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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:07 pm

I’m telling you, man, Burning and The Wailing have your name written all over them. So, so good. Also, they’re both availability on Netflix; so, if you access to that service, you can stream them there.

A Bucket of Blood is also really good; so, you should watch that too. I recommend reading a bit about the Beat movement and Beat artwork before watching it, if you don’t have a lot of knowledge on those subjects. The movie’s fine by itself, but in context, it’s really amazing.

.....

Also, good to hear from you, DSH! I hope you’re doing well, and it’s good to see you participating in a Racketboy tradition.

Finally, great reviews, Ack!

EDIT: I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out my man, Nemoide. Guy has good taste in classic horror movies!
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Forlorn Drifter Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:50 pm

I've actually seen A Bucket of Blood before- it's just been a long time. Speaking of which-

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

A dim witted busboy clears away cups in a beatnick coffee club while a full-of-himself poet recites in the stage. Walter, the busboy, wants to become an artist, but after failing to recreate the woman of his affections in clay, accidentally kills a cat stuck in the wall. The words of the poet return to his mind, and inspires him to cover the cat in the clay, creating a disturbing sculpture. The praise of his art then leads Walter down a path of murderous art.

A Bucket of Blood is a horror comedy, although a much of the comedy can be lost if you aren't knowledgeable about the beatnik culture. This is also a Corman film, which I didn't realize until today. The set from this film was reused in Little Shop of Horrors! I've always had a love/hate relationship with Corman's work, and this definitely falls under the love category. I'm not really sure what else to say.

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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:57 pm

Well, Forlorn, your specification eliminates quite a bit of 1970s Japanese exploitation and Pinky Violence-type genres, but you still have a good number of options to choose from. Each section has a spoiler with a lot more information, and I'm providing links in many cases for further reading if you are so inclined.

For a quick mix across the region, check out the films Three and Three... Extremes. Each film offers three shorts from three different directors representing three countries. The Three... Extremes features the bigger named directors, two of which already have films mentioned in this thread.

South Korea:

You're gonna notice a lot of these use horror for social commentary. South Korea was basically a military dictatorship into the 1990s, so in the last 20 years, film (and horror especially) has played a major role in letting artists criticize government institutions and vent frustrations. You'll notice heavy social commentary in almost all of it.

The Whispering Corridors series - These were some of the first horror films to come out after South Korea's government cut back on censorship. The series criticizes authoritarianism in the setting of an all girl's high school through supernatural horror, though each film is a standalone without recurring characters, so you can jump right in.

The Host - This monster movie criticizes the effects of US military involvement in South Korea, yet also makes for a damn good time. I don't know how you'll feel about the message, but I find the movie so much fun, I'm cool with it.

Train to Busan - If you're not bored of zombie movies yet, then this is a film well worth tracking down. Basically, South Korea gets overrun by zombies while folks are riding a commuter train. What follows is social commentary. It's been hugely popular these last couple of years.

Thirst - If you prefer your vampire films on the erotic side, well, here you go. There is nudity, sexuality, a love triangle, murder, monstrosity, abuse, and so forth. It's a heavy movie, but then it's also an atheist director with a Catholic priest for a vampire, so...yeah.

And that's not getting into the revenge thriller films that have been hugely popular thanks to the success of Park Chan-wook's Vengeance trilogy. Some of these lean further into horror territory, like I Saw the Devil, while others like The Man from Nowhere go heavy on the action.



China/Hong Kong:

You've got a larger cinematic tradition here to pull from, though admittedly horror isn't nearly the money maker that action films, period pieces, and cop movies have been. Still, there are some interesting choices to check out. I'm going to focus more on Hong Kong here, which tends towards the supernatural ghost story. Prepare for lots of hopping vampires.

The big deal behind many Chinese horror films is a collection of classic Chinese ghost stories published in 1740 and known in English as Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. There are around 500 stores in the collection, and it's had a major impact on how horror is represented.

A Chinese Ghost Story - This is less horrific but is perhaps the most important ghost story to have come out of Hong Kong cinema. In China, it's considered to be one of the 100 most important Chinese films ever made. It's a period romance and comedy about a man who falls in love with a ghost. You get a lot of elements here of Chinese cinema, so if this is an area you want to explore, this is where you should start to see how you like it. Yes, it pulls from Strange Stories.

Mr. Vampire - This is way more on the comedy side of comedy horror, and it was produced by Sammo Hung. If you're big into Chinese martial arts films, that name alone will probably pique your interest. And yes, there are many hopping vampires. It also pulls from Strange Stories.

The Eye - A classical violinist gets a cornea transplant, and now she can see ghosts. It's basically a weird crossover of ideas between The Hands of Orlac and The Sixth Sense, but it proved popular enough to be remade three more times, including by Hollywood, and spawn a trilogy. The end result is conventional, but if you like ghost stories and are curious where Chinese horror currently is, this is where you should start.

If you want an easy way to tell if something is more on the horrific side, see if it's a Category III. This is the equivalent to an NC-17 rating in the US.

Mainland Chinese horror has only really gotten going full steam in the last decade, and a lot of it feels heavily inspired by the popularity of Japanese horror cinema.


Japan:

And here is where you hit the mother lode. Japanese cinema has had a major influence on Western cinema for well over 50 years, and just as anime began filtering over in the 1980s and '90s, so too were live action films able to reach a wider audience as home video rental spread through VHS and later DVD. Of any one East Asian nation, this is the one that has had the biggest impact, with numerous American remakes. Since I can't hit everything, I'll point you to some of the big names and let you go from there.

Ring - If you haven't heard of this series, I'll be genuinely surprised. It's spawned a series in Japan, a Korean remake, and a separate film series in the United States, most recently in 2017 with the film Rings. There are a couple of video games and 2 13-episode television series. Start with the first Japanese film, and if you like it, explore from there.

Ju-On - The other major heavyweight in modern supernatural Japanese horror, sort of the Friday the 13th to Ring's Halloween. This series has also spawned both a series in Japan and a separate American film series, with another US reboot expected in 2020. Start with the Japanese original, and understand that there are a couple of these that never got a US release, so you can only go so far.

And yes, just like we got Freddy vs. Jason, there is a crossover film for Ring and Ju-On called Sadako vs. Kayako.

Audition - If you're down for torture films, yeah, this is the right recommendation for getting into the Japanese market for these. It has some graphic and disturbing sequences, so if needles aren't your thing, you might not like this. Or you might get way, WAY into it, in which case there is always the Guinea Pig series, but that's only if you're beyond fucked up. Put it this way: I don't go into the Guinea Pig series.

J-Horror Theater - Japanese producers took notice of how well the Ring series was doing, so they decided to make a series of horror films to capitalize. The thing is, while this sounds like a cheapskate move to make a quick buck...and pretty much is exactly that...I happen to be a fan of the first film in the series, Infection, and recommend checking it out.

There is plenty more to check out, like the weird and grossly sexual world of the Japanese Cyberpunk micro genre or the 1990s direct-to-video horror market, but this will be your best starting point. Note that the directors of the films I just mentioned are sometimes synonymous with horror, so examine their filmographies, as well as those of the actors. You will find crossover, such as Ju-On director Takashi Shimizu and Audition director Takashi Miike having worked with Shinya Tsukamoto, who directed Tetsuo: The Iron Man, the big title in Japanese Cyberpunk.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:51 pm

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5. Turkey Shoot (1982)

Halloween ain't in November, but that's ok. The turkeys they're talking about hunting in the title of this film are people.

In the future, Australia is a fascist dystopia, where the miscreants, undesirables, and those naive enough to get in the way of security forces are rounded up and thrown in reeducation camps run by violent sadists. That's what's happened here, but on top of the usual murder, torture, and rape attempts, we get another element: the warden wants to play The Most Dangerous Game.

Yeah, it's Ozsploitation, complete with one dude getting burned alive, one guy getting run over, a toe being eaten, and more. You'll see all kinds of wonderful things, so much so that critics at the time thought the movie was too violent and gory for any audience and declared the film to be filth. This was because they hadn't met me yet. I had a blast with how ridiculous this movie was. And while Turkey Shoot isn't a masterpiece, and Olivia Hussey REALLY needs to learn how to use a mounted machine gun, there's more than enough sadism to make me break into an exploitative grin. It's like a great combination of action movie and '70s prison flick. If Ilsa had rolled up, I wouldn't have batted an eye.

Good ol' Australia. If it ain't killer dugongs and post-apocalyptic motorcycle punks, it's giant boars and sadists hunting people. We love you, Amen.

Also, I have a really warped view of Australia.

5/31

1. Mulberry Street
2. As Above, So Below
3. Southbound
4. Don't Look in the Basement
5. Turkey Shoot
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Forlorn Drifter Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:06 pm

Thanks for the suggestions guys!

@Ack

I see what you are saying about limiting myself a bit on the Japanese side, but I helped one of my friends with a project on "Depictions of Rape in Film", and I was the go to question guy for the horror side. So... I ended watching 20 rape revenge films, and like 30 others where rape occurs, so I'm just not emotionally able to handle that right now. I mean, how many versions of I Spit on Your Grave are there? I watched 3.

As far as the social commentary stuff goes, I'll just cut off the show if I don't like it. Especially with horror, it tends not to bother me.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Nemoide Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:36 pm

Probably worth noting that Kuroneko does include a deception of rape, so if that's something you'd rather avoid, you may want to pick a different one! (Though it's nothing like I Spit on Your Grave.)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Michi Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:30 pm

Write up #2

A Blade In The Dark

Gotta get my giallo on.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:38 pm

Nice. Great review, Michi. If you’re in the mood for more Giallo, let me know. Amazon Prime has some of the best. (Have you seen Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key? Or The Perfume of the Lady in Black? So, so good.)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:37 pm

Knocked out a couple more horror movies over the weekend:

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6. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007)

A Canadian plumber with rage issues who saw his family killed by a monster as a child now has to contend with therapy, a bad relationship, and his science teacher transforming into a new horror for him to face.

This movie is a comedy horror film that is both entertaining and yet fails in its premise to give me what I want, which makes it just like many of the direct-to-video monster movies that inspired it. Here I expected I'd get wicked crazy combat with cool monsters, and I did...with about 15 minutes left in the movie. It's more about Jack's teacher mutating as Jack deals with his rage issues and plumbing. Only in the third act does the hero realize he's the hero, which isn't exactly conducive to the traditional hero's arc, but eh, it's a low budget Canadian comedy horror. I can't be that mad at it.

Despite failing to give me what I wanted, what I do get is Robert Englund making an absolute mess of himself with a variety of dirt, food, and bodily fluids in what is obviously a role he had a blast playing. Yes, Robert Englund is the aforementioned science teacher, who happens to find a monster's heart in a box in his yard. Hilarity ensues. Jack, meanwhile, gets angry and destroys things until he finally figures out how to channel his rage in the end by messing up monsters something fierce. Good on ya, Jack. I just wish it didn't take so long to get there!

When I think about what I want to compare this movie to, the films that come to mind are Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and Neon Maniacs, the first because it features blue collar heroes who ain't the brightest dealing with some serious problems, and the second because, as much as I want the whole movie to be cool, it stumbles and doesn't live up to the hype. Still, it's fun for what it is, so while I can't recommend it for the monster slaying, I will recommend it to fans of Robert Englund that want to see him obviously having a good time.

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7. It Chapter Two (2019)

When the first It film came out a couple of years ago, I adored the movie; it managed to capture feelings of both the nostalgia and fear of childhood, growing up with friends, interacting with bullies, and wondering what the hell adults were thinking at any given time. The child actors excelled, Bill Skarsgård was both fascinating and terrifying in his performance as Pennywise, and my youth seemed writ on the silver screen. It was fantastic.

Unfortunately, people have to grow up, so along came It Chapter Two. The Losers of Derry, now fully grown, realize they have to return to their bizarre hometown to once again deal with the rising threat of Pennywise. Unfortunately, they lost some things along the way, such as the nostalgic yearning for my childhood. And while the film tries to recapture elements of it by returning to the kids who were so wonderful in the first film, it just doesn't work and feels like they're being trumpeted out to say "Hey, look, they're still here! Things are great!"

Except they're really not. While Skarsgård can still thrill, and while Bill Hader is fantastic in the role of Richie Tozier, the rest of the movie just feels serviceable at best. What I'm most reminded of is the feeling that you can never really go back home, because things have changed. The world moves on, people grow up, and so much of what was great about youth is inevitably lost. Now the CG monsters that terrified the kids look more like cartoon characters to me, the horrors feel limited, and the big threats of bullies become simply a fat dude with a mullet that gets dropped almost as quickly as he appears.

As a result, the film itself doesn't hold up to the first, though as I reflect on it, that might actually be to the benefit of the overall series; just as the characters grow up, It struggles with that same issue of trying to recapture one's childhood and failing. I don't think this was intentional, yet it still makes me think higher of the overall product, as if nostalgia and reality are bookended into a nearly six-hour long masterpiece of the reality of adulthood.

7/31

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
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 10: The Rebootening

by Ack Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:51 am

I can't believe that I was so busy with the wedding, I completely missed the news last month about the death of Sid Haig. What a terrible loss to the world of horror.

I'll post more bits about what horror movies I've been watching, but for the moment...damn.
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