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Showing posts from August, 2015

And the Horror Genre loses another...

Well, today the genre so many of us love and are devoted to lost another strong personality that meant a great deal to Horror...Wes Craven. From brain cancer. I can recall listening to an audio commentary on the Nightmare on Elm Street film where Craven cracked that perhaps the boiler room building might contribute to their demise one day due to asbestos issues. I am not saying that was what caused the brain cancer that took Wes from us, but it came to mind immediately to me just the same. Certain filmmakers were active during a critical period of my development as a horror fan. I can remember so many instances of cable showing Shocker (a film I admit is loony tunes) and Deadly Friend (a film that is so tonally odd I love it) as a kid. I was nineteen when Scream (1996) became a surprise hit, and I firmly recollect the influence of his Freddy Krueger on us kids. I didn't watch The Hills Have Eyes or Last House on the Left until much later, in my 20s, but I don't deny their pla…

Stage Fright

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The Master's film returns to London. It is important to know, though, that the opening being told to beginning understudy, Eve Gill (Jane Wyman) is from a murder suspect on the lam. In a glamorous co-starring role, Marlene Dietrich is presented by the murder suspect as a theater actress, Mrs. Inwood, who supposedly sets up her actor lover, Robinson (Richard Todd, playing a potentially manipulated patsy), for the murder of her husband (a murder she maybe committed). He is motivated by Inwood to go to her home to retrieve a new dress (her old dress has a stain of her husband's blood), messing up the nearby study to make it all look like a robbery. Soon a maid for Inwood, Nellie Goode (Kay Walsh, turning out to be a deliciously wretched blackmailer), arrives, noticing (from a distance) Robinson in the study, but he flees without her getting a good enough look. Soon he's on the run, deciding to explain his situation to Eve, interrupting her while training on stage with s…
A few clips from the film I watched tonight, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)

Tracy Finds His Dark Side...

29 August 2015 MGM spared no expense for this lavish production of the oft-told Jekyll & Hyde story (it had been filmed with the excellent Frederic March in the lead role(s) in 1931) with Spencer Tracy (uncharacteristically) taking the honors of portraying the memorable scientist experimenting with the notion of separating good and evil so that man could be free from the ill effects of the latter. Instead, the experiment, when reduced to a liquid form in a flask unleashes the scientist's dark side, and as each night continues, as does Hyde's control over Jekyll. Soon Jekyll's life begins to unravel, while Hyde remains an increasingly powerful nuisance, out and about in London to be a rotter, a malcontent, and a fiend. Was it truly worth it? The sets are a feast for the eyes if you love seeing 1887 London brought to life as only Hollywood could do in the 40s. Tracy is a curious casting choice for such a character, but it lead to Marsh achieving the Oscar, something tha…

Stay Alive

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I failed to write about this the other day because I kept thinking to myself, "Does such a worthless movie deserve any sort of energy dedicated to it?" I have hardly felt that way about many movies. I can always find something, anything, that might be worth noting even in terrible movies. Few positives came from me at all a few nights ago when I just numbed my way through it with so little care at all. It is such an insufferably lame premise. Just awful. How could even the most talented among filmmakers get something of quality out of a "video game Elizabeth Bathory character come to life to kill gamers" plot?

Frankie Nunez had his moment in the sun during the Fox run of Malcolm in the Middle but here, the poor kid wears his cap upside down and tries to dress like Hip-Hoppers. Jon Foster, one of the most boring leads imaginable, heads the cast, while Jimmi Simpson (master of the smart-ass wit) and the smokin Sophia Bush (right before she is even better looking i…

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Starting towards the end of August into early September, us horror fans start putting together our lists of films to watch for upcoming October. Summer's end, fall's beginning is exactly what I personally live for. There are those of us who just live for October. I don't think it as much about Halloween day as the entire month. Each day could produce a sleeper horror film perhaps barely mentioned during the year that will get extra attention once October begins. For me, it is returning to the films that truly mean something to me. The Draculas, Frankensteins, Wolfmans, Hammers, Amicuses, etc. are what I live for during October. I rarely watch them sadly (great films like Dracula & Frankenstein really shouldn't relegated to one certain time of the year, but it almost feels like a sin to do otherwise) except during October, but it makes them more special, I believe. Their importance is amplified, and they seem so right, like a cherry on top of the ice cream sundae.

O…

Poor Tommy...from Elephant Boy to Pumpkinhead...