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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:33 pm

Tonight, my wife and I watched Audition (1999), a light romantic-comedy about a lonely Japanese widowers sho sets up a fake TV show audition to find a new wife. He finds a real stunner, and before long, he’s literally on pins and needles and heels-over-head in love! (Actually, and despite its reputation, I thought this movie was just OK. It’s certainly disconcerting and gross at times, but it’s never really that scary.)

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movie List 2020 - Outbreak Edition
Slither (2006) - :)
The Creeping Flesh (1973) - :|
Man-Made Monster (1941) - :|
Doctor X (1932) - :)
Audition (1999) - :|
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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by dsheinem Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:39 am

First one in the books...

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) - This year I started with this one - and I found the film to be as strange and compelling as its title. I liked the slow-drip setup of everything and found the cast to be quite convincing, but what really made this one work was that it kept jumping across various horror sub-genres from act to act in a way that would have been harder to pull off in less competent hands. Zohra Lampert is great throughout and the scenes she shares with Mariclare Costello are especially unnerving. If you are looking for something that’s more moody and creepy than gross or grisly, this is a great pick.

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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by PretentiousHipster Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:32 am

Showed my partner some Vincent Price films. House on Haunted Hill is corny in the best way possible. They really enjoyed
The Abominable Dr. Phibes because it has some of the most imaginative murders ever, and the comedy is decent.

Tonight we're gonna watch the House on Haunted Hill remake, because how the hell can you make it "scary" and grim. It must be hilarious.
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Ack
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Ack Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:28 pm

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1. The Minion

At the end of the last millennium, Dolph Lundgren acted in an action supernatural horror movie about the oncoming apocalypse. Surprisingly, this was done in 1998, the year before Arnold Schwarzenegger would release his own action supernatural horror movie End of Days. Of course, there are some similarities between the two, both involving fighting the forces of Satan to prevent the coming armageddon, which has a chance of happening every 1000 years. And there is violence, what with shooting and all. That's pretty much where the similarities end.

For one thing, Schwarzenegger was put in the non-believer role as a cop in New York City who comes up against a Satanic cult. Instead, Lundgren goes for a full on Knights Templar, while the non-believer role is handled by the sidekick, Karen Goodleaf, played by Canadian actress Françoise Robertson. Also, while both movies start in New York City (actually Montreal in Dolph's case), The Minion ends up heading out to a Native American reservation/toxic waste dumping ground, because where else would the US choose to dump its toxic waste than on a people it's already busy dumping on? Oh, and then we end up in the holy land for a really bad gun fight and some sword play and over acting. Because this movie needed more cheese than a wheel of parmigiano-reggiano.

The plot of this movie focuses on subway workers finding an ancient Knights Templar tomb while doing construction. Karen Goodleaf gets sent in to study artifacts and ends up finding the key to the antichrist's prison, which the Knights Templar have been protecting for about 1500 years. Dolph shows up to protect the key, but a body-swapping demon arrives known as the Minion to get the key and free the antichrist through whatever means necessary...which mostly means really awkward gun fights.

As an aside here, the Minion transfers itself by looking into the eyes of the next victim. This is actually a weird theme for Dolph's choice of horror movies, as his later entry, Don't Kill It, also featured an unkillable monster which would transfer bodies to whoever killed the current flesh puppet it happened to be inhabiting. Why is this a thing in Dolph-fueled horror movies? I have no idea.

Anyway, back to the plot. To stop the Minion getting the key, Dolph and Karen decide to head upstate to Karen's family reservation to drop the key in radioactive toxic waste. Only the Minion shows up and engages Dolph in a fist fight while they wear radiation suits over pools of nuclear sludge. The Minion gets the key and catches a flight to the holy land, with Dolph and Karen somehow managing to get their own flight shortly after despite the fact they are wanted for the deaths of multiple cops, including one scene that involved a police station in a terrible nod to The Terminator. Come on, you knew I'd find a way to bring up a Schwarzenegger film again.

End result? The Minion overacts his way through a gun fight with the Knights Templar and takes over the body of another over-actor who then tries to free the antichrist. Dolph and Karen arrive, fend off the Minion, talk to a weird CG stone head of the antichrist, and pull the key from the door. Karen asks to become the first female Knight Templar. I wonder what I just spent the last 90 minutes of my life doing.

Oh, as another aside, this is still better than Steven Segal's vampire film Against the Dark, which mostly consists of Segal walking around in a trenchcoat while other people deal with vampires. However, the idea of an entombed demonic figure coming back to take over had already been done in a 1990s action film, with Satan's emissary being bested by a mullet-wearing Chuck Norris in the 1994 action thriller Hellbound. Surprisingly, this movie features about the same level of overacting, but Dolph's priest has a metal glove, while Chuck's cop has his mullet...I'll let you decide who wins.

God I love October.

31 Horror Films So Far:
1/31

1. The Minion
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I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by PretentiousHipster Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:53 pm

Not gonna lie this sounds amazing.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by PretentiousHipster Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:59 pm

I'd also like to recommend Xtro. Not necessarily scary, but extremely gross.
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Ack
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Ack Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:17 pm

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2. Phase IV

I love when a movie poster is totally wrong. There are no giant ants, the earth is not turned into a cemetery, the shiny dome does not catch on fire, and ants do not climb out of a bloody hole in a person's hand. The hole isn't bloody when they do that. Yeah, it's a more coherent Un Chien Andalou in that scene. And I promise that's where my comparisons to Luis Buñuel end, folks.

In the beginning, there is a solar eclipse with the planets aligned. Suddenly, ants begin talking to each other and develop weird forehead medallions and begin organizing across species. Then they build towers. A British entymologist notices this and gets a cryptographer from the US Navy to join him in a silver dome out in the Arizona desert to study the ants. They soon end up having to shelter a teenager whose family is killed by the ants, as they try to understand and communicate with their insect adversaries. Of course, things don't work out as planned, the ants prove to be decisive opponents, and in the end everything goes south, with human beings potentially becoming part of the hive.

If you are expecting this to be your typical killer ant movie, somewhere along the likes of Them! or Empire of the Ants, you're going to be sorely disappointed. For one thing, those movies both involved giant bugs. For another, this movie is more about scientists trying to study a problem under extreme conditions while facing a species that is radically more intelligent and alien in its own way. Because of this, I find the film has more in common with The Andromeda Strain or even Arrival than other killer ant movies. You have a pair of scientists, one of whom is coldly scientific and respects the bugs but lacks in empathy for both insect and man, while the other uses cryptography and sound to try and understand the ants' linguistics and ends up invariably deeply changed for the experience. Yes, this is a movie about bug language.

As strange as that may sound, it actually works. At times this movie has a pseudo-documentary feel, particularly with all the shots inside the ant hive as the ants do things like gather and mourn their dead, move poison through the tunnels, and work with the ant queen to birth new specializations. As exploitative as a movie about killer ants could be, there is enough pseudo-science behind it to make for an unusual and unique experience. And then it goes full art house at the end, as one man enters the center of the hive. It's weird, and it works.

Why does it work? The director was Saul Bass, an award winning graphic designer who only directed one movie but had a hand in the advertising, promotion, and filming of a multitude of award winners. You may not know Bass' name, but odds are you're aware of his work, most notably as the storyboard artist who developed the famous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He was credited in the film as Pictorial Consultant and Title Designer. While Phase IV is the only film Bass ever directed, he knew what would work visually, so when it needs to be, it's cold and scientific, and then it goes full art house without skipping a beat or losing the audience. It's a shame Bass didn't direct more movies.

Is Bass' background and personal understanding of cinema how we ended up with the imagery reminiscent of Buñuel that I mentioned earlier? That...would not surprise me in the slightest. Needless to say, I got a kick out of how bizarre Phase IV is, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a little more out of their killer bug movies.

31 Horror Films So Far:
2/31

1. The Minion
2. Phase IV
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I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
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dsheinem
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by dsheinem Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:29 pm

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Watched The Silence of the Lambs for the umpteenth time, but it is a holiday favorite of sorts for my partner, so we watched it - after a watch of Demme's Stop Making Sense as a kind of appetizer. :lol:

Every time I watch the film I discover something new to appreciate about the creation of it - I think I have moved past being interested in hearing the story and watching the performances when I see this film (though they are completely deserving of their sterling reputation and high accolades), but breaking down and wrapping my head around some of Demme's decisions and "little touches" makes it rewarding every time.

Two down in two days. I won't keep this pace, but it's a start!

Month of Horror 2020
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:39 pm

Nice.

My children wanted to watch a scary movie; so, I watched The Haunting (1963) with them last night. It is one of my all time favorite horror films, based on one of my all time favorite horror novels. It did not disappoint, and it was just scary enough that my children were thrilled, but not so scared that they couldn’t get to sleep. As DSH noted with regard to The Silence of the Lambs, it’s one that I appreciate more and more every time I watch it.
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Michi
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Michi Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:16 pm

And my first movie for my Halloween theme of "Movies I think prfsnl_gmr will like" is:

Blood Bath (1966)

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Why did I think prfsnl_gmr would like it? Well, prfsnl_gmr liked Spider Baby, and who directed Blood Bath? Why, Spider Baby's very own director, Jack Hill, who shares directing credit here with Stephanie Rothman, an assistant of the infamous Roger Corman. Yes, this is a Corman production (alas, such are the perils of going into a movie without knowing anything about it), which means that the background for the film is very....interesting to say the least.

Now that I've watched it, do I still think prfsnl_gmr will like it? I think so? The plot for this hacked-together feature is sort of all over the damn place (Beatniks! Vampires! Women who mistakingly think they can escape their stalker by jumping on carousels!) But! it's short and wonderfully atmospheric, which I think he will dig (ya dig?).
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