in romantic comedies and action genre wher...

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"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

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Sbut
Snip. Snip

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Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

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Mrub

Gb

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Lok

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Po

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Ra6

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dawn

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Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

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gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

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clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
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Vyr
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Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
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Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
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Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

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exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

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Ps89

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sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

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wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

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WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

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h1
Look behind you!

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Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
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The h gang

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Frere and dummy

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Alone/dark

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--Alone in the Dark (1982)

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f13

f13
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Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

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.