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Showing posts from August, 2016

Sweets to the Sweet

It was late and I had Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999) on the DVR. I kept going past it on occasion and decided to be rid of it. I hadn't watched it since 2000, a clean sixteen years. Yeah, it wasn't exactly beckoning from memory any sort of longing to return to it. Tony Todd has charisma and real presence regardless of the obvious diminishing returns that came from the passage of time (nine years). No longer is that name or hook so fierce as it was in previous entries. Lost is the atmosphere and Philip Glass score that even enhanced the second film.


Here you have the great granddaughter of Candyman (Donna D'Errico) displaying his paintings in a gallery in LA.  Her gallery showrunner plays up the hook-handed killer mythos, encouraging D'Errico to speak into a mirror and speak the name that should not be spoken. A hired actor scares the shit out of her and the gallery attendees get a kick out of it. The publicity only truly brings Candyman upon all those who associate …
Castles and Fog... or in the case of The Terror (1963), Mausoleums and Fog



My son was really into the movie, so we watched it together. Just astounding how this could be as competently put together as it is! Corman's public domain movie during the Poe era with Karloff working on the cheap and a stiff Jack getting through it. Even Dick Miller couldn't summon the inspiration to care. Sandra Knight is enigmatic if stone faced. It's the sets and atmosphere, even as it was all been torn down, that really hit my G-spot.

Karloff Cannot Die

A Karloff Mad Scientist movie is always welcome on my screen. I've been stuck at home with a current potential problem (mass on the tail of my pancreas could be something or nothing), so for me knowing Karloff is on (Turner Classics doing their Summer of the Stars right now) is especially worthwhile. I can't bring myself to watch his Frankenstein movies (just too soon to October), but "The Man They Could Not Hang" (1939) is just right. These movies really are like manna from heaven. I can't get enough of them. Anyone who complains that "Karloff made the same movie four times" can go watch something else, as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I will agree there was one film after the other churned out as part of studios' B-Movie divisions, made cheap with certain typecast actors hired to lure movie-goers. Everyone has their vice, and I just don't think Karloff mad scientist movies (often he's a widower, with a daughter, who starts out wanting to…

Maniac Cop

The late Robert Z'Dar sure cut a menacing figure in Maniac Cop (1987). It was on in the afternoon the other day, and I hadn't watched it in a while. The score as backdrop for the prisoners who attacked him in prison was quite unnerving. Valiantly defending himself, he was stabbed with a chiv in the back. Maniac Cop threw caution with the wind and allowed him to just withstand anything. Shots directly to the torso and face (cut by the chiv repeatedly in the face along with the stab in the back in prison which would easily kill any normal man, particularly the way he was bleeding out; the coroner reflection has Z'Dar on a table under a blood-soaked sheet, resuscitating him from the brink of death) do not stop him. You can plow into him with a car, too. Oh, and the end has him impaled by a post while driving a police van at full speed, not to mention, the vehicle drives right into the harbor, but the psycho emerges with that damned hand snakily slithering up a post.

I was ta…
Watched V/H/S (2012) for the third time and I can certainly say that it digresses with each viewing. I do think there's the idea, concept, whatever, that is a cool nostalgic tool that appeals to us of the video age. Those of us who dealt with rough recordings/copies of movies both made by us and rented from elsewhere get a bone tossed at us by those who also spent their time experiencing the scratchy, glitchy, video quality, with all the tracking problems and irksome degeneration of the tape. But glasses being able to record a demon obliterating his drunk and horny friends while the wearer tries to flee her advances and a "glitch psycho" picking off teens in the woods (think your tracking problem turned into a phantom who is wicked with a knife (what he is and how he came into existence isn't elaborated) don't quite capitalize exponentially on the concept. In and out appearances of murdered friends of a girl recorded from a previous visit to the woods and what is…

Chilling Visions 2014

This was meant for my imdb user account, but the 1000 word limit wouldn't allow it, so I'll just drop it in full here and try and reduce the review so that it can be accepted.

This is an anthology of unrelated short films all dealing with fears ranging from the inability to move, burial alive, losing your ability to function without assistance, succumbing to derangement which results in cutting yourself, and losing a loved one too soon.

"Ego Death": a narcissistic, womanizing cretin, with a hefty bank
account, drives his "mouthy, nagging" lover out to the desert to rid
himself of a nuisance, returning to his pretty, calm-voiced wife.
Before burying the other woman alive, she laughed up at him, with this
seemingly serving as a type of guilty attachment he can't seem to
shake. Her phantom re-emerges to mock and torment him. Returning to the
scene of the crime when his dinner with the wifey is interrupted by the
"spectre of a bothered conscience"…
Woke up early this morning and watched The Crazies (1973). Of all the scenes I could mention, this one above impacted me the most. To say that things had spiralled out of control would be an understatement. But Lynn Lowry, lit by the sun behind her as it had risen for the day as soldiers in decontamination suits and gas masks surround her, uttering "Oh", collapsing to the ground in a quiet heap certainly spoke volumes about how control was lost. Lowry, what a stunning woman, in this film, after succumbing to the Trixie, is not overtly hostile as much as giggly and childish, walking into the gaggle of soldiers free from any recognition that life for her was coming to an end. The soldiers lost all resolve with anxieties and fears for their own welfare at the forefront.


Fender Bender

Killer Holiday

Like clowns and scarecrows, there just aren't really a whole lot of good amusement park horror movies. Not sure why. You'd think they'd be a bunch of them by now. At any rate, I guess the likes of Tobe Hooper's The Funhouse and Dark Ride (part of After Dark Horrorfest's 8 films to die for 2006) come immediately to mind. Killer Holiday (2013) is a very typical slasher film that doesn't function as an outlier in the slightest. I never felt as I was watching it that those involved weren't totally sold out to the formula as it is. Kids not far from high school commit to the gnarly road trip certain to feature booze and possible sex. Life's a party and this trip was a means for those riding in the RV for a summer to remember...however, of course, things don't go according to plan. While cruising Route 66, the gang finds a fallen sign pointing towards an old amusement park and decide to see what it is all about...big mistake, obviously.

Before even leavin…
I was rather surprised to find Jack-O (1995) available with audio commentary and it was of definite interest particularly because I wanted to know opinion on the nude shower scene with Linnea Quigley and how it seems rather shoehorned into a film that, for the most part, feels rather PG-13. Sure the pumpkin-head killer wields a deadly scythe, the special effects aren’t overtly gory (due to the budget), so the nudity is rather startling (even though it is Quigley, known for her showers naked). Considering at this point she was 37, and she should’ve been quite proud of her body. She looked fantastic. That said, it does feel out of place with the vibe and personality of the overall project. I recommend trying to find the film with the audio commentary as director Latshaw is quite vocal about the shower scene, and how admittedly hated its inclusion. Just the same, it is in the film, strategically placed (or is it sandwiched?) in among one of the film's major developing kill scenes. I …
You know, this third Slumber Party Massacre film surprisingly has received very little notoriety unlike its previous films (the first for its violence and the second for its surreal comic value) despite being absolutely mean-spirited and oftentimes cruel. Maybe it is because of its availability. I don't think it was as accessible as the first and second films. Perhaps it was the fact that the slasher genre (as the 80s ended and 90s began) was fading. Everything about the cover of this box reads "more of the same". By 1990 I think the audience this aimed for were just no longer interested. Well, I think there's always interest in the slasher films of yesterday, especially those less mentioned than the usual suspects. Sequels with familiar franchises and subliminal cover arts are bound to find those interested. The slasher film might fade but always seems to linger on the periphery.

I myself didn't see this film for the first time until 2009. I was not impressed. …

Slumber Party Massacre III

Summer in 1990 should be an ideal time for friends from high school to enjoy a night together with a slumber party, including games, pizza, and talking guys. Too bad a killer decides to ruin the fun!

**

I visit the IMDb Horror message board on occasion to see what buzz might be stirring about particular horror movies and hopefully discover interesting users who might have relatable interests in the genre. I have this private message sent to me telling me that a secret vote was taken among this douchebag and other boarders about how I should leave and blow my opinions out my ass. I kind of laughed because essentially I have just been participating in Top Ten threads with little opinion actually offered. The board, by and large, has become a sad state of affairs with slight glimmers of good trying to free itself from the muck and mire. Obviously I won't allow some crude pimple on the ass of the internet to dictate my visit to a board far from its glory,  which was peaking around 2005 or so. Trolling is the norm over there and some good folks who might still entertain the board are long gone because of the infestation. Oh, and I happened to peek at his profile and it is a puppet acc…