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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by dsheinem Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:04 am

Love to see the love for the Evil Dead remake. It is easily one of the best horror films of this decade - probably in the top 3, for me...

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One of the things that I love about the horror genre is that there are a lot of stones to turn over and always new sub-sub-sub genres to dive into, new studios or directors to check out, etc. My prior experience with Hammer films was mostly centered on either the super-campy stuff that would be ideal for MST3K fodder (e.g. Creatures the World Forgot, which I watched a week or so ago) or on their more "occultish" films like what is (so far) my favorite Hammer film- The Devil Rides Out (which I hope to rewatch on Halloween when the new Blu-ray for the film arrives). I hadn't seen a Hammer "creature feature" until just recently...

So, I have been laying the Hammer down the past week or so:

The Brides of Dracula (1960) - I knew that Peter Cushing had a reputation for his work with Hammer, but I had regrettably never seen him in action until watching this one. He's an excellent Dr. Van Helsing here, and steals the show against a fairly eccentric supporting cast. The sets and color in this film really pop, the direction is competent and brings out the best in a fairly lackluster plot. I didn't realize until after viewing this that it is a sequel...and one in a looong line of Hammer Dracula films. It was good enough that I am curious to watch a few more.

Captain Clegg (a.k.a. Night Creatures) (1962) - This was another Cushing vehicle, and one that is much more of an eerie and mysterious film than it is a horrific/scary one (the same can be said, fairly, for most of the Hammer films...especially of this era). Here Cushing plays a mild-mannered priest who has a secret that is easily guessed part way through the movie, and once the audience is in on the secret, the rest of the film is fairly by-the-numbers. Again, the sets and costumes are quite good, the direction technically competent, and the effects are generally better than expected for the studio.

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) - Of the Hammer films I have watched thus far this month, this was my least favorite. Oliver Reed's performance (at least when he isn't being a wolf-man) is the standout here, but the plot is fairly mundane...it was difficult for the film to hold my attention for the full hour and a half. I did appreciate some of the direction and sound work (especially during the climactic scene at the end of the film), but I don't know that I would recommend this as a good starting place for digging into the studio's work.

I will probably watch a few more Hammer films before the month is out. The HD transfers on these Blu-rays are quite nice... (I recommend this collection of 8 films for a cheap $18). So far I really dig the historical-fantasy-gothic-fiction-horror vibe of these early 60s films and I am curious to see which ones bring everything together the best. There's an earnestness to the films that is especially endearing. Anyone here have any Hammer favorites?

Previously:
1. The Beaning (2017)
2. Videodrome (1983)
3. Blood Feast (1963)
4. The Devils (1971)
5. Möbius (2017)
6. Fear X (2003)
7. A Quiet Place (2018)
8. Creatures the World Forgot (1971)
9. Happy Death Day (2017)
10. The Monster Maker (1944)
11. The Purge (2013)
12. Us (2019)
13. Dolls (1987)
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Ack
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:55 am

Dave, if you haven't yet seen the Hammer take on The Mummy with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, you are absolutely missing out. I did some work on special features for it back when FilmStruck was running, and it is a fantastic display on just how capable of an actor Lee was when playing a voiceless monster. Let me know if you see it, as there are some things I love to point out about how much punishment he had to endure during its filming.
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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by dsheinem Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:16 am

Ack wrote:Dave, if you haven't yet seen the Hammer take on The Mummy with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, you are absolutely missing out. I did some work on special features for it back when FilmStruck was running, and it is a fantastic display on just how capable of an actor Lee was when playing a voiceless monster. Let me know if you see it, as there are some things I love to point out about how much punishment he had to endure during its filming.


I haven't! I just ordered it. Hammer films were largely a (regrettable) blind spot in my appreciation of the genre, so I am trying to correct that a bit.

I always enjoyed Filmstruck - I believe I preordered it and had it through to the end - and I certainly remembered that you worked on it. Did you get to shift over to Criterion by chance (I am guessing not...I think you are TCM-affiliated, correct?)?

Speaking of buying horror Blu-rays, folks might be interested to know the Universal Classic Monsters Collection - with 30 films - is only $70 right now!
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by noiseredux Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:17 am

Ack wrote: and it is a fantastic display on just how capable of an actor Lee was when playing a voiceless monster.


I say the same thing about Brendan Frasier in Encino Man!
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:55 am

Agreed. Christopher Lee was great as Dracula, but he was even better as Frankenstein’s monster. In other words, if you haven’t seen The Curse of Frankenstein, you should seek that one out too. It may be the first really gory horror film, and from what I’ve read, it’s release led to quite a bit of pearl clutching.

There were also a lot of studios that imitated Hammer films by casting both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in horror films, and, honestly, films by those studios are usually better than Hammer Films’ later out put. Horror Express is one of my favorites, and since it’s in the public domain, it’s easy to find. (A good print, on the other hand...)

Finally, the Hammer Films brand was resurrected in 2007, and it’s produced a few good horror films. The Woman in Black is a particularly good (and frightening) example, and it “feels” like a really good, but modern, Hammer period-horror film.
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:56 am

dsheinem wrote:
Ack wrote:Dave, if you haven't yet seen the Hammer take on The Mummy with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, you are absolutely missing out. I did some work on special features for it back when FilmStruck was running, and it is a fantastic display on just how capable of an actor Lee was when playing a voiceless monster. Let me know if you see it, as there are some things I love to point out about how much punishment he had to endure during its filming.


I haven't! I just ordered it. Hammer films were largely a (regrettable) blind spot in my appreciation of the genre, so I am trying to correct that a bit.

I always enjoyed Filmstruck - I believe I preordered it and had it through to the end - and I certainly remembered that you worked on it. Did you get to shift over to Criterion by chance (I am guessing not...I think you are TCM-affiliated, correct?)?

Speaking of buying horror Blu-rays, folks might be interested to know the Universal Classic Monsters Collection - with 30 films - is only $70 right now!


Definitely check it out. I've delved a little into Hammer, but not nearly as much as I would like. They have an interesting transition during the 1960s from gothic horror to more modern exploitation and sleaze. Depending on what you like, you may prefer one decade to another. And once you're through with them, you might also look into their major rival, Amicus Productions. Cushing and Lee worked at both companies, but Hammer is better known. Amicus specialized in portmanteau horror films, so if that's a style you enjoy, definitely check them out.

I am TCM-affiliated, so sadly no, I did not get to jump over to the Criterion service, though I know quite a few folks who wanted to. In truth, I work on the backbone of Turner's metadata (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TCM, TBS, TNT, TruTV, etc.), or what is now WarnerMedia, so I'm working on yet another streaming service, HBO MAX. And that is all I can tell you guys about it right now.
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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by dsheinem Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:44 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Agreed. Christopher Lee was great as Dracula, but he was even better as Frankenstein’s monster. In other words, if you haven’t seen The Curse of Frankenstein, you should seek that one out too. It may be the first really gory horror film, and from what I’ve read, it’s release led to quite a bit of pearl clutching.

There were also a lot of studios that imitated Hammer films by casting both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in horror films, and, honestly, films by those studios are usually better than Hammer Films’ later out put. Horror Express is one of my favorites, and since it’s in the public domain, it’s easy to find. (A good print, on the other hand...)

Finally, the Hammer Films brand was resurrected in 2007, and it’s produced a few good horror films. The Woman in Black is a particularly good (and frightening) example, and it “feels” like a really good, but modern, Hammer period-horror film.


Sweet. Mid 20th-Century British horror in general is a bit of a blind spot for me (with the exception of Hitchcock's work and some of the better known classics of the era)...so it will be fun to dive into it more over time. I have The Curse of Frankenstein, so I may bump it up the list...
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:04 pm

A couple others worth seeking out and that come to mind immediately are:

Night of the Demon

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Demon

Night of the Eagle (a/k/a Burn, Witch, Burn!)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Eagle

The latter was available for streaming on Amazon a few months ago, and it might still be there.
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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by dsheinem Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:07 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:A couple others worth seeking out and that come to mind immediately are:

Night of the Demon

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Demon


I've seen this one! I liked it...MacGinnis is ace in that role!
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:48 pm

First, and inspired by DSH’s post at the top of this pages, here are my twenty favorite horror films of the decade, in alphabetical order:

The Babadook
The Bay
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Creepy
Crimson Peak
The Evil Dead
The Green Room
Housebound
The Innkeepers
It Follows
The Last Exorcism
The Love Witch
Oculus
Suspiria
Troll Hunter
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
The Wailing
The Witch
The Woman in Black
You’re Next

Discuss. (I’m certain there are some recent movies I haven’t seen that would displace some of the movies on this list. Tell me what they are!)

.....

Until tonight, my wife and I had never seen Black Christmas (1974) , but since the movie is available for streaming on Amazon, we have now rectified that gross miscarriage of justice. In it, sorority sisters are murdered by a mad man over Christmas break. (There’s more going on than that, but that’s the plot in broad strokes.) Also, it rules. Hard. It is easily one of the best slasher films I’ve ever seen, and I adored it. It is perfectly creepy; expertly shot, acted, scored, and paced; and just a tremendous slasher film. Even better than Opera! Very highly 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 - :)
8. Creepy - :D
9. Opera - :)
10. Black Christmas - :D
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