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Showing posts from April, 2014

Dark Stormy Sunday: Night of Dark Shadows (1971)

**/*****

Night of Dark Shadows definitely removes itself from the vampire Barnabas and all that seems to have made the show Dark Shadows such a famous soap with legs still yielding fans today. This film deals with Angelique and her lover Charles Collins, their tawdry history (including her hanging and Charles’ entombment) re-awakened in the memory and dreams of ancestor Quentin (David Selby) after he and his new wife (played by introduced Charlie Angels vet, Kate Jackson) move in to the Collinwood estate. Charles Collins was sleeping with his brother’s wife, and their affair would bring out the worst in the local body living at Collinwood and its surroundings. Brother against brother, and how Angelique came between them are called to remembrance in Quentin’s thoughts. Before long Charles becomes a strong influence over Quentin. Re-incarnation and “ghosts from the past” are what this film is primarily about. Lara Parker’s presence in the film as Angelique replaces the missing Frid (so …

Dark Stormy Sunday: From Beyond the Grave (1974)

****/*****
What better time to watch the underrated Amicus tale, From Beyond the Grave, than during a Thunderstorm Sunday. I purchased the VHS of this film several years ago on Amazon and watched it with great delight. It provides Peter Cushing with yet another novelty "host" part as this creepy antique salesman with customers who either pay him a low payment or outright steal from his shop (a shop located out of sight in a darkened spot away from passing eyes); this is the kind of shop that you would have to stumble upon in order to find it.

One of my favorite tales of the movie is the deliciously macabre "The Gatecrasher" starring David Warner (one of the reasons I was giddy upon my first viewing of this) as the owner of a flat (with nice antiques he has obviously tricked others into selling him cheap) who thinks he fools Cushing into believing an ancient mirror is a knock-off. Well, what this dolt doesn't expect is the spectre living behind the mirror, re-aw…

Haute Tension

Haute Tension has that mixed reputation where some viewers like me found the twist frustrating despite acknowledging its visceral power and blunt force violent punches. The concrete saw scene at the end was one of those moments that makes sense in terms of the “imaginary” killer wielding it while us expecting the “real” killer, C├ęcile de France, to be able to hurriedly, without haste, come speeding from a forest carrying it while it runs is too much for me to accept realistically. There’s this opening introduction to the imaginary killer where he is giving himself a blow job with the decapitated head of a woman…what does this have to do with the real killer? It does tell us that the killer (before the twist) is a sick bastard, but is this the real killer’s fantasy?

I kind of get a general idea as to the manifestation of evil: that filthy, grotesque, ugly, monstrous, consciousless, cold-blooded, dark beast that most of us are successful in keeping caged, with the key far removed. There…

Shutter

A photographer and his college buddies are re-visited by a spirit with a reason for returning from beyond the grave. Will the photographer and his university girlfriend be able to find out who this spirit is and what she wants? Better yet, can they be rid of her and find out why she's restless?

***/*****

The Quiet Earth

A scientist awakens in bed to find everywhere he goes without a single human being, wondering what has happened to the human race. He might just realize that the very research plant he works could be responsible. Will he crack if no human contact is possible?

***½ / *****

The Violent Kind

There are times where a film so frustrates and irritates me, writing much about it seems a chore. Here's a film with "bikers" that are part of a gang that would be eaten alive if confronted with those hellraisers you see on Sons of Anarchy. They are a new generation of kids who wind up not being as tough as they might have thought. The film's hero, Cody, spends so much time getting pummeled, it is hard to take him ever seriously as part of a respected biker gang. Megan is one of those soft cuties who just so happens to have a sister involved in biker gangs, having been raised in the lifestyle. Megan, however, went a different way while her sister (played by a game Tiffany Shepis, who, you guessed it, gets naked for us by film's end; she even goes full frontal) has always been the broad draped around a biker. Cody and Michelle were once an item, but she is now with another biker dude. Shepis winds up possessed by some sort of dark force that comes from a dark voi…

House on Straw Hill

A haughty novelist, with a desire to be free from hangers-on that might want to leech off his supposed fame, hires a typist to help him put his thoughts to paper, unaware she harbors a secret that might just pose him harm.

***/*****

In Fear

“We’re not lost. We’re in a fucking maze.”
Kilairney House Hotel is the location desired by a young couple, Lucy and Tom (Alice Englert & Iain De Caestecker) who were supposed to meet up with friends camping. Instead they wind up driving around in circles, caught in a wilderness labyrinthine hell as a creeper spies on them from within the woods, soon to show up as a “victim” named Max (Allen Leach), supposedly assaulted by the masked assailant who almost carried off Lucy when the couple was at one point stopped. So trapped in a backwoods maze and soon to contend with a cat-and-mouse struggle thanks to a psycho in their midst, Lucy and Tom are suffering that old punishment of “wrong place, wrong time.”

**/½ / *****

The Defilers

Two young men of privilege turn out to be sexual deviants no longer satisfied with voluntary sex, as beach babes where they live freely offer themselves, and take the next step by kidnapping an unwilling victim, holding her hostage, taking advantage of her over a prolonged time.

***/*****

Savaged

A deaf mute, beautiful and independent, heads to California to be with her beloved, but her plans were curtailed by a depraved group, known for killing Apache due to a generational hatred between ancestors on both sides, who not only sexually abuse her but plan to kill her. But what this group doesn't expect is for her to be inhabited by a vengeful spirit with an ax to grind!

**½ / *****
Sometimes we as horror fans (exploitation/rape revenge, etc.) just stumble on films, and they turn out to be a lot of fun. While I plan to write a review for this film tonight, I just had to mention this movie here on the blog and give it my endorsement. Savaged (2013) is able to produce a supernatural rape-revenge flick which is able to not only have a rape victim return to destroy those who tormented her, but this go-around, she is dead and brought back from beyond the grave thanks to a Native American spirit. What this does is allow the heroine to get stabbed or run over by a truck and still keep coming at those hick scumbags. If you can suspend disbelief, this could be an entertaining, gory roller coaster. I'll just say that the heroine kills one dude with a broken piece of pool stick in like two seconds flat.

Return of the Living Dead Part II

In sleepy suburbia, toxins from a canister are released by two punk kids in the neighborhood unleashing the dead from their graves in a nearby cemetery, while also making a few characters (one of those two bullies and two graverobbers) sick through breathing the fumes in (soon turning them into the walking dead as well). Will those still in the area not infected be safe or can they find an exit strategy even though military has removed most of the locals and quarantined the town?

**½ / *****
"Damn kids got no respect for the dead."
Those critical of Vampyres in regards to it being “soft core porn” I can’t quite argue against. Sapphic erotica, Euro-trash, and vampire smut: there are quite a few labels certain to grace Vampyres. Two gorgeous lesbian (or “bisexual”, perhaps, although I think men are mostly victims to supply that other craving they desire: blood) vampyres live in a chateau and hunt male prey that happen to drive into the countryside near their current abode. Because of their seductive qualities, few men are willing to give up what appears to be a night of great sex. They do not know, however, that the women are blood-lusting vamps, so the hunting is mighty happy for these two ladies of the night. I had mentioned that a male “victim” named Murray Brown has this “vampire bite” that, to me, resembled a vagina on his arm. The way the ladies take to the mark with a relish, it was equal parts creepy and yet strangely alluring.

The film’s lady stars—Marianne Morris and Anulka—have remained the vision that …
It isn't until a re-evaluation that certain things sometimes hit me overwhelmingly. I had just watched Case of the Bloody Iris not too long ago, writing a review for it on the blog. But there's just something about Edwige Fenech in All theColorsof the Dark (my favorite role and performance of Fenech) that, for me, stands out among the giallo that featured her. There are times where a woman has the kind of beauty that simply casts a spell on and bewitches me. That's Fenech in Colorsfor me.

Some pics...




A Lizard in a Woman's Skin

A lawyer's wife (and the daughter of an affluent family, with a father quite established in the rule of law) finds herself under suspicion thanks to the murder of a neighbor known for throwing wild parties often featuring lots of booze, sex, nudity, and drugs. As Johnny Law seems nipping at her heels, is this woman innocent with another person the actual killer? Or is she actually the one responsible?*****/*****
Movie blogger that I am, sometimes I go through that exhaustive period where I have a tendency to alternate between several films at one time. Mini-reviews written in Word 2007, with lots of screen caps. I have Fulci's Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Larraz's Vampyres, and this new film with Jigsaw as a warrior against dark forces residing within a certain "hellish abode", Dark House all with half-written thoughts, jotted in paragraphs needing some sort of cohesion. Yeah, those of us who enjoy putting these reviews together I imagine go through this from time to time. Instead of just focusing on one movie at a time, we can't seem to get our acts together. Maybe you will see each film pop up on here eventually. My mind just drifts in waves, with one movie keeping interest just long enough to brush across the shore, whipping back, with another film lifting into a tidal on its way down.

The Unnamable

A college bet and overnight stay concurrently in a notorious house near a college campus place various collegians in a world of harm as the savage and primal creature inside is ready to unleash the beast on anyone she sees.

*** / *****

Mutants

A horrifying mutation has started to take effect on humans with a handful not yet infected trying to deal with the crisis as it ensues. But will anyone be able to escape?

**½ / *****

April Fool's Day 2008

I kind of knew quite quickly as the film got started, I would fucking despise this “remake” (in name only) of April Fool’s Day (1986). We are introduced to rich pricks/bitches holding a “debutante ball” (for Rob Zombie’s Halloween lead, Scout Taylor-Compton), when a former member of the privileged few “beautiful people” returns to see everyone and warn the “belle of the ball” that she should not fall into this class of “misguided wealthy” and lose herself. When someone drugs Milan (Sabrina Aldridge), and she accidentally falls over a railing, crushing into a table on a lower floor below, it produces a scandal that lands the infamous Cartier brother and sister (John Henderson and Taylor Cole; both looking as if they just stepped off the runway of a fashion shoot, and all that is needed is a perfume/cologne to accompany them) in a rather unpleasant light. Those involved in the prank that resulted in the death of Milan on April 1st are invited to her grave one year later. Desiree (Cole) …