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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:49 am

More gruesome goodies from beyond the pale:

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24. The Witch (2015)

People in America can get crazy religious sometimes, and that's what happens here. Yes, their fears are justified, there really is a witch in the woods, but this is more about paranoia setting in and a family falling apart as tragedy besets them all, ultimately getting everybody killed and turning one person towards Satan. Or as I like to think of it, it's a movie about Dave's childhood. What? He had freaky religious parents and is now an atheist. It totally works.

What works here is the combination of how isolated the setting feels, the near constant New England gloom that pervades everything, and the hardbitten frontier live of exiles doomed to die by a town council who is freaked out about just how religious they are. That's a good way to proclaim just how religious these people are: freaking Puritans think they're too much. Anyway, the family tries to scrape out a meager existence on a farm, but a couple of little lies start to generate mistrust, and then the youngest baby goes missing while the oldest daughter is watching her, and instead of banding together, everyone turns on each other in an instant. Also, there's a hint of incest and most definitely a witch nearby.

Look, you want a piece of advice? If your freaking kids start talking to a black goat, kill the damn goat. No good things come from goats. I know, I've played Goat Simulator.


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25. The Pool (2018)

Ok, so here's the premise: a guy gets trapped in an empty swimming pool, and there's a crocodile in there with him. That's it. That's the movie. Why doesn't he climb out? There isn't a ladder in this pool, and it's six meters deep. Why isn't anyone around? Because the pool is being abandoned, and while his girlfriend finds him, she's too dumb to notice the water is draining and knocks herself out trying to jump in. What else could go wrong? The guy is diabetic. And he gets trapped in that pool. For seven days. With the crocodile.

Look, just stop thinking about how dumb this is and instead focus on how this Thai movie is all about things going from bad to worse. It's basically about people thinking "Oh, it can't get worse," and then it does. For example, a fence gets down nearby because it's monsoon season. But the fence is barb wire. The main character tries to climb, but the fence is falling in, so he's not only cutting himself up, he's also not making progress. And then the fence gives, and he falls and breaks his leg. And then the crocodile mauls him a little, because why the hell not?

There is something both fascinating in watching the drive for survival as well as perverse in seeing just how bad things can get. You will have to get past the fact that this is the most unlikely scenario one could possibly think of, but if you like seeing folks hit rock bottom only to discover they can go deeper, here you go.

Also, I'm gonna give you a spoiler about the ending: he gets out by using an animal corpse for a ladder. And it's not the crocodile.

This movie...


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26. The Gorgon (1964)

We were talking about Hammer films, and hey, several came on TCM. I hadn't seen this one before, so I decided to check it out. It features an interesting turn where Peter Cushing is a villain while Christopher Lee is a good guy, along with a non-traditional horror film monster: a honest to goodness, snake haired Gorgon who turns people to stone by looking at her and happens to possess the soul of a young woman whom a bunch of dudes seem to fall in love with.

Unfortunately, this is nowhere near Hammer's best. It lacks both the quality of the early works and the exploitative elements of the later years. Instead, it just kind of sits as a dud, one that doesn't make a lot of sense but still plays a bit with mythology in an atypical way. The shining light here is Christopher Lee as this goofy professor who repeatedly bests the local constabulary as well as every other villain that arrives.

They can't all be winners, but it's fun sometimes to dive into the forgotten Hammer stuff too.


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27. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

There comes a time in every man's life where he asks himself, "What the hell am I watching?" That time is now.

So after the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface and the family apparently set up shop in a run down amusement park near Dallas, open up a catering company, kill people for meat, and goof off a lot. Then Dennis Hopper shows up, having gone crazy over his family members dying in the first film. Also, a radio DJ overhears a chainsaw murder in a phone call, so she gets involved and plays the tape on air. Next thing you know, she's running around the amusement park screaming a lot while Hopper has a screaming chainsaw match with Leatherface, and the rest of the family just acts weird. It ends with the DJ, Stretch, doing her impersonation of Leatherface at the end of the first film while standing on top of the amusement park, the flag of Texas proudly flying above her in the wind.

What's to love about this movie? It's freaking ridiculous. My favorite character is probably the absurdly disgusting Vietnam vet who likes to eat bits of his own dead skin off a coat hanger, Chop Top. He's so ludicrously bizarre and hideous that he makes Leatherface seem like a pretty regular guy by comparison. Also, apparently a big chunk of the film was cut in which there was supposed to be a massive massacre in a movie theater, including a cameo by Joe Bob Briggs, but none of this made it into the final product.

What did make it? They skin a guy and make Stretch wear his face while dancing with Leatherface, one guy gets a chainsaw sodomy and then complains about the small business owner taking up the ass, and Dennis Hopper screams and sings while chopping things up with a chainsaw. This may be the greatest depiction of Texas I have ever seen.

27/31

1. Mulberry Street
2. As Above, So Below
3. Southbound
4. Don't Look in the Basement
5. Turkey Shoot
6. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
7. It Chapter 2
8. Mausoleum
9. Razorback
10. 1922
11. Eaten Alive
12. Manhattan Baby
13. Willard
14. TerrorVision
15. Bride of Re-Animator
16. Return of the Living Dead III
17. Darkness Falls
18. The Unnamable
19. The Driller Killer
20. The Barn
21. Claws
22. Don't Kill It
23. The Lair of the White Worm
24. The Witch
25. The Pool
26. The Gorgon
27. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:43 am

Also, to jump in with Prfsnl here and discuss 20 favorites of the current decade in alphabetical order:

The Babadook
Bite
Bone Tomahawk
The Cabin in the Woods
Don't Breathe
Evil Dead
Hagazussa
The Head Hunter
Hereditary
The Hive
It
It Follows
Ready or Not
Southbound
Train to Busan
The Void
We Are Still Here
What We Do in the Shadows
The Witch
You're Next

Of course, this could change pretty easily. I have yet to sit down with the likes of The Wind, Green Room, or the Suspiria remake, to name a few. The 2010s have given us some great horror movies.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Michi Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:57 pm

I'm loving all the modern horror love. It inspired me to go re-watch the Evil Dead remake, and all these lists are giving me great ideas for new things to watch that I've missed.

Anyway, we're nearing the end here folks...

Write-up #8:

Leviathan



I think I can squeeze in one more before the month is over.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:14 pm

Oh man, Leviathan is a favorite of mine. It's not nearly as good as what inspired it, but I still get a kick out of it. It's the only one of the 1989 underwater movies that I ever actually paid money to own. Totally swims laps around DeepStar Six.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Nemoide Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:31 pm

Wow, two "top 20" lists that don't include Get Out? I'm going to assume you both just didn't see it, but that's one of my favorites of the past decade for sure! And Us is a worthy follow-up, even though it's less of a crowd-pleaser. (I'm pretty bad at making "Top X" lists though, so I'll pass.)

Anyway, I've still been watching lots and lots!

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) - I watched the original last year and didn't like it very much, but this was a pretty good slasher. Instead of being a remake, it's more of a follow-up, portraying killings inspired the the killer who inspired the first movie. That movie is a movie in-world, which makes it more like Blair Witch 2 than a real sequel or remake, but unlike Blair Witch 2, it's not a complete mess. And the writer is the guy who's behind Riverdale (and Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina); it's nice to see something by him that isn't connected to Archie comics.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch - I showed this to some friends who hadn't seen it before. I don't think they loved it as much as I did, but I really love this movie. IMO it's easily the best of the Halloween series and really maintains an interesting mystery vibe. Even when you know what's going on, it's so crazy that it still has a strong mystique.

Area 51 (2015) - So after Halloween III, one friend really wanted to watch this because he's afraid of alien abduction stories and found footage movies. And apparently he doesn't know how RottenTomatoes.com works because he was saying it should be good because "it's only 14% rotten while Fire in the Sky is 42% rotten!." Let me tell you: it's bad. The last half hour or so is good enough (if you can get past the fact that a couple guys can manage to sneak into one of the most heavily secured military bases in the world) but the first hour is a TOTAL SLOG with nothing really interesting happening.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge - I wanted to rewatch one of the NoES movies and it's been a while since I've seen this one! I love the entire series (aside from the remake) and even though this one is weird and out of place with the rest, it works well enough for me. A lot has been made about the gay subtext in the movie and it's definitely there, which helps clarify the movie's metaphors into something interesting. It's not my favorite, but it's good!

Mr. Boogedy - I joined the "Disney Movie Club" program so I could get this on DVD, WHAT A GEM IT IS! It's a short made-for-TV movie about a family who moves into a house haunted by the titular ghost. What really elevates it to a worthwhile status is how unbelievably cornball/hammy it is: the protagonist's family runs a gag/joke shop and so just about every seen involves some dumb prop like a rubber chicken or Groucho glasses. It's a dumb kids movie, but it appeals to me. Bride of Boogedy is on the same disc, though I might not get to it until after Halloween.

Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost - I had The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo on in the background for the earlier part of the month, which stands out by having Vincent Price play a regular character (Vincent Van Ghoul). But they never caught the 13th ghost in the show, so this movie serves as a conclusion. It's... okay I guess? It really feels like it's for little kids (because it is) and neither the story nor animation quality impressed me. There were some gags I appreciated, but would have been better if it was made while Vincent Price was still alive to provide his voice. Instead they used Maurice LaMarche, who just made me think of Brain from Pinky & The Brain. Oh well, it's Scooby-Doo and that's enough to make it a good thing in the background.

The Lighthouse (2019) - Robert Eggers' followup to The VVitch! And WOW, this is definitely one way to make a followup! It takes place in a lighthouse as two lighthouse keepers try to hold on to their sanity. It's a wild ride but I don't want to spoil it, there's something to be said for the surprise of the movie's "wait, am I actually seeing this?" moments. It's pretty different from The VVitch thematically and tonally but it **commits** to its aesthetic just as strongly. It's beautifully shot on black & white film using an uncommonly skinny aspect ratio, which right away gives it a unique look. It's a really weird and wild movie and I recommend it!

The Abominable Dr. Phibes - some 1970s Vincent Price goodness! Price plays the titular doctor who goes around killing other doctors, it's revealed to be a revenge plot because they weren't able to save his wife when she was on the operating table. One of the ways this movie stands apart from others is by having some really creative deaths, all inspired by the Biblical plagues of Exodus. It's mostly a campy good time.

Prince of Darkness - This is a John Carpenter movie that I had never seen before but I heard it discussed on a podcast and the hosts praised it enough for me to blind-buy the blu-ray. IT'S GREAT! From the title, you'd think it's about the devil or Dracula or something. But it's not, instead it's the most honest-to-goodness LOVECRAFTIAN horror movie I think I've ever seen. The movie starts with an elderly priest dying, holding a box with a key. Another priest discovers that he was part of a super-secret Catholic order (The Brotherhood of Sleep) which guards over this mysterious THING in a church basement. It's not a monster, it's more of a container of evil slime (which SOUNDS really dumb, but it works). Meanwhile in the city, the homeless population begins to behave in a strange coordinated manner... it all reminded me more of The Call of Cthulhu than anything else, while relying on any tentacled monsters. I feel like this movie is a MUST for Lovecraft fans.

Silver Bullet - I wanted to watch a Stephen King based movie and a werewolf movie. This covers both categories, but it's definitely not a standout for either. It has some cool werewolf effects and I'm glad they didn't skip out with some Coors product placement, but other than that it's nothing special. The movie is narrated by a teen girl whose wheelchair-bound little brother learns it's a werewolf that's been terrorizing the town. The movie feels like it wants to tell a story about family and nostalgia but completely fails at that and just effectively diminishes the quality of the horror elements. It's not the worst movie I've seen, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone outside of the most diehard fans of Stephen King or werewolves.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:58 pm

Man...you guys are killing it!

@Ack

I’m glad you liked The Witch. I thought it was incredibly solid, and I’m looking forward to the directors follow up...which Nemoide has already seen!

@Nemoide

Where’d you watch The Lighthouse? In a theater? Also, I have not yet seen Get Out (or about half the movies on Ack’s list). I suspect my list would change if I’d seen more recent horror films (instead of gorging myself on all the giallo movies available for streaming on Amazon...)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Michi Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:40 pm

Ack wrote:Oh man, Leviathan is a favorite of mine. It's not nearly as good as what inspired it, but I still get a kick out of it. It's the only one of the 1989 underwater movies that I ever actually paid money to own. Totally swims laps around DeepStar Six.

I can totally see that. Leviathan definitely ended up being a fun one, more so that I thought it would. It may steal from about half a dozen better movies, but what it steals, it steals well. Moreover, the people behind the movie not only knew what to steal, but the mechanisms of why what they stole worked, thus blowing any similar attempts by Deepstar Six right out of the water.

So far, this and My Mom's a Werewolf definitely surprised me by being much more enjoyable than I was expecting.

--------

Also, I'm glad everyone here seems to enjoy The Witch. It's been one of my favorites this decade since I saw it in theaters.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:20 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Man...you guys are killing it!

@Ack

I’m glad you liked The Witch. I thought it was incredibly solid, and I’m looking forward to the directors follow up...which Nemoide has already seen!

@Nemoide

Where’d you watch The Lighthouse? In a theater? Also, I have not yet seen Get Out (or about half the movies on Ack’s list). I suspect my list would change if I’d seen more recent horror films (instead of gorging myself on all the giallo movies available for streaming on Amazon...)

Yeah, same here. You have several on your list I haven't gotten around to seeing yet, like Oculus and The Wailing. Also, no, I haven't yet seen Get Out. I have seen Us and enjoyed it a lot...but it was a top 20, not 25, so it was just edged out.

And even if I had seen it, there are plenty more I need to track down! Starry Eyes, Velvet Buzzsaw, Climax, Crawl, and so on. But I have now watched my 28th film for the month...
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by noiseredux Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:53 pm

Oh dude, see Starry Eyes!
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:16 pm

noiseredux wrote:Oh dude, see Starry Eyes!


+1

Very solid horror film. Also...has anyone else here seen The Neon Demon? I would have included it in my list, but I wasn’t sure it was horror.
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