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Nemoide
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Nemoide Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:28 pm

There are so many horror games I haven't played... my excuse is that I very easily get THE JIBBLIES. I really want to start the Silent Hill series at some point soon though.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier I've been sick with a cold, which has given me extra time to watch stuff! MINI-REVIEWS AHOY!

First Beetlejuice the Broadway musical! I had plans to see this Sunday and was still feeling healthy that morning so I went into NYC with a friend to see it! I started getting sniffly halfway through, but it wasn't enough to impact the show. Let me tell you: it was GREAT. Beetlejuice has a lot of nostalgic power over me: I loved the cartoon as a kid and a Beetlejuice action figure was one of my favorite toys when I was little. I saw the movie when I was a bit older and it impressed me with it's unique visual design and the fact that it effectively merged horror, comedy, and stuff that seemed wildly inappropriate for a character that I learned of from an 80s Saturday morning cartoon. And Danny Elfman's soundtrack is wonderful; I end up listening to it at least once every Halloween-season.
The musical is a delightful incarnation of the property. The story makes some changes (a few of which are pretty serious) but it really feels true to the spirit of the movie. Beetlejuice has been reinterpreted as being bi, which I think fits his character pretty well - now he's hitting on Adam in addition to Barbara and Lydia. He has a mom, his motivations are more clearly spelled out, and the whole thing fits together a bit more coherently than the original movie. I've already ordered the album for my library and am looking forward to listening to it. I'm not a huge Broadway guy, but I'm glad I made the effort to get out and see this!

Next up are the movies I've been watching while sickly:
The Haunted Mansion - the Disney movie starring Eddie Murphy. Not as bad as I was expecting. It's bland but reasonably well paced and over in less than 90 minutes. I can imagine myself enjoying it if I saw it as a small child and I mostly watched it after talking to a coworker who enjoyed it because she watched it as a child. It's kind of interesting as an example of early-00s Disney movies, before they became the Leviathan-company that they are now.

The Wasp Woman (1959) - okay, so I have a distinct childhood memory of watch this on broadcast TV as a child in the 90s as a version hosted by Elvira. Except that's impossible because there was no Elvira-hosted version until 2010! The Mandela effect strikes! I have no idea who the horror host I watched might have been. I was pretty young when I saw it on TV and I didn't see the whole thing; I think I stopped shortly after the wasp woman gets her first victim. This movie is generally regarded as being awful cheese, but when I was little I was genuinely a bit scared from it. Especially when a cat is turned evil and attacks someone. My parents were pretty mindful of what they'd let me watch, so even though I always had a taste for spooky-stuff, I think this was one of the first horror movies of any sort I had ever seen.
Anyway, for this viewing, the only version I could get from my library system was the Cinematic Titantic version, which was appropriate because as an adult the awful cheese is on FULL DISPLAY. I enjoyed it and kind of can't believe that this had an impact on me as a kid, but I'm glad to have finally seen the ending.

Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost - the direct-to-video follow-up to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (can I call it the OVA series?), this one is just about equally good. It has flaws, but if you're a kid it really works well. It features Tim Curry voicing a horror author who invites the gang to his hometown, which happens to be haunted by the ghost of his ancestor accused of witchcraft. There's also a band of goth-girls (The Hex Girls) and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I found them appealing. It does a good job of combining classic Scooby-Doo elements (ie unmasking a hoax-haunting) with the later "real monster" type of story that was a mainstay of the Scrappy-Doo era. It really feels like this is Scooby-Doo firing on all cylinders. The biggest problem with the movie is the way it attempts to include a message about Wiccans essentially being good witches while WITCH-witches are evil. Characters refer to Wicca as being practiced in the 1600s and that being Wiccan is somehow hereditary. I'd love some actual witch-lore in Scooby-Doo, but I can't help but roll my eyes at anything that indicates that Wicca existed before the 1940s. And it just kind of muddies its own message of "actually Wiccans are good" if you also include an evil witch flying around casting spells on everything... whatever, this is still good by Scooby-Doo standards.

Mr. Brooks - Kevin Costner as a serial killer! This one was on Rue Morgue's list of 200 alternative horror films back when they put out the first "Rue Morgue Library" edition. It's pretty good, but not exactly the hidden gem I was hoping for. It kind of apes A Beautiful Mind by portraying mental illness as another character and inner-monologues as dialogue. The movie starts with Mr. Brooks being honored for his successful business and philanthropy and him "celebrating" with his first murder in two years. He's not planning on ever killing again, but something happens that causes him to get back in the game as it were. We follow him along as he determines victims and studies them, we learn his meticulous patterns and how he cooly deals with some troubles that arise. But it feels a little too removed from the violence to really hit with the impact that I feel it should. Mr. Brooks himself would be a scary guy in real life, but he feels too sympathetically portrayed to evoke fear or even discomfort. It's good enough to be worth watching, but I'd hardly consider it essential.

The Last House on the Left (1972) - it's long been an embarrassment of mine that I've never seen this, the first film from Wes Craven. Well after seeing it, I don't feel so bad about putting it off the way I did. It feels like cheap, exploitative, amateurish, and not much else. It's about two young women who go into the city for a concert and end up kidnapped by escaped convicts who rape/torture them. I can imagine how this would have been horrifying and shocking in 1972, but it's fairly tame compared to later films: the rape and torture is nothing like I Spit on Your Grave. The script was originally written to be hardcore porn and thankfully that got scrapped, but the movie still seems keen to show off the naked bodies of the two women who are victimized. There's a subplot about two incompetent policemen who get into wacky troubles while goofy lighthearted music plays which really gives the film some tonal whiplash. Even at the very end, which seems to be going for a bleak message about violence and then abruptly cuts to a goofy song over the end credits. It really cheapens the whole thing. Wes Craven developed his skills quite a bit by the time he made The Hills Have Eyes, but if nothing else it's kind of interesting to see how he got his start.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:57 pm

@Bone

Glad you’re following the thread, and I do fondly recall Luke’s rating system... 8) and all...

@Nemoide

Awesome post! The thread is strong this year!

.....

Watching The Monkey’s Paw (1948) tonight. It’s an old and wildly uneven British horror film, one minute dreadfully boring, exceptionally tense and well-acted the next. It did have one fantastic line, though: “I don’t remember his first two wishes...but his third wish was for death.” Lifted from the text a bit, but still so awesome and so creepy.

EDIT: Finished The Monkey’s Paw (1948). It remained uneven right until the end, but the good ultimately outweighed the bad. Moreover, ending, like the ending in the story, is really solid. Also, it’s only an hour. Recommended.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movies 2019 (The Ill-Conceived Reboot)
1. Witchboard - :)
2. Mad Love - :)
3. The Love Witch - :D
4. Goodnight, Mommy - :)
5. The Monkey’s Paw - :)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Nemoide Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:43 pm

Well, curiosity got the better of me and tonight I watched The Banana Splits Movie. The movie that asks "what if this 70s kids show was actually an R-rated horror movie, and, like, for real and not just something a high school kid would joke about?" I mean, there's no way this could be a good movie, but surely I'm not the only one curious to see the actual, licensed Hanna-Barbera characters as murderous horror-villains (the producers were obviously banking on others sharing that curiosity).

In many ways, it's exactly what you'd expect: bad acting of one-dimensional characters, predictable story that's paper-thin, and The Banana Splits being robots that go berserk and kill people. But there's one thing I wasn't expecting: an intense amount of gore done entirely with practical effects! Honestly, it elevates to movie's absurdity and makes it worth seeing if you like that kind of thing. It's not GOOD, but there are bits that I found funny in a twisted sort of way. Like a guy getting put into a box and sawed in half and then separated with guts spilling everywhere. And I found a few of the one-dimensional characters to be entertaining, like the Banana Splits superfan who's a wannabe-influencer or the stage dad desperate to make his daughter famous through their being in the audience of an episode of The Banana Splits show.
In the world of direct-to-video horror, you can do worse. I can't wholeheartedly recommend it, but if you're on the fence, I'd say it's worth a shot.
Last edited by Nemoide on Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Michi
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Michi Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:43 am

Nemoide wrote:Well, curiosity got the better of me and tonight I watched The Banana Splits Movie.

I've been curious about this one, too. SYFY has been pimping it pretty hard for the last couple weeks (well, this and Critters.)

Still not sure why they went with the Splits. I suspect they wanted Five Nights at Freddy's and couldn't score the rights. Nice to know that the effects don't suck, though.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Golgo 14 Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:30 pm

R-Point (2004)

Eh, this South Korean film is a slog, much like the Vietnam War which provides its backdrop. Basically, a squad of South Korean soldiers goes to rescue a team of soldiers that were previously thought dead. Instead, they get picked off one by one by a supernatural force / curse.

With everyone in a military uniform it's easy to confuse the characters, and they're not interesting enough to overcome that obstacle.

I thought this Wikipedia article on the location used in the film was more interesting than the film itself:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokor_Hill_Station
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:58 pm

Tonight, my wife and I watched Spider Baby (1968), which stars the late Sid Haig in one of his earliest roles. It’s supposed to be a horror/comedy, and ostensibly, it is. The whole thing is just so creepy and disturbing, however, that the comedy falls flat and only accentuates the horror. (That’s a compliment, by the way.) It’s like a really disconcerting episode of The Munsters or The Addams Family. In it, some potential heirs to a sizable estate, and their lawyer, visit the family home to size up their potential inheritance and devise a way to seize it from the disabled adults occupying the historic estate. The legatees do, in fact, have a condition...which results in them reverting from young adults to murderous, child-like lunatics. Their aunts and uncles have it too, but they are kept caged in the cellar and fed only what the children kill. Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the loving, over-protective butler/driver who keeps the house running and otherwise enables the carnage. It plays out a lot like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but in black and white, with a “funny” animated introduction (sung by Lon Chaney, Jr.!), and scored with bass guitars, xylophones, and slide whistles. Watching people stalked and murdered by deranged, inbred children before having their corpses fed to the the cannibals trapped in the basement of a decaying manor house is not really that funny, even with a kooky Scooby Doo soundtrack, however, and the attempts at humor serve only to make the movie more disturbing. Highly recommended (and available for streaming on Amazon!).

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movies 2019 (The Ill-Conceived Reboot)
1. Witchboard - :)
2. Mad Love - :)
3. The Love Witch - :D
4. Goodnight, Mommy - :)
5. The Monkey’s Paw - :)
6. Spider Baby - :D
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Forlorn Drifter Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:38 pm

I also watched the Bannana Splits movie. Honestly? Stuff like this is what I miss from old the old Sci Fi channel, so I was all for it. Probably not going to buy it on DVD though. :lol:

I also played and finished Silent Hill 3. It's a real good game, but I beat it in four hours, which I didn't expect. Clicked for me way better than SH2. Though screw those things that are really low to the ground. I could never kill them.
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Michi
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Michi Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:18 pm

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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:08 pm

Yay! The Prowler! Nice write up, Michi. As entertaining and professional as always.

.....

Tonight, my wife an I watched Bone Tomahawk (2015). In it, some residents of a small western town are kidnapped by a group of cannabalistic troglodytes. An ill-fated search ensues. The first 90 minutes are like a good John Ford-style western. Beautifully shot scenes of the American west with great character actors, such as Kurt Russell, giving weight to every well-written line of dialogue. The last 40 minutes, however, are basically an Italian cannibal film. Limbs severed by crude weapons, heads scalped, bodies vivisected, people trapped in wooden cages, dimly lit caves, loin clothes, etc. So...a little something for everyone! :lol: It was actually very good, and at times, remarkable funny. I can’t say I enjoyed it, per se, but it was definitely memorable (and available for streaming on Amazon!). Recommended.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movies 2019 (The Ill-Conceived Reboot)
1. Witchboard - :)
2. Mad Love - :)
3. The Love Witch - :D
4. Goodnight, Mommy - :)
5. The Monkey’s Paw - :)
6. Spider Baby - :D
7. Bone Tomahawk - :)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by dsheinem Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:23 am

Horror movie watching continues...

The Devils (1971) - This is one I've wanted to watch for a long time, so I was glad to see it on the Criterion Channel this month. The movie mostly lives up to its reputation, but it seems much less scandalous in 2019 than it would have been at its release. The acting alternates between "overly-serious/overly-dramatic" and "campy as hell" (the first 10 minutes had me thinking of Monty Python's work), the plot is a bit meandering but holds your attention,...but the real appeal here is the beautiful artistic design (especially of the sets and costumes) and the masterfully shot debauchery. There are also some wonderfully surrealistic moments (a sword fight that involves an alligator, French aristocrats shooting people dressed up as birds for entertainment, etc.). All in all it is one of those films that sits with you a bit after you've watched it, and I am happy to recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest.

Möbius (2017) - This is the second short film I have watched this month, and it is a very Lynchian take on a Greek myth, set in the present day. There's some heavy gothic and macabre vibes, and it really feels like a series of short vignettes/meticulous shots strung together to produce an unsettling effect...it is about mood more so than it is a plot-driven suspenseful/horrific narrative experience. Worth a watch.

Fear X (2003) - I am a big fan of Refn's oeuvre, though I am still trying to catch up on some of his work. This film clearly feels like an early stab at trying out some ideas that would come to define his later work (the sloooow scenes, the heavy use of on-screen lights/lamps to set the mood, the stilted dialogue, etc.). John Turturro here is as solid as he's ever been - his presence makes this feel like a creepier/trippier version of some of the earlier Coen brothers crime films. More psychological thriller than horror, there are nonetheless some really well done visual effects-driven scenes that help blur the line between reality and the supernatural...and the ending doubles down on these ideas in a way that's equally compelling and maddening.

A Quiet Place (2018) - I had very little idea about what this film was about, and so I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be a fun monster-driven romp that was well acted and directed by - shockingly - Jim from The Office (John Krasinski). The sound editing is top notch, the creature reveal/design borrows ideas from classic films in this sub-genre (in a way that doesn't feel derivative), and the ending is fantastic - at a brisk 90 minutes the film doesn't overstay its welcome or introduce a lot of lulls. I think it is fair to say that this is one of the better horror films of the past few years.


Previously:
The Beaning (2017)
Videodrome (1983)
Blood Feast (1963)
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