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

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:26 pm

Michi wrote:Well, that last movie was clearly a bust. So it's time for a hard reset by watching something that I know prfsnl_gmr likes.

Thusly, the next write-up in this months theme of "Movies I think prfsnl_gmr will like" is:

Daughters of Darkness

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I can see why prfsnl_gmr liked this one. It's filled with color, style, interesting characters and sultry vampires. The master vampire Báthory is the type of villain that's scary because of cunning manipulation rather than physical dominance. On top of that, the whole movie is filled with bright colors and soft edges, which makes it feel distinctly feminine. Which is perhaps appropriate considering that most of the main cast is female. It's easily the most enjoyable vampire film I've seen in quite a while.


YES! Daughters of Darkness is so good. It’s wonderfully trashy-awesome. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading your full review.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:21 pm

Last night, my wife and I watched The Burrowers (2008). It is a relatively low budget period western horror film similar, thematically, to Bone Tomahawk (2015). (Some settlers disappear, and a posse goes to track them down.) It isn’t nearly as good as Bone Tomahawk, but it’s still retry solid. We both enjoyed it, and if you’ve already seen both Bone Tomahawk and Dead Birds, but would still like some American period horror, you won’t go wrong with The Burrowers,

Tonight, we watched Psychomania (1972). In it, the hippie leader of a British biker gang comes back from the dead to ride his motorcycle really fast, do sweet stunts, and otherwise terrorize the British countryside. The film has a moody late mid-century electric guitar soundtrack, and all of the bikers in his gang (“The Living Dead”) have super cool homemade helmets made to look like skulls and biker jackets with a sweet skull and crossbones logo. The inimitable George Sanders makes an appearance as a occultist butler, in his last film role, and the movie is 100% rock ‘n roll. Seriously, it is one of the “coolest” movies ever and just a lot of fun. Very highly recommended.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movie List 2020 - Outbreak Edition
Slither (2006) - :)
The Creeping Flesh (1973) - :|
Man-Made Monster (1941) - :|
Doctor X (1932) - :)
Audition (1999) - :|
The Vanishing (1988) - :D
The Return of Doctor X (1939) - :(
REC (2007) - :)
The Devil Doll (1936) - :D
Captive Wild Woman (1943) - :(
The Shout (1978) - :D
Phenomena (1985) - :D
Squirm (1976) - :)
Lake Mungo (2008) - :D
The Burrowers (2008) - :)
Psychomania (1972) - :D
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Michi
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Michi Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:46 pm

And the next write-up in this months theme of "Movies I think prfsnl_gmr will like" is:

And Now The Screaming Starts!

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Why did I think prfsnl_gmr would like it? It was described (by more than one source this time) as a very atmospheric gothic horror tale. And one of prfsnl_gmr's most like things is atmosphere. It's also stars Peter Cushing and several other popular British actors at the time, so I had faith that the acting would be top of the line.

Now that I've seen it, do I still think prfsnl_gmr will like it? I thinks so. There are some odd plot-related elements, but the film is indeed atmospheric and filled with rich colors and designs. There is a bit of exploitation thrown in towards the end (damnit, how does this keep happening...), but being a British film means that you don't get anything too explicit. In fact, all of that put together (including the title) almost makes the film feel like a British take of a giallo.

Almost.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:51 pm

Awesome review, Michi, as always. That’s one more added to my watchlist!

......

We watched The Addams Family (1991) with my children last night. It’s a solid comedy that still holds up, and my daughter enjoyed it immensely. Recommended, even if it’s not a horror film!

Tonight, my wife and I watched A Chinese Ghost Story (1987). It’s a wushu, romantic-comedy, horror film, and it’s both deeply weird and totally awesome. In addition to claymation zombies, there is an evil-tree spirit with a giant tongue, a Daoist swordsman, seductive spirits, and a demon made of human heads and chains. There’s a dance sequence, set to a 1980s drum machine and synthesizer, about Daoism and lots and lots of fighting. If, like me, you’re a fan of both wushu films and horror films, you should be sure to check it out. Like most of the movies on my list this year, it’s available for streaming on Prime Video.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movie List 2020 - Outbreak Edition
Slither (2006) - :)
The Creeping Flesh (1973) - :|
Man-Made Monster (1941) - :|
Doctor X (1932) - :)
Audition (1999) - :|
The Vanishing (1988) - :D
The Return of Doctor X (1939) - :(
REC (2007) - :)
The Devil Doll (1936) - :D
Captive Wild Woman (1943) - :(
The Shout (1978) - :D
Phenomena (1985) - :D
Squirm (1976) - :)
Lake Mungo (2008) - :D
The Burrowers (2008) - :)
Psychomania (1972) - :D
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) - :D
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PretentiousHipster
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by PretentiousHipster Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:53 pm

I would recommend seeing The Boxer's Omen. The most batshit insane martial arts horror... If you could even call it martial arts.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by marurun Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:07 am

I want to recommend the old anime Lily C.A.T. It is an 80s title originally dubbed and released by Streamline. It’s a sci-fi horror tale in the vein of Alien that’s well animated and actually decently dubbed. It’s also on Amazon Prime.

The plot is that there’s a survey ship headed out for a distant planet. There are some oddities among the crew, but whatever, right? So the crew goes into stasis, but while the crew sleeps the ship is remotely directed to intercept some kind of comet-like anomaly and collect some material from it. From there, you can probably guess how the movie proceeds. But it actually does a neat job presenting the crew members (before most are killed off), including the non-standard members. For an anime it is pretty western-friendly. Recommended as Halloween watching.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Michi Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:07 pm

And the next write-up in this months theme of "Movies I think prfsnl_gmr will like" is:

Scream and Scream Again

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Why did I think prfsnl_gmr would like it? It's neck deep in 70's aesthetic and I read that it's one of the most "unique" horror films to come out of England because it forces you to pay attention and think. It also touts the likes of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and (because I didn't forget PretentiousHipster) Vincent Price!

Now that I've seen it, do I still think prfsnl_gmr will like it? Maybe? It's actually less of a horror movie and more of a thriller, but it is indeed an unusual and unique film. The 70's aesthetic is indeed strong here (The hair! The music! The cars! The colors!), and the plot's very fragmented, jumping back and forth between different, seemingly unrelated segments that eventually merge together by the end. Sadly, Cushing and Lee's roles are barely little more than cameos (there in there for around 4 and 8 minutes, respectively) and only Lee and Price have a scene together, so the lack of contact there is a little disappointing (AKA, the poster lies). But the acting is still good and despite the fragmentation the story is pretty interesting, assuming one is patient enough to wait for it to all come together in the end.


Next up is The Love Witch..... I'm excited.
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:04 am

Yay! The Love Witch! That is a wild movie, and I hope you enjoy it. I have no idea why it exists, or how, but I’m really happy to have seen it. I am very much interested in your thoughts on the costumes, sets, and other aspects of its visual design.

.......

Two more for me...both of which are just OK.

Possum (2018) is an English horror film about a disgraced puppeteer who moves back into his dilapidated childhood home along with, perhaps, the world’s creepiest puppet. (“You showed that to children?” asks one of the supporting characters.) He wants to get rid of the puppet, but no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t do it. The movie literally oozes atmosphere, and it has a consistently damp, decaying, mildewed aesthetic. (It also successfully makes modern Scotland look like one of he shittiest places on earth.) Despite the great acting and art direction, however, the movies just isn’t that interesting. The plot is kid of dull, and it is only 1/4 as scary as it should be. (That is, it isn’t scary at all.) Accordingly, and while I look forward to the director’s other work, I can’t really recommend this film.

I asked Ack and Michi to recommend a 1980s slasher film, but my man Gunstar came through with a recommendation for Final Exam (1981). Filmed 40 years ago at a community college not too far from my home, Final Exam is a bold slasher film that dares to ask, “What if you cared about all of the victims, but not at all for the villain?” The answer is, “You’d still have a pretty generic slasher film, but with no potential for a sequel.” The film spends most of its running time characterizing the college frat bros, jocks, and nerds who will eventually get stabbed to death before culminating in a not that interesting final sequence in which they are stalked and killed by a random schlubby dude with really good reflexes. It otherwise adheres to all slasher movie tropes, including the wonderful final girl trope, but as I mentioned earlier, the killer is just really, really, really boring. He has no dialogue, no backstory, and no gimmick, and he’s literally just a stocky guy in loose-fitting jeans, a green windbreaker, and black sneakers, with swooshy black hair and a knife. At one point a guy shoots an arrow at him, and he catches it. He also overpowers one of the jocks, which would be more impressive if the actor playing the “jock” looked even remotely athletic (or healthy, even). Despite my criticism, and despite what Ack and Gunstar said about it, I did find the movie entertaining, and I even enjoyed it for what it is.

prfsnl_gmr’s Halloween Movie List 2020 - Outbreak Edition
Slither (2006) - :)
The Creeping Flesh (1973) - :|
Man-Made Monster (1941) - :|
Doctor X (1932) - :)
Audition (1999) - :|
The Vanishing (1988) - :D
The Return of Doctor X (1939) - :(
REC (2007) - :)
The Devil Doll (1936) - :D
Captive Wild Woman (1943) - :(
The Shout (1978) - :D
Phenomena (1985) - :D
Squirm (1976) - :)
Lake Mungo (2008) - :D
The Burrowers (2008) - :)
Psychomania (1972) - :D
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) - :D
Possum (2018) - :|
Final Exam (1981) - :)
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by dsheinem Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:55 am

Still plugging away at the Month of Horror. Here's what I've watched in the past few weeks...

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The Shout (1978) - As someone who spends some time playing with noise and synths in his own creepy basement, this film and its stunning sound design really resonated with me...as did the creepy Francis Bacon-tinged story. A fantastic cast, a healthy dose of surrealism, and some clever storytelling make this one of the more interesting British horror films I’ve watched in a while (and a nice break from the Hammer stuff that I’ve been slowly moving through this month).

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Beetlejuice (1988) - I hadn't watched this one since probably about 1990, and then only in a TV edit, so this was a nice chance to finally see the film in full, through adult eyes, and with my 11-year old totally wrapped up in the film. Burton's earlier work still strikes me as much more imaginative and "fun" than pretty much anything he has done in the 21st Century, and it was great to watch this with the family to kick off a run of more family-friendly Halloween fare for part of this year's month of horror...

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Frankenweenie (1984) - Given how much everyone liked Beetlejuice, it seemed a good coda to throw on Burton's classic black and white short, which was new to everyone else in the house. I still really appreciate the concise nature of the film, the great sense of dark humor, and especially the final scenes. It is also a great masterclass in how to make a low-budget small film look great. I haven't bothered with the animated remake at all, as I am worried that it will detract from my appreciation of this one...

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Hail Satan? (2019) - This is a documentary about modern-day Satanism, which under the leadership of "The Satanic Temple" is much more of a social justice/activist organization than a religion in any common understanding of the label. The documentary explores these nuances in a fun way, highlights the major news stories that the group has been associated with over the past few years, and does a good job of contextualizing the Temple in and against the "Satanic panic" stuff of the 1980s, the history of Satanism in San Francisco (e.g. Anton La Vey), and other well-known public usage of "Satanist" in American cultural history. The style of the documentary reminded me very much of an extended "Vice News" style segment, but director Penny Lane clearly has an eye for editing and pacing that lifts it above the sometimes plodding style of Vice's stories.

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The Scream of Fear (1961) - I watched this projected in the back yard with a friend of mine, and I can't think of a much better environment for enjoying some classic Hammer horror. The plot takes some nice turns and holds you in suspense (a lot of "WTF is going on") and it is a lot less "campy" than their more monster-focused flicks that would define much of the studio's later 1960s output. Susan Strasberg is especially great in the lead role, and she absolutely stands out even over fan favorites like Christopher Lee. I found out afterwards that the director (Seth Holt) also directed the original Ladykillers. Has anyone seen this? I like the Coen's remake, and my enjoyment of this film made me more interested in watching that one - any thoughts?

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The Invisible Man (1933) - I was hoping to watch more Universal Monster films this year (and probably will in the next few days), but I had never seen any "Invisible Man" related film of any kind, so wanted to make sure I started with that one. I thought that the effects still(!) held up relatively well, but I didn't really see this as much of a horror film in any way that I typically think of the genre (or of Universal Monster films). It has some nicely made scenes, the Blu-Ray restoration looks great, and it held my interest...but it felt largely underdeveloped and lacking in meaningful character development. It was also on the short side, which was probably to the detriment of the film's ability to establish a plot I could get invested in. How are the sequels?

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The Craft (1996) - This was a film I thought I had seen "back in the day," but upon watching it this week, I discovered that I had not. My wife is a big fan of the movie and pumped for the soon-to-be-released remake, so she wanted to rewatch this blast-from-the-past to set her expectations accordingly. The film is fairly competent, and is a much better "90s teen film" than I thought it would have been based on what I remembered about the movie's advertising/reception when it was out. It isn't especially scary/frightening, but the actors all seem to be relishing the campiness of their roles. If you can look past the bad CGI and a few plot holes, this one is a lot of fun.

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Midsommar (2019) - I liked this just as much as I liked Hereditary, which is to say I quite enjoyed the aesthetics of the film (the camera work, set and costume design, and the score are especially well crafted) but felt a little let down by the story. That isn't to say that the story isn't fun and doesn't deliver "the goods" on a few occasions, but Aster's films are almost maddingly slow in their buildup (which is intentional, I know), to the point that at times it seems nothing of consequence is happening. That said, I think this was ultimately better than Hereditary and am excited to see what the director does next.


and, a TV bonus...

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The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020) - This is very much a slow burn, and I didn't like the show very much until the final two episodes, which are by themselves pretty good horror TV watching. I think it is worth sticking through some of the earlier (and sometimes confusing) episodes to make it through to the finale, and the strong performances by the lead actors certainly helps (Victoria Pedretti is especially great in her lead role). That said, it has a lot of genre trappings that should lure people in - creepy aristocratic kids with English accents, creepy ladies with long wet hair, houses that go bump in the night, suspicious sightings, criss-crossing timelines, etc. There's a lot here, and not all of it lands, but I would cautiously recommend it to someone looking for more atmospheric horror viewing.

Month of Horror 2020
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Vibes (1988)
The Gorgon (1964)
Shivers (1975)
The House of the Devil (2009)
The Shout (1978)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Frankenweenie (1984)
The Scream of Fear (1961)
Hail Satan? (2019)
The Invisible Man (1933)
The Craft (1996)
Midsommar (2019)
The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)
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Michi
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Re: Racketboy Month of Horror 11: The Pandemic Edition

by Michi Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:49 am

And the final write-up in this months theme of "Movies I think already know prfsnl_gmr will likes cause he already watched it" is:

The Love Witch

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This...this was fabulous. The colors and cinematography are just exquisite, and the whole thing looks like it jumped straight out of the Hitchcock era, which is an immensely impressive feat considering it takes place in the modern age. It works great as a stand-alone tale of a crazed woman looking for love at any cost, and as a commentary on modern and historical feminism. What's equally impressive, is that director Anna Biller had a hand in creating nearly every aspect of the film (costumes, sets, props, etc.), meaning she essentially hand designed the entire fucking thing. Damn.
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