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RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 30/9/2013 7:22:28 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Maybe on the edge of weird or strange, but it was either this or Diana



Director: Brad Anderson
Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli, David Otunga
Running time: 94 minutes
Certification: 15

When a mistake by 911 operator Jordan (Berry) leads to the death of a young girl, sheís overcome by guilt and feels doubly compelled to help the next abducted girl (Breslin) escape from the clutches of her mysterious kidnapper, who she thinks is the same man.

Itís surprisingly rare these days to sit down to a thriller and be genuinely thrilled. You know, thrilled to the point of an increased pulse, clenched fists and lip-biting Ė everything the Ďthrillerí aspires to. That being the case, I think The Call Ė director Brad Andersonís ode to Cortesí Buried and Schumacherís Phone Booth - is largely a success.

The set-up is simple: what if your mistake caused the death of an innocent person, and what would you do if given a second chance? Perhaps the greatest achievement of the film is that it never sways from that set-up. The reason I cite Buried and Phone Booth as direct influences is because they possessed the same discipline; they were never tempted to try to be more than they were. They had a simple but effective premise which was followed through on and paid off. Nothing more. In the case of The Call, we know basically where weíre headed (at times a little too much thanks to the over-explanatory trailer) and weíre excited about it. Thereís no reason to veer off path, because itís completely effective with what it has.

It really is a relentless and frantic beast, with the second act in particular pumping up the tension as Jordan struggles with her own demons while trying as hard as she can to get the kidnapped Casey out of the boot sheís been stuffed in. If, like me, youíve seen the trailer, youíll know ultimately how it climaxes, or at least how parts of it climax, yet somehow that doesnít ruin the spell. One particular scene at a gas station springs to mind; a sequence which was completely spoiled in said trailer, but joyfully still had me gripping the end of my seat. Something about the film just works. It clicks. All the elements fall together into one functioning, cogent little motor.

Perhaps the third act loses a little something, in that the thrills diminish slightly and it ever so subtly toys with the idea of exploding into a budgetary climax, but it just about keeps things in check and I kept with it. If youíve been won over by the first two-thirds of the film, generally you wonít be bothered by the third, and the unconventional ending which has sparked a few complaints, I would argue, kind of works. If you allow it to.

The two leads, Berry and Breslin, are fantastic. Breslin, whoís grown up somewhat since her glorious Little Miss Sunshine and even Zombieland days is incredibly convincing, making us believe for every second in her fear and claustrophobia. Again to go back to Buried, much like Ryan Reynoldsí Paul Conroy, she spends much of her time trapped in a dark box with nothing but a mobile phone. How do you make acting choices in such confines? Well, thatís for them to know. Halle Berry, too, while Iím not always convinced by her, plays her part of the troubled 911 operator really well.

A genuinely nice surprise. This is a really neat, effective thriller that doesnít overstay its welcome or try to do more than it has to, and I think thatís worth celebrating.

8/10


Now I wish I'd seen this now, sounds much better than the general critical opinion,I took a week off going to the cinema last week because nothing took my fancy!

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15181
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 30/9/2013 7:24:21 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

***LOTS OF SPOILERS***

Three Colours Trilogy

Three Colours Blue (1993)

It was more enjoyable than I expected. The pace was quick. It started with arty close ups on details - I found that to be slightly off-putting. Then about four minutes into the movie, when Juliette Binoche tries to take the pills, it became properly dramatic and affecting with an emotional punch to it. It dragged me into its world and I took to the film and got on its wavelength. Even the opening close ups paid off as there was a moment about twenty minutes in when she finds a sweet wrapper that echoes one we saw at the start. As we know what sort of memories it triggers the scene has an impact out of proportion to what we are seeing.

Not a lot happens in the film but there are a string of minor, low-key incidents to keep the film going. The pace is brisk, with abrupt scene endings and no meandering, and there are no pointless arty touches (with the exception of two close ups concerning her coffee).

The film isnít really about much, which makes the exaggerated heavyweight critical reputation seem more than a little over the top. Itís a minor little film about a woman dealing with grief. There really isnít much more to it. A lot of the story elements donít amount to much and the movie tails off into nothing much towards the end. I dislike the last minutes with opera over images of various characters. It seems overblown and self-consciously arty were the rest of the movie is small and low-key.

I liked the film but the ending was disappointing as it didnít really lead to anything. Visually itís very nice looking and the acting is good from everyone.

7 out of 10


Three Colours White (1994)

The story is too random and haphazard to convince that itís a proper joined up plot. It lurches from section to section with little connecting the different parts together. Then it becomes rather twee and unbelievable with the lead character becoming rich and building a business empire. Also his friend wanting to be killed didnít feel right.

I hate the ending. It doesnít make any sense to me. He goes to such extremes to win her back and then has her arrested for his murder. It is too stupid and silly and illogical (faking his own death is both difficult and a long term commitment) so the details donít add up, and emotionally it doesnít work. The ending is very bad. I donít swallow any of it. It simply makes no sense to me.

Itís supposed to be a comedy. There are a few minor laughs and a sardonic black comic feel to a few scenes, but to call it a comedy is to go way too far. The downside is that the comedy reduces the serious side of the film, so the movie ends up being lightweight without the benefit of actually being funny. We get the worst of both worlds.

Julie Delpy only plays a minor role in a few scenes. Her screen time canít be more than ten minutes, if that. I think of the Colours Trilogy as being about a central female character in each film, but this movie proves that not to be true.

5 out of 10


Three Colours Red (1994)

I thought White had a fairly random story. Red is even more fragmented. I donít think it has a real plot. There is no centre that binds the scenes together. It really is just a random (I assume made up as it goes along) collection of scenes with reoccurring characters.

The long dialogues between the model and the retired judge are the main focus. I never felt a true story, or a substantial relationship, emerged from those scenes.

The film was really pretty pointless. The first hour was more entertaining than it should have been. It was quietly compelling. A lot of this is probably due to the brisk pacing. The pace slacked off and it became slower in the last half hour. The last meeting in the theatre was not much of a climax. It had pointless diversion with a storm and a janitor Ė the bit when the model has to close the doors seemed particularly random. The dialogue between the two characters started to become a bit pretentious towards the end. Especially her treating his dream of her as a fifty year old as being prophetic.

The film climaxes with the lead characters from the three movies in the trilogy meeting by chance. Itís not funny, ironic, meaningful or interesting. They donít talk to each other. They are simply on the same boat together. It ties nothing up and is a wasted opportunity.

The film does not measure up to its sky high heavyweight reputation. Overall it was too random and unconvincing as a proper story. Itís well acted and nicely filmed. I think Red is the weakest of the three movies. It wasnít bad, and it was very watchable, but it didnít add up to much.

5 out of 10

I've just worked out the meaning of the ending on the boat after re-reading my review. I literally wrote it. He is saying they are all in the same boat, as in they all have the same problems. Seems so obvious now.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
I gave up on this the first time I tried to watch it. It was after half an hour when the first woman had a heart attack. I felt it was about nothing to the extent that it was without any content. I saw a vapid movie that was just a string of random images and scenes with no particular point or reason. Which wouldnít have been so bad if at least it was quite interesting or entertaining on some level. I thought it was just very boring. So for this second viewing I adjusted my expectations to a suitably low-level.

I think I was right first time. It is a serious of random images and scenes with no end destination or point in mind. Nothing much really happens, and what does happen is silly and unconvincing. What really connects these two women? Not much. So what that they look alike?

The puppeteer was a silly character with ludicrous motivations (if he has any) for his actions in the second half. It made no sense and was just very silly. If this wasnít subtitled people would not be buying the whole last half hour.

Visually there was a lot of weird looking green lighting. Whole scenes were bathed in this lime colour for no obvious reason.

The pace was neither quick or slow, more ploddingly average in speed.

I didnít enjoy the movie. I was not convinced by it at all. The weak story, if you can even call it that, had no discernible point to it. Not a good film. It was at least only ninety minutes and it wasnít patience trying. The last scene at her fatherís house was very puzzling. What was the purpose of that last moment of him making furniture at a saw and her touching a tree at the gate? Was it an obscure comment on how the tree will die and one day be used to make furniture. If so, who cares?

3 out of 10

------------------------------------------------------------------------

To the Wonder (2012)


A film that expects endless patience from the viewer
I've got no idea what Malick's thinking by making movies in this weird abstract way. He strings a bunch of well photographed (often steadycam) snatched documentary shots together. There is no conventional staging of actors, almost zero dialogue (half of which is probably not scripted) and no real scenes to speak of. It's then topped off with the most pretentious voice overs imaginable. It's really not an enjoyable, audience friendly combination. Why he thinks this is a good way to make movies I can't guess.

I wonder if he even likes his own movies?

At least the voice overs are mostly in foreign languages so the subtitles disguise just how pretentiously silly they are. I cringed when Affleck did a voice over in English at the start. The subtitles make them seem more respectable and intelligent because you can't help but associate reading with smartness.

No discernible plot of any interest or consequence takes place.

The camera pervs at Olga Kurylenko quite a bit, and is probably the only enjoyable part of the whole movie.

Rachel McAdams turns up and then disappeared without any explanation.

Eventually after a torturously long time it finally ends after wasting everyone's time. What there is to get out of this movie I don't know. It's just a massive bore. Pretty images randomly edited together with quietly portentous classical music playing low in the background is not fun. The movie goes nowhere.

I actually kind of didn't mind the first half hour. It wasn't good or anything, but I didn't hate it. Then it just became boring. Finally I lost my patience with it and gave up at the seventy minute point (a little after the online video chat with the daughter in France).

I decided I might as well finish the thing as it's only about 110 minutes. So I went back to it after a few hours. It wasn't worth the effort, as I suspected. The ending itself seemed particularly pointless.

It's a really boring film. There is no entertainment or anything profound to be found here. It's art cinema at the duller end of the spectrum.

It's really The Tree of Life Part 2 as the two films are so similar. Tree has a bigger, grander scope to it but it's longer and more depressing than Wonder, so on balance I would say Wonder is slightly better.

2 out of 10


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Bande A Part (1964) 4 out of 10
Not a lot of fun. More of a dull plod through a banal story. There is very little plot, and instead we spend most of the time just hanging out with the characters. Unfortunately the characters are paper thin and not an interesting, or likeable, bunch. After about an hour of mostly boring improvised time wasting the robbery takes place. It's not very exciting and is just very so-so. It's a deliberately aimless movie. They just stretched the running time as best they could with pointless uncinematic diversions such as reading newspapers to each other. A lot of the movie is time wasting bloat. The opening schoolroom scene goes on forever and is annoying and extremely dull with a long quotation read out by the teacher at unnecessary length. The famous dance sequence was good (the long ten or so minute cafe scene is maybe composed of only ten edits in total), and I laughed out loud at the Louvre running scene. It wasn't any fun hanging out with these people beyond a few rare bright spots. Visually it doesn't look very good as the very low budget documentary style footage is very rough around the edges.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lake Placid (1999) 7 out of 10
***BIG SPOILERS*** The horror elements are very, very average. There is almost no blood, the body count is tiny (I think maybe three people die and all of the main and supporting cast survive). It's competently made but it's not aiming to scare the crap out of you. What lifts it above average is the dialogue and acting. The dialogue is often very funny with some real wit, and the actors deliver it perfectly. Brendan Gleeson and Betty White were probably the funniest. Usually the humans interacting are the weakest, most boring parts of a monster movie but here they were the best parts. The opening 20 to 30 minutes were the strongest. The film doesn't quite live up to the full potential of the start. The ending is a bit so-so.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) 4 out of 10
It's basically the third movie in the Grindhouse project. It is very similar in style to Planet Terror in tone and visual look (grainy film stock and extreme use of colour). It's mildly funny in places, but the extreme violence and the lack of morality makes it feel like it was made by a sick thirteen year old. There isn't much funny about sexual violence towards women, and this film doesn't justify it with context. It was really quite offensive in places. School kids are murdered in the movie, which seems a bit much for a 'fun' movie like this. The relentless grimness made it hard to enjoy no matter how comic book and over the top it was. It was an unpleasant movie. I endured it more than enjoyed it. It's a deliberate chaotic mess but a bit of sophistication in the script wouldn't have gone a miss. Also I found the abrupt ending to be a bit pointless.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Sessions (2012) 9 out of 10
The subject matter isn't very appealing so I was relieved when about five minutes in the tone was set - it was definitely aiming to be funny. It's an amusing story and quite poignant. The potentially depressing or boring subject matter is told with a real attempt at making brisk entertainment and isn't all about bashing you over the head with how worthy it is. The film works very well with a good pace, lots of humour and good acting from everyone. It's quite a warm movie. Maybe too warm as there isn't a dissenting voice who disagrees with what is going on. Everyone being okay with it doesn't make for much drama. Helen Hunt does two shots of full frontal nudity while the male lead does none, which seems a little unfair.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Clue (1985) 8 out of 10
A very enjoyable piece of silly fun. A lot of amusing moments. Half the cast steal the film. The plot doesn't hold up to any scrutiny as the motivations and peoples abilities to be in certain places are very contrived. It's best to not question any of it and just go along for the ride. A very fun movie and you can see how it has developed an audience participation following like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Mental (2012) 5 out of 10
A loud (five girls constantly screaming), tasteless (covering white furniture in period blood) sprawling (not a lot of focus to the story) self-indulgent (the Sound of Music singing) mess. The plot often goes off on odd tangents (returning the stuffed shark to the water) that don't seem all that relevant to the story we've been watching so far. Apparently it's been in development for over a decade. You can see the joins as unconnected ideas formed years apart are squashed together. Some of the characters are fairly grotesque. It's a highly eccentric, rambling mess but there is a an unpretentious mainstream sensibility to it. I can't say it was good, but it was very watchable and there are a few funny bits in it. As much a success as a failure. If nothing else, it should be float around unforgotten in my memory forever more.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) 7 out of 10
A competent space set sci-fi action movie. Perhaps I was just too indifferent to it, but I let it wash over me without thinking too much and so I enjoyed it as a fairly dumb action film. Apparently a lot of people think it has a lot of potholes and stuff. I can't say I noticed any, or felt the logic was too strained. It was not a smart movie, but a standard blockbuster. I didn't predict much of what was going to happen and I thought it was well made. An enjoyable, undemanding slice of action.


------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Sixth Sense (1999) 7 out of 10
It was quite good. A solid story well told, but it's hard to see why it was so successful beyond having a great twist. Without that twist, or if the story was the same but the twist information was revealed at the start, then I doubt it would have been such a big deal. It's not very eventful and has a strangely small cast - there are only about four main characters, with everyone else relegated to very minor bit parts. There is nothing about it that really screams out 'perfect summer blockbuster'. I guess it was a real sleeper hit as I doubt anyone could have predicted just how well it would do. The acting is good with Osment being very impressive for his age. The pace is a little slow but it fits the mood of the film. It's a good, solid, workmanlike movie but it's not a thrill ride. Beyond the twist it's nothing special. I have to admit though that there are a few moments that gave me 'Goosebumps', such as when Bruce Willis plays the tape recording of a silent room with the volume all the way up.


I actually agree with you about Sixth Sense: it's decent, but nothing special. Totally disagree with you about To The Wonder, I thought it was beautiful, but then Malick remains a very acquired taste!

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 15182
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 30/9/2013 7:31:57 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
on DVD and 3D Blu-ray 14th October





A Russian satellite containing dead humans and large spiders is hit by a meteor which sends a portion of it to Earth where it crashes through a street in New York and ends up in a tunnel. Subway supervisor Jason Cole sends one of his men to investigate, but he gets bitten by a spider and fries himself by landing on a train rail. An autopsy reveals that the guy has been implanted with tiny eggs. Jason argues with his soon-to-be ex-wife, Rachael, who works for the Health Department, about re-opening the tunnel, then investigates himself, accompanied by two pest exterminators. They find a load of spiders who kill one of the exterminators and the others barely escape with their lives. Then Jason is told that the eggs inside his worker must be of alien origin because there are no bacteria present. The army turn up and quarantines the surrounding city blocks, telling the public itís to contain a viral outbreakÖ.

I have a particular fondness for spider films, whether the spiders just be of normal size a la Arachnophobia, are somewhat enlarged like in Eight Legged Freaks, or bloody huge like in Tarantula. This means that Iím probably more inclined to enjoy trash like The Giant Spider Invasion then many others, though I like to think that I can tell the difference between a good film and a bad film even if I enjoy the bad film. The heyday of the so-bad-itís-good ĎBí movie was probably the 1950ís, where at times it must have seemed like you couldnít move for oversized insects, arachnids etc, not to mention big monsters of other kinds, but there seems to be something of a recent resurgence of films of this ilk, only that the results usually go straight to home viewing. The SyFy channel have made a name for themselves producing this kind of movie, and unsurprisingly the odd spider picture crops up like Ice Spiders and Camel Spiders [reviewed elsewhere by Matt Wavish on this website]. Spiders, directed by the guy who helmed Ice Spiders but made in Bulgaria, is actually not a SyFy production. Itís also superior to your average SyFy effort [and also better than the 2000 film also called Spiders Ė yes, I own it], it actually having aspirations to be a good film, though some may say this takes away some of the ridiculous fun.

The opening scene, or at least most of it, is very good indeed, and got me immediately wondering if the many bad reviews Spiders seems to be getting are totally wrong. We are in space, and the camera slowly pans to the right revealing some of Earth, over which an incredibly large spider appears to be crawling, until it is revealed we are looking through the window of some space craft. The camera moves backwards through the craft, revealing dead men and lots of spiders crawling all over them. The CGI of the spiders and the camera moving through walls is a bit obvious, but then CGI is almost always obvious to me and it really is quite good here. The whole rather impressive sequence seems to be climaxing with the camera exiting the space craft and, as it retreats into space, revealing a pretty convincing and detailed space satellite. Okay, itís not 2001: A Space Odyssey or even Star Wars, but itís pretty good none the lessÖ..until a meteorite hits the satellite and we get an especially lame CGI explosion even in these days of lame CGI explosions.

O well, it was good up to then, and it continues to be quite good, ignoring a dreadful shot of a part of the satellite falling past New York skyscrapers towards a road. The scene of the guy investigating in the tunnel is rather suspenseful and oddly accentuated by the blue lighting: I doubt the tunnel would actually look this blue but itís nice to have a deliberate stylistic choice like this in a film of this nsture anyway. Then the guy is bitten, hilariously falls down on to the train track and electrocutes himself in a badly acted and staged death scene which will probably have most people laughing. Still, the movie progresses in a pleasant way, well paced though rife with cliches which really need to be consigned to the bottom drawer for a while, not notably our hero Jason not spending enough time with his daughter and being too late for her birthday meal out because he is too busy with his job. Patrick Muldoon [who previously fought spiders in Ice Spiders and insect-like monsters in Starship Troopers] isnít bad here but Sydney Sweeney is far too old to play a 12 year old and Christa Campbell as her mum seems to be caked in so much make-up that she can hardly show any expression. Never mind, itís always nice to have the underrated William Hope in a film, even if heís playing a hugely unoriginal part.

We do get to see spiders in large numbers quite quickly but the story gets more interested in human villainy. A Russian scientist showing up early is the first obvious sign of this, though heís not really a bad guy, just misguided. This character is given the job of eventually explaining what they were doing on that satellite and why the spiders are growing [six inches per hour!], and itís so pathetic and vague that they would have been better off just not including the scene at all. Screenwriters Joseph Farrugia and Tibor Takars [who also directed] do show some ambition where they try to compensate for not many spider scenes occurring until half way by including loads of other stuff going on, some of it very hackneyed like the usual Quarantine That Is Hiding Something From The Public, but adding some nice touches too, like the hoodies employed by the baddies to snatch eggs from people. All this means that the film moves fast even when the spiders are not around, and donít worry, you do eventually get lots of scenes of the critters chasing people and battling the military.

The spiders really do look good, resembling proper spiders, containing lots of detail, and being reasonably well blended into their environment. Only one huge example lets the side down a little, certainly boasting a spiderís body but with a face nothing like one, while they all make hissing and growling noises which holds them back from actually being scary. Considering also that there is only minimal gore [mostly shots of open stomachs containing eggs which do look rather good], I wondered if Spiders really needed the Ď15í rating it has and whether a í12 Ďrating wouldnít have been more suitable. Some of the film is certainly exciting but falls short of actually being scary. It also mostly lacks humour, bravely playing things straight rather than taking the easy option of taking the mickey. How well you think they succeeded may be down to what you expect from a film like this. It does lack the edge that it needed to stand out in a crowded field, and possible attempts to bring back memories of the classic Them! donít help at all!

At least Tibor Takacs does a good job, though itís a great shame that he never really continued the promise he showed in the early part of his career with films like The Gate and I, Madman. Lorenzo Senatoreís camera is often moving, his work giving the film a decent look [though youíre never convinced youíre in New York, even with the employment of a matte painting!], though Joseph Conlanís score is wildly erratic and sometimes misjudged. Sometimes you hear an electronic pattern that sounds like a helicopter, and itís sometimes played when there are helicopters on-screen! For most of the time though Spiders isnít bad at all. If you want to piss yourself over a ridiculous creature feature, you may be let down by it, but if you fancy trying out a ĎBí movie that at least tries to do its best some of the time, you could do a whole lot worse. I didnít see it in 3D because of my intense dislike of the format, but from what I could tell itís not essential.

Rating: 6/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15183
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 30/9/2013 7:35:19 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
ON DVD: Now


The daring daylight robbery of an armoured car on Londonís Tower Bridge nets a gang of professional crooks £250,000 in bank notes. The plan goes down like clockwork until their inside man, Mason, panics and guns down the carís driver. The groupís boss, whose identity is unknown even to his own henchmen, orders Mason to take his and Masonís share of the money to an undisclosed location in the country. While the remaining gang members are arrested, Mason delivers the money but is murdered. The police lose the trail until some of the stolen money is reported to have been passed by personnel of Barberiniís Circus. Inspector Elliot starts an investigation at the circus compound as more murders begin to occurÖ..

Circus Of Fear is the latest ĎEdgar Wallace Presentsí release from Network, who are dedicated to releasing neglected treasures of British cinema and TV. Edgar Wallace was an extremely prolific thriller writer whose work has led to an amazing 160 film adaptations. I managed to miss the release of The Missing Million, but you can read my reviews of the highly enjoyable The Four Just Men and The Terror elsewhere on this website. Circus Of Fear, though not at all a well known picture, seems to have a minor reputation as a horror film, and I used to confuse it with the earlier Circus Of Horrors, meaning that when it turned up on TV I was disappointed that it wasnít the lurid, sadistic chiller I had read about. Aside from that, I canít remember what the hell I thought of it, which when you see as many films as I do does not automatically imply that the film is a dud, and welcomed the chance to see it again.

Iíll say right away, this isnít a horror film, something which the distributors of the R1 DVD a few years ago seemed to imply when it was released as part of ĎThe Christopher Lee Collectioní. Itís a murder mystery with the odd hint of the macabre, and so long as you know that you should have a fairly good time. Itís no lost classic and is overall a bit pedestrian, but itíll keep the attention of mystery fans and has its points of cult interest. Based on Wallaceís novel The Three Just Men [but nothing to do with The Four Just Men seemingly], the script was written by producer Harry Alan Towers under his occasional pseudonym Peter Welbeck. Amazingly, the US theatrical version of this colour production entitled Psycho-Circus was not only in black and white but only ran 65 min long. Though this was done to make the pace much quicker, I fail to see how this cannot have made the complex plot incredibly confusing. Network offer both the full 90 min version and a slightly shorter 83 min version. Though I watched the 90 min version in full, a spot of checking revealed that nothing of worth is missing from the 83 min version and might actually be the version of choice for a first-time viewer, as it retains all the plot but just moves slightly quicker.

Circus Of Fear is clearly an attempt to compete with the krimis that were coming out from Germany at the time. The numerous krimis were Wallace-derived thrillers with elements that would later help them morph into the Italian giallo. Watching this film, I was surprised that it wasnít remade later as a full-blown giallo, because, as you can probably deduce from the ĎPGí certificate, itís a very tame production, but with violent and sexual elements which could easily have been made more explicit without harming the story. A major disappointment with Circus Of Fear is that it doesnít really make full use of its primary setting [though it oddly has plot similarities with The Greatest Show On Earth], a setting which certainly inspired the likes of Alexandro Jodorowksy and Tod Browning, amongst others.The director here is John Llewellyn Moxey, not a prolific filmmaker but one remembered by all fans of antique horror for the stunningly atmospheric City Of The Dead. He doesnít exhibit nearly as much style here, though he seems to have been seriously constrained by a very low budget which may explain why the odd stock shot from Circus Of Horrors appear every now and again.

The opening section is terrific nonetheless. Moxey begins his film on a shot of the amazing face of Klaus Kinski, then details the lead-up to and execution of the heist with real skill. With three and a half minutes before any music, and five and a half minutes before any dialogue, itís down to the images to do it all, and they certainly achieve their purpose with well chosen shots and extremely precise editing. Soon after this we have a simple road chase involving a van and two cars turned into something approaching quite thrilling cinema due to the cutting and angles, like shots taken from just behind one of the front wheels. Somewhat unfortunately, it makes you think youíre watching a rather different, more action-orientated movie than what you eventually do get, and once we get to the circus, events proceed at a much more leisurely pace. This is partly because Insp. Eliot is one of the friendliest, most gentlemanly policemen Iíve seen on screen, and partly because he spends much of the time off-screen while various intrigues involving the circus folk play out before us. Thereís a girl who may be sleeping around with a jealous boyfriend, a man being blackmailed, another man who is planning revenge on the killer of a family member, and so forth. Then thereís also a killer, whose point of view we often adopt. Heís sleeping with one of the female characters, and kills wearing black gloves. Giallo fans donít get too excited though: the kills are very mild.

Thereís not much in the way of thrills or even mounting suspense, any action being mostly replaced by the constant giving out of lots and lots of information. You really do have to concentrate with this one, though it all does make sense in the end, while the revelation of the killer certainly surprised me. Now youíre probably asking: where is top-billed Christopher Lee? Heís actually not in the film that much, but his role as a lion-tamer who stays masked due to an injury, is an interesting one. He does a Russian accent and proves what a good actor he can be in some scenes where he has to act with just his eyes and mouth. Sadly Kinski is reduced to lurking around in the shadows and is dubbed, though you still canít understand all heís saying due to constantly having a cigarette in his mouth. In such as easy-going film, some humour often fits in well, and here we have some amusing scenes with Eliot and his impatient boss who constantly has a go at him, plus some gags involving the circus accountant who has desires of becoming a clown, and tends to take it out on the obligatory circus midget.

Circus Of Fear is rather awkward, ambling slowly through a perhaps overpopulated tale until, with the end in sight, it suddenly feels like it has to wrap things up before the film runs out. Of course the hero decides to unmask the killer in front of everyone else! It has considerable charm though, and charm is something which seems to be in short supply in cinemas these days. It lacks the oomph factor, but it just about gets away with coasting along pleasantly.

Rating: 6/10



_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15184
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 2/10/2013 10:51:27 AM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5181
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Watched a couple of horror flicks over the weekend. The first was Stake Land. For a movie that has no major stars, it works really well, The Walking Dead but with vampires, and is an intelligent and atmospheric new take on the whole myth. This has the potential to be a franchise as there are so many stories that could be told.

Next up was Texas Chainsaw. Very disappointing, it doesn't try to be fresh or unique, and is predictable from start to finish. Don't get me started on the ending, totally ridiculous. The chronology is also out of sync, it's all very confusing, the film should have at least been set in the late 80s/early 90s, but it's too modern.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15185
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 2/10/2013 11:25:31 AM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

Watched a couple of horror flicks over the weekend. The first was Stake Land. For a movie that has no major stars, it works really well, The Walking Dead but with vampires, and is an intelligent and atmospheric new take on the whole myth. This has the potential to be a franchise as there are so many stories that could be told.

Next up was Texas Chainsaw. Very disappointing, it doesn't try to be fresh or unique, and is predictable from start to finish. Don't get me started on the ending, totally ridiculous. The chronology is also out of sync, it's all very confusing, the film should have at least been set in the late 80s/early 90s, but it's too modern.


With you on both.

I really enjoyed Stake Land. Shocking, atmospheric and rather modest, hearkening back to old-school pseudo-slasher monster flicks. It felt a bit like The Road meets 30 Days Of Night. I don't see another one being made, though.

Texas Chainsaw is rubbish, although I would argue it does try to be fresh and unique but fails. And yeah, the ending was just stupid.

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 15186
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 2/10/2013 11:33:25 AM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006
Saw Prisoners the other day. I haven't written a review (yet), but I thought it was fantastic. A compelling, dark, intense thriller that has you constantly double guessing and writhing in anxiety, with some magnetic performances. Jackman and Gyllenhaal are brilliant.

One I absolutely recommend.

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15187
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 6/10/2013 7:29:46 PM   
Platter

 

Posts: 114
Joined: 14/8/2010
ABCs of Death (2012)

Some of itís okay, some of itís awful

I sat with a pad of paper and wrote brief reviews after watching each short.


A is for Apocalypse (directed by Nacho Vigalondo)

Okay but a bit pointless. Very mildly amusing.

5 out of 10

B is for Bigfoot (directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano)

Okay but a weak ending.

6 out of 10

C is for Cycle (directed by Ernesto Diaz Espinoza)

Indifferent.

5 out of 10

D is for Dogfight (directed by Marcel Sarmiento)

It wasn't funny but it wasn't a total dud. It goes on too long.

4 out of 10

E is for Exterminate (directed by Angela Bettis)

Not funny and the actor was too broad. Weak.

3 out of 10

F is for Fart (directed by Noboru Iguchi)

It's so lowbrow and silly that it's more absurdist funny than offensive. As a story it's a load of crap.

4 out of 10

G is for Gravity (directed by Andrew Traucki)

Very, very little happens. A complete nothing.

1 out of 10

H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (directed by Thomas Malling)

Um?! Very odd. Makes the Japanese farting segment look sane. I wasn't sure what they were trying to do with this bizarre live action cartoon thing. It was obviously directly inspired by The Mask (1994) when Carrey first sees Diaz dancing. The Churchill necklace bit was funny and it sort of made sense by the end. Just because it's doing something very odd and hard to fully understand doesn't mean it's bad. I suspect it's the work of a special effects man as its all effects and little story. It was memorable.

[I looked up the director online and his credits don't mention special effects work.]

4 out of 10

I is for Ingrown (directed by Jorge Michel Grau)

It's not too bad while it plays, then it just ends after reaching no destination. It was all middle and no start and end.

3 out of 10

J is for Jidai-geki (Samurai Movie) (directed by YŻdai Yamaguchi)

I haven't a clue what this was all about. I think the makers failed to communicate their thinking to the audience. Seemed utterly random with no logic.

2 out of 10

K is for Klutz (directed by Anders Morgenthaler)

Icky subject matter and logically questionable ending.

3 out of 10

L is for Libido (Directed by Timo Tjahjanto)

It's the most memorable so far. It's probably the most convincing as an actual story. It's quite offensive, but it's well made and has a kick to it.

6 out of 10

M is for Miscarriage (directed by Ti West)

Very short. Nothing to it. What little content there is to it is all in the title.

2 out of 10

N is for Nuptials (directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun)

A slight, obvious, old joke. It's competently done.

5 out of 10

O is for Orgasm (directed by Bruno Forzani & Hťlťne Cattet)

Abstract imagery and sounds. Of no distinction or interest.

4 out of 10

P is for Pressure (directed by Simon Rumley)

I didn't enjoy it at all but I can see some merit to it.

4 out of 10

Q is for Quack (directed by Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett)

It was quite funny. It amused me.

7 out of 10

R is for Removed (directed by Srdjan Spasojevic)

Completely meaningless. My interpretation is that the patient is Clint Eastwood and his films are made by removing his burnt skin as it contains the raw film stock.

5 out of 10

S is for Speed (directed by Jake West)

Half arsed action thing.

3 out of 10

T is for Toilet (directed by Lee Hardcastle)

More bad taste animation set in a toilet. Better than the very similar K but not by much.

5 out of 10

U is for Unearthed (directed by Ben Wheatley)

No discernible point or plot.

4 out of 10

V is for Vagitus (The Cry of a Newborn Baby) (directed by Kaare Andrews)

Decent large scale sc-fi action scene. Has a silly ending.

5 out of 10

W is for WTF! (directed by Jon Schnepp)

Ugly looking plotless mess filled with bad special effects. They deliberately tried to make a confusing, bad mess so by failing they succeeded.

2 out of 10

X is for XXL (directed by Xavier Gens)

Obvious and unpleasant with no payoff at the end to make it worth watching.

3 out of 10

Y is for Youngbuck (directed by Jason Eisener)

Silly. Not in a good or bad way. Just silly. I suspected that this was by the same director who did Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) due to the use of extreme coloured lighting and pounding 80s music. I looked it up and I was correct.

4 out of 10

Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction) (directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura)

A bunch of random crap. Some of it pretentious, some of it sexually odd. A very immature work. Risible in its shallows.

1 out of 10

Overall 5 out of 10

The shorts that most impressed me in some way (not necessarily because they were good) were A, B, H, L, Q and R (six films).

The shorts I hated the most were G, J, M, S, W and Z (six films).

The other fourteen movies I'm indifferent towards.


The next day I planned to watch about eight or so of them again. I put the disc in but could only work up the enthusiasm to check out four of them for a second viewing.


G is for Gravity (directed by Andrew Traucki)

Yep, it's utterly pointless.

1 out of 10

H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (directed by Thomas Malling)

Barking mad but entertainingly stupid. For me this was the most memorable film in the collection.

6 out of 10

O is for Orgasm (directed by Bruno Forzani & Hťlťne Cattet)

It was better than I first thought, and it was quite sexy.

6 out of 10

Q is for Quack (directed by Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett)

It's amusing.

7 out of 10


Checking out other opinions suggests that D is the most liked and F the most hated. D did nothing for me and F was too stupid, but at least comprehensible in what it was trying to achieve, that I couldn't be offended by it.

< Message edited by Platter -- 6/10/2013 7:30:19 PM >


_____________________________

My novel:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Cuckoo-Island-ebook/dp/B00EIP4ZVS/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377097535&sr=1-4

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15188
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 7:25:45 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Maybe on the edge of weird or strange, but it was either this or Diana





The two leads, Berry and Breslin, are fantastic. Breslin, who's grown up somewhat since her glorious Little Miss Sunshine and even Zombieland days is incredibly convincing, making us believe for every second in her fear and claustrophobia. Again to go back to Buried, much like Ryan Reynolds' Paul Conroy, she spends much of her time trapped in a dark box with nothing but a mobile phone. How do you make acting choices in such confines? Well, that's for them to know. Halle Berry, too, while I'm not always convinced by her, plays her part of the troubled 911 operator really well.

A genuinely nice surprise. This is a really neat, effective thriller that doesn't overstay its welcome or try to do more than it has to, and I think that's worth celebrating.

8/10

Now I must add this to my High Priority list on LoveFilm, if it's avable that is, sounds like a great thriller.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15189
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 7:34:22 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

on DVD and 3D Blu-ray 14th October






At least Tibor Takacs does a good job, though it's a great shame that he never really continued the promise he showed in the early part of his career with films like The Gate and I, Madman. Lorenzo Senatore's camera is often moving, his work giving the film a decent look [though you're never convinced you're in New York, even with the employment of a matte painting!], though Joseph Conlan's score is wildly erratic and sometimes misjudged. Sometimes you hear an electronic pattern that sounds like a helicopter, and it's sometimes played when there are helicopters on-screen! For most of the time though Spiders isn't bad at all. If you want to piss yourself over a ridiculous creature feature, you may be let down by it, but if you fancy trying out a 'B' movie that at least tries to do its best some of the time, you could do a whole lot worse. I didn't see it in 3D because of my intense dislike of the format, but from what I could tell it's not essential.

Rating: 6/10

Looks like a lot of fun, in the good old way like THEM and so many other Insect Sci/Fi films of the 50's, all of which I still love to watch every so often.

quote:


 
Thereís not much in the way of thrills or even mounting suspense, any action being mostly replaced by the constant giving out of lots and lots of information. You really do have to concentrate with this one, though it all does make sense in the end, while the revelation of the killer certainly surprised me. Now youíre probably asking: where is top-billed Christopher Lee? Heís actually not in the film that much, but his role as a lion-tamer who stays masked due to an injury, is an interesting one. He does a Russian accent and proves what a good actor he can be in some scenes where he has to act with just his eyes and mouth. Sadly Kinski is reduced to lurking around in the shadows and is dubbed, though you still canít understand all heís saying due to constantly having a cigarette in his mouth. In such as easy-going film, some humour often fits in well, and here we have some amusing scenes with Eliot and his impatient boss who constantly has a go at him, plus some gags involving the circus accountant who has desires of becoming a clown, and tends to take it out on the obligatory circus midget.

Circus Of Fear is rather awkward, ambling slowly through a perhaps overpopulated tale until, with the end in sight, it suddenly feels like it has to wrap things up before the film runs out. Of course the hero decides to unmask the killer in front of everyone else! It has considerable charm though, and charm is something which seems to be in short supply in cinemas these days. It lacks the oomph factor, but it just about gets away with coasting along pleasantly.


Have not watched this in years, and fully agree with you that it has a real charm to it, but lacks the kick in the ending, still must see if it pops up on late night TV.


_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15190
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 7:42:36 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

ABCs of Death (2012)

Some of it's okay, some of it's awful

I sat with a pad of paper and wrote brief reviews after watching each short.





Checking out other opinions suggests that D is the most liked and F the most hated. D did nothing for me and F was too stupid, but at least comprehensible in what it was trying to achieve, that I couldn't be offended by it.

I suppose somebody had to sit through this, glad it was not me, good on you for keeping a pad at hand as i'd of given up hope of remembering much about this by Z.

Liked most of your reviews early last week of Three Colours Trilogy, The Sixth Sense (1999), and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) basically agree on these but not the other one's.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 15191
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 7:47:51 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

Watched a couple of horror flicks over the weekend. The first was Stake Land. For a movie that has no major stars, it works really well, The Walking Dead but with vampires, and is an intelligent and atmospheric new take on the whole myth. This has the potential to be a franchise as there are so many stories that could be told.

Next up was Texas Chainsaw. Very disappointing, it doesn't try to be fresh or unique, and is predictable from start to finish. Don't get me started on the ending, totally ridiculous. The chronology is also out of sync, it's all very confusing, the film should have at least been set in the late 80s/early 90s, but it's too modern.

Stakeland is without doubt Walking Dead but with vampires, and more humour, and talking of THE WALKING DEAD, the new season starts this Sunday. so sick bags at the ready.

Texas Chainsaw is another remake that should not have been made, it's poorly directed, acted and yes based in the wrong decade, just poor film making.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 15192
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 8:20:23 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1561
Joined: 20/10/2012
Just watched TEXAS CHAINSAW on Netflix, it was mind-bogglingly dreadful... oh, what, Leatherface is just a poor, misunderstood little cherub who needs some family around him?



_____________________________

Say what now?

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15193
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 9:17:17 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
Well the good Dr did a great review of a certain Vampire film that I so much wanted to see, well Ok finally got round to seeing;
Byzantium (2013)
 
Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara (Gemma Arterton) meets lonely Noel (Daniel Mays), who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Hanna, Atonement) befriends Frank (Caleb Landry Jones) and tells him their lethal secret: They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence.

Director Neil Jordan returns to horror with a bang up to date new Vampire Myth, not unlike Interview with the Vampire, it is sexy and stylish Gothic thriller about mother and daughter vampires dealing with the pitfalls of eternal life. This is a film that dares to depart from traditional horror lore give the overworked vampire genre a transfusion of new blood, and even a heart, which helps bring it into the land of the living, in such a way that we feel for this Vampire Mother and daughter. Not unlike Let The Right One In, where like it, it deals with deeper ideas and feelings of neglect, child abuse, and adult themes of prostitution of women as there only means of living, also death as in what way you deal with oncoming tragedy, of a friend or family member with terminal illness. Yeah heavy going, but it never get's bogged down by these themes, as at it's heart, it is actually about a mother daughter relationship, a question of nature versus nurture and survival against all the odds. It's still a proper vampire film, filled with darkness but not from the vampires, it's the humans who are evil, everything is turned on it's head here, and yet works as a perfect antidote to these Twilight films, Jordan once again saves the Vampire genre for us adults, though not as gory as Interview, or as Gothic, but still keeps you glued to the screen.

With an awesome, magnetic performance from Saoirse Ronan, who once again shows what an great actress she in her role of Eleanor,quite a reserved, shy,and intellectual, also always intriguing who you both understand and don't at the same time, a girl you feel for as the story unfolds, and even though she is a vampire you feel love, yet you are afraid of her too. We get to see her sad past in flashback, as she tells her heart-breaking tale of loss, abuse and death a surprisingly excellent performance, that tugs at your heart, even when she takes the blood of the living, but then they invite her in, and they want release from there slow decline to deaths door, a dark angel who only wants to help. Her Mother is a different story a murderous, vampire prostitute Clara, who will do anything it takes to survive in this human brutal world, and is played by Gemma Arterton. She is absolutely fantastic in this role, and for me has showed a very different side to her normal self in this movie, in fact a career best, for here she shows she has a massive amount of versatility, which this part demands, as we discover her past and begin to understand her reasons for her killing looks and killing ways. Also in terms of chemistry Ronan and Arterton  are pitch perfect, you can believe in them as Mother and Daughter, even though they are so different on screen, in fact if it wasn't for their performances, this film might have had no bite differently. Now don't get me wrong the rest of the cast pull off great moments of acting, but these two are the stars of this film, and I look forward to seeing both again together in maybe a Drama or a thriller. Ronan for me just nudges ahead on acting skills here but only just, for in the end the film is more about her Vampire with a heart, than Arterton's killer Vamp, though it's her Vamp that keeps the blood on flow in both terms of gore and that touch of Erotic that was so strong in Interview With The Vampire. 

The cinematography stunning it's one of the best looking films to come out of the British Isles in a while, with the seaside town having a primitive dark look,establishing that this is a very different vampire film from the opening shots, some of the other locations too are just as good. Jordan knows how to tell a tale and give great visuals at the same time, and he never repeats himself, yet you know from the camera shots and style it is a Neil Jordan film, just like with Scott or Kubrick, his films have that feel and power that can only be him. Overall this isn't the type of film that you're going to forget in a hurry. even at just two hours long, it gets right under the skin, and this is not just down to the acting or direction, but also the subtle musical score, a key factor in establishing the feel of the film and it really worked. This is a rare movie these days where everything just blends simultaneously, in a year where films have been slightly hit and miss for me, apart from the awesome The Conjuring, well here's another horror film but "not as we know it Jim" This film is definitely the best I've seen so far this year, so different from whats out there at the moment, with a vision from a director who knows exactly what it is he wants this film to be. This is British-Irish film-making at its best and as I stated it is one of my favourite films of the year so far with two leading lady's who will keep you nailed to the screen, and I only wish I had of had the chance to see this on the big screen, well I know this I will be buying this to add to my vampire collection.9/10

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15194
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 11:10:32 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

Well the good Dr did a great review of a certain Vampire film that I so much wanted to see, well Ok finally got round to seeing;
Byzantium (2013)


The cinematography†stunning it's one of the best looking films to come out of the British Isles in a while, with the seaside town having a primitive dark look,establishing that this is a very different vampire film from the opening shots, some of the other locations†too are just as good. Jordan knows how to tell a tale and give great visuals at the same time, and he never repeats himself, yet you know from the camera shots and style it is a Neil Jordan film, just like with Scott or Kubrick, his films have that feel and power that can only be him. Overall this isn't the type of film that you're going to forget in a hurry. even at just two hours long, it gets right under the skin, and this is not just down to the acting or direction, but also the subtle musical score, a key factor in establishing the feel of the film and it really worked. This is a rare movie these days where everything just blends simultaneously, in a year where films have been slightly hit and miss for me, apart from the awesome The Conjuring, well here's another horror film but "not as we know it Jim"†This film is definitely the best I've seen so far this year,†so different from whats out there at the moment, with a†vision from a director who knows exactly what it is he wants this film to be. This is British-Irish film-making at its best and as I stated it is one of my favourite films of the year so far with two leading lady's who will keep you nailed to the screen, and I only wish I had of had the chance to see this on the big screen, well I know this I will be buying this to add to my vampire collection.9/10


Never got round to reviewing this myself, but I did like it. Perhaps not quite as much as you, but I thought it was an interesting and rather refreshing take on the vampire genre. Saoirse Ronan really is fantastic. I just watched How I Live Now and she brings it again.

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15195
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/10/2013 11:18:12 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

Just watched TEXAS CHAINSAW on Netflix, it was mind-bogglingly dreadful... oh, what, Leatherface is just a poor, misunderstood little cherub who needs some family around him?




If we're going for the stupidest part of the movie it's when the girl just suddenly has a change of heart and decides to help the guy who's been trying to kill her the whole movie by killing a cop. Makes total sense.

(in reply to Mister Coe)
Post #: 15196
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 10/10/2013 9:22:15 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

Well the good Dr did a great review of a certain Vampire film that I so much wanted to see, well Ok finally got round to seeing;
Byzantium (2013)

Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara (Gemma Arterton) meets lonely Noel (Daniel Mays), who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Hanna, Atonement) befriends Frank (Caleb Landry Jones) and tells him their lethal secret: They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence.

Director Neil Jordan returns to horror with a bang up to date new Vampire Myth, not unlike Interview with the Vampire, it†is sexy and stylish†Gothic thriller about mother and daughter vampires dealing with the pitfalls of eternal life. This is a film that dares to depart from traditional horror lore give the overworked vampire genre a transfusion of new blood, and even a heart, which helps bring it into the land of the living, in such a way that we feel for this Vampire Mother and daughter. Not unlike Let The Right One In, where like it, it deals with deeper ideas and feelings of neglect, child abuse, and adult themes of prostitution of women as there only means of living, also death as in what way you deal with oncoming tragedy, of a friend or†family member with terminal illness. Yeah heavy going, but it never get's bogged down by these themes, as at it's†heart, it†is actually about a†mother daughter relationship, a question of nature versus nurture and survival against all the odds. It's still a proper vampire film, filled with darkness but not from the vampires, it's the humans who are evil, everything is turned on it's head here, and yet works as a perfect antidote to these Twilight films, Jordan once again saves the Vampire genre†for us adults, though not as gory as Interview, or as Gothic, but still keeps you glued to the screen.

With an awesome,†magnetic performance from Saoirse Ronan, who once again shows what an great actress she in her role of Eleanor,quite a reserved, shy,and†intellectual, also always†intriguing who you both understand and don't at the same time, a girl you feel for†as the story unfolds, and even though she is a vampire you feel love,†yet you†are afraid of her too. We get to see her sad past in flashback, as she tells her heart-breaking tale of loss, abuse and death†a surprisingly excellent performance, that†tugs at your heart, even when she takes the blood of the living, but then they invite her in, and they want release from there slow decline to deaths door, a dark angel who only†wants to help.†Her Mother is a different story a†murderous, vampire prostitute Clara, who will do anything it takes to survive in this human brutal world, and is played by Gemma Arterton. She is absolutely fantastic in this role, and for me has showed a very different side to her normal self in this movie, in fact a career best, for here she shows she has†a massive amount of versatility, which this part demands, as we discover her past and begin to understand her reasons for her killing looks and killing ways. Also in†terms of chemistry Ronan and Arterton† are pitch perfect, you can believe in them as Mother and Daughter, even though they are so different on screen, in fact†if it wasn't for their performances, this film might have had no bite differently. Now don't get me wrong the rest of the cast pull off great moments of acting, but these two are the stars of this film, and I look forward to seeing both again together in maybe a Drama or a thriller. Ronan†for me just nudges ahead on acting skills here but only just, for in the end the film is more about her Vampire with a heart, than†Arterton's killer Vamp, though it's her Vamp that keeps the blood on flow in both terms of gore and that touch of Erotic that was so strong in Interview With The Vampire.†

The cinematography†stunning it's one of the best looking films to come out of the British Isles in a while, with the seaside town having a primitive dark look,establishing that this is a very different vampire film from the opening shots, some of the other locations†too are just as good. Jordan knows how to tell a tale and give great visuals at the same time, and he never repeats himself, yet you know from the camera shots and style it is a Neil Jordan film, just like with Scott or Kubrick, his films have that feel and power that can only be him. Overall this isn't the type of film that you're going to forget in a hurry. even at just two hours long, it gets right under the skin, and this is not just down to the acting or direction, but also the subtle musical score, a key factor in establishing the feel of the film and it really worked. This is a rare movie these days where everything just blends simultaneously, in a year where films have been slightly hit and miss for me, apart from the awesome The Conjuring, well here's another horror film but "not as we know it Jim"†This film is definitely the best I've seen so far this year,†so different from whats out there at the moment, with a†vision from a director who knows exactly what it is he wants this film to be. This is British-Irish film-making at its best and as I stated it is one of my favourite films of the year so far with two leading lady's who will keep you nailed to the screen, and I only wish I had of had the chance to see this on the big screen, well I know this I will be buying this to add to my vampire collection.9/10


I knew you would enjoy this one, you rated even higher then me, a shame it only seemed to stay in cinemas a week or so and pass most people by.

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(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15197
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 10/10/2013 9:24:09 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

Just watched TEXAS CHAINSAW on Netflix, it was mind-bogglingly dreadful... oh, what, Leatherface is just a poor, misunderstood little cherub who needs some family around him?




It wasn't very good indeed, and especially bad regarding the script, though I did get some enjoyment out of it.

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Post #: 15198
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 10/10/2013 9:30:54 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

Jerry Cornelius, recently told that the world will come to end in one or two years, has also just suffered the death of his father. A Nobel Prize winning scientist, Jerry seems expected to carry on his fatherís work, whose last achievement was a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being contained on a microfilm. The microfilm is in the possession of Jerryís psychopathic, drug-addicted brother Frank, who has also kidnapped their sister Catherine and is force feeding her drugs. Enlisted by some scientists to steal the programme from the Cornelius family, Jerry sets out on his missionÖ..

My introduction to the writings of Michael Moorcock was through a band I used to be crazy about called Hawkwind. One album Warrior At The Edge Of Time had couple of Moorcock-inspired songs and even the guyís voice, while another, The Chronicle Of The Black Sword, was entirely based on his Elric Of Melnibone books and the writer even appeared on stage with the band. Moorcock wrote over 200 science fiction and fantasy novels, many of them based around a wonderful premise: that of the Champion Eternal, who exists in every time and every universe, condemned always to fight, yet never know why he is fighting. He has many incarnations and is even sometimes female. I never got around to reading the Jerry Cornelius series, Cornelius being a version of the Champion Eternal, and the first book being The Final Programme. The anarchic, anti-establishment elements of much of his work nonetheless appealed tremendously to me in my early 20s. Though the writer did co-write the script for the dinosaur movie The Land That Time Forgot, it is amazing that only one of his books have been filmed, though actually come to think of it the complex philosophical aspects and reversals of many fantasy and science fiction cliches would be problematic to many producers and I doubt will draw big audiences either.

So The Final Programme is all we have at the moment and itís a slightly muddled but still striking and very stylish work, sort of The Avengers [the TV series] meets A Clockwork Orange with a bit of LSD throw into the mix. Itís also rather dated, though thatís part of its charm. Moorcock himself doesnít like the film. He extensively altered the script by director Robert Fuest, a former painter who did the set design on most of his films and had made the Dr Phibes films so much fun, because it altered or toned down too much of the book, but Fuest used his own original script anyway, to Moocockís chagrin. He especially hated the ending that Fuest devised, though I actually think it works for the film. At least one of Fuestís ideas, using Billie Holiday for the soundtrack, never came to fruition. Mick Jagger turned down the lead role because it was ďtoo weirdĒ [this is from the guy who had recently made Performance!] and would you believe it Timothy Dalton almost played it too. As for Hawkwind, they can be briefly glimpsed [though not heard] in one shot, but a longer scene where they and Moorcock himself appear was cut out. The Final Programme got mostly poor reviews and lost 8 minutes for its US release entitled The Last Days Of Man On Earth. Moorcock has occasionally spoken tantalisingly of a version closer to his preferred concept.

The film begins intriguingly with lots of people carrying wooden beams in the desert, surrounded by nothing but sand and rock. It is actually to go to make a funeral pyre for the heroís recently diseased father. Jerry Cornelius is soon revealed to be a truly odd chap but Iíd like to see more strange heroes like him on screen. A kind of James Bond viewed through a psychedelic lense, he goes around in a velvet frock coat and ruffled opera shirt, is constantly on the booze and has a fridge full of biscuits [in fact thatís all he seems to eat]. The world he exists in is very much a heightened version of the Singing Sixties, with drug taking, sexual promiscuity and lack of respect for authority rampant, but this was also the 70ís, and Fuest embues all this with an element of cynicism so strong that it almost looks forward to the punk movement. This world, whose end only Jerry seems to be aware of because everyone else is ďtoo busy watching the bloody commercialsĒ, is obviously on the verge of break-down. The lowish budget seems to have prevented the filmmakers from showing much of this, but the feeling is there, and there is one great image of cars piled high in the Thames. Outside tends to look not much different from now [or rather 1973: funny how they assumed that shops would still be closed on Sundays in the future!], though there seem to be a few more ruins about. Meanwhile inside people tend to live in huge 60ís pop art designs. Fuestsís experience as set designer works wonders in many cases, from the series of silk tunnels to the pinball machine room which is like a giant pinball machine itself, replete with women walking around in huge balls.

The film reveals itself to be essentially of two parts, Jerry battling his brother, and the plan to create this super-being. The early assault on Franksís house, which has a remarkable array of weapons and booby traps from a ray that causes epilepsy to a chess board door that either opens or fires a dart depending on which move you make, is a great combination of inventive design and tension, and, while this isnít really an action movie, it is certainly, in part, a weird comedy, with a fight scene that looks like itís come straight out on the Batman TV series. The film doesnít really gain much momentum as it approaches its final section despite one sequence going into psychedelic filters, but the end scene, the one that Moorcock loathed, and one which seems to both be inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey and prefigure Altered States, reveals the film to be probably more cynical than the book ever was, and if it seems a bit random, look out for the drugs Jerry throws in just before! The feeling is that of, we get what we deserve. Despite being on the surface a Ďfuní romp, itís actually quite a dark affair deep down, anger and bitterness seeping in everywhere from the dialogue [especially from Jerry] to the settings. Like in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, the fall-out from the 60′s ainít pretty.

Jon Finch [who reminds me of Oliver Reed here], as Jerry, strolls through all in sardonic fashion and actually seems almost normal compared with the other eccentrics on show. Most of the time he is accompanied by a Miss Brummer [Jenny Runacre], who goes around sleeping with everyone, whether male or female, in sight before absorbing their bodies. Then thereís Sterling Hayden who shows up for one scene virtually reprising his unforgettable role in Dr. Strangelove, only this time he sells missiles rather than sends them, Patrick Magee as another strange recluse, and many other great character actors and actresses elsewhere. The roles often seem to be caricatures on archetypes and donít always seem vital to the plot. For a start, Jerry buys napalm and missiles he never even uses! Sometimes it feels like scenes have been chopped out, perhaps at the script stage because the budget wouldnít allow for them, and thereís a lot of infuriating vagueness. Are we supposed to assume, for instance, that Jerry is a terrorist, something definitely hinted at? A little more clarity may have helped, but then this was the 70ís and we are just far used to having everything spelt out these days.

Though its use of a semi-comic march theme doesnít work too well, The Final Programmeís score by Paul Beaver and Bernard Krause, with great saxophone and guitar work [by Eric Clapton], is very diverse, if very 70′s, and contains some fine pieces, while Norman Warwickís photography is expert: some early shots of a fog-shrouded lake are incredibly atmospheric. A lot of good work went into The Final Programme and it should definitely be seen by anyone yearning for something off the beaten track, though even I, who have not read the book, can see that they missed the mark a little. It perhaps needed more money and a director who wasnít concentrating on set design at the expense of everything else, but then the occasional Ďmake it up as you go alongí feel to many films from this time is part of their appeal. In any case, it looks great [as usual, Network seem to have worked wonders in restoring the film], is both inventive and hugely evocative of the time it was made in at the same time, and is also just damn cool.

Rating: 8/10

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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15199
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 10/10/2013 12:29:08 PM   
Platter

 

Posts: 114
Joined: 14/8/2010
AMER (2009)

All style and no substance

***CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS***

This is a very odd art movie. I knew going in that there would be no story worth speaking about, and that it was split into three barely connected sections. So even knowing this before I started it, Iím still taken aback by how insubstantial it was. The film is mostly pointless with no obvious aim or purpose.

It was all style, no substance. The style was good and initially intriguing in its own way. There is a constant use of extreme close ups and exaggerated sound effects - doors creaking, leather crinkling and heavy breathing being the most used sounds. For the first section it worked and was holding my attention well even though nothing much was happening.

The pace was slow but it was fine with me. It wasnít stretching things out too much and seemed correct.

Then after about twenty minutes it becomes too abstract and vague when the little girl is locked in the room. She appears to be under attack and ends up on the ceiling. Or something. It was so confusingly filmed in close ups that itís hard to say what was happening. After about five minutes of nearly incomprehensible images I started to become a bit bored.

Then it switches to the second section. This whole twenty or so minute part is outright pointless. They walk to a shop, and then they walk back home. They meet a few people. There is a hint of menace and sexual frustration.

The style had now completely taken over. The problem was that they had already used up every stylish idea they had. We were now seeing and hearing the same things for about the fifth time. Also the bright sunny outdoors of this part couldnít compete with the dark gothic atmosphere of the first section. The goth atmosphere allows a certain licence for pretentious avant-garde visuals that are easier to accept. Without that tone it just looks a bit silly.

Also the tendency to film someone walking a ten second distance with fifty camera set-ups that take two minutes to play out becomes both wearying on your patience and more than a little ridiculous looking.

At least the first part, although clearly plotless, at least hinted at some sort of a vague shape of a story somewhere in the background. Part two had no suggestion of a plot.

Part three begins okay. The taxi ride gives them some interesting visuals to play with. Then it becomes rather random and very overlong. By the end itís exhausting watching these endless over directed close ups.

The ending itself is unsatisfying and meaningless. This is not a film with any characters, a story or a point. Itís a string of stylised close ups accompanied with extremely exaggerated sound effects. A little goes a long way. Itís very overegged with overwhelming style at the expensive of any plot. If only they could have bolted some vague sort of a story onto these visual ideas. Then they might have had something worthwhile. As it is, without any proper narrative itís all just a bunch of pretty images that donít mean anything.

I discovered this film by looking the directors up after watching their contribution to The ABCs of Death (2012) anthology movie. The directors (there are two, a man and a woman, both apparently from Belgium) contributed the short film O is for Orgasm which was a stylised bunch of close ups and abstract images and sound effects that simulate what an orgasm feels like for a woman. This decent enough film, along with four of their frankly terrible earlier short movies (2000-2004 and included on this disc) reveals that this style is what they do. They have been very consistent in their approach to filmmaking. Story is clearly a lesser concern to them than filming lots of detailed close ups. Also there might be a bit of a leather fetish going on. Perhaps even a glove fetish, which conveniently nods towards 70s Italian slasher movies.

The film is dripping in sensual imagery. The camera pervs at the older girl. Lots of shots of things rubbing against her skin. I thought was odd considering one of the directors is a woman.

By the second part I saw signs of deliberately stretching little moments as far as they could. The third part felt very bloated with pointless moments (the taxi driver coming and going). The pace suffered, but it remained watchable. It somehow didnít become outright annoying or frustrating, and I say this as someone who has nearly zero patience for arty slow pacing. I can imagine some people being driven up the wall with how slow it is.

Is it any good? Itís not good, but itís not bad either. Itís more below average. Overall itís just very pointless. If there just a more convincing hint of a story and a little substance then this could have been good. A failed experimental dud, but an interesting failure. Itís worth seeing at least once just because itís so unusual.

4 out of 10

< Message edited by Platter -- 11/10/2013 9:44:00 AM >


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Post #: 15200
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 10/10/2013 12:54:38 PM   
DAVID GILLESPIE


Posts: 2888
Joined: 27/2/2007
From: Glasgow
Creepshow (1982) - Review

When I very young I used to wait in anticipation for a British horror comic called Scream to hit my local newsagents in Abronhill. Normally only three copies would hit the shelves and I would be at the store at 9am to make sure that I was one of the children that were going to get their hands on the new edition. Usually there was a free gift accompanying each issue. Sometimes it was Dracula teeth, a fake spider or eyeball etc. The stories were fairly gruesome for kidĀfs fair with psychotic hunchbacks, poltergeists, bloodthirsty vampires and haunted houses. I loved it. Then it was pulled from the shelves, probably due to poor sales. I kept my copies and would read them over and over.

Creepshow is so much like that comic and for the most part is a hilarious fun ride of gruesome scares and laughs in equal measures. It was the brainchild of Stephen King, George A Romero and producer, Richard P Rubenstein and based on the old DC horror comics. It also remains RomeroĀfs highest grossing film at the box office. The film consists of five stories tied together by a short tale of a vulnerable boy who has his favourite horror comic confiscated by his oafish father.

FatherĀfs Day involves the return from the grave of a mean and repulsive old patriarch whose family fortune was accrued by dubious means. It seems he has unfinished business with his siblings for his untimely death and to claim his cake. Ed Harris makes an early career appearance and some groovy dance moves as the great granddaughterĀfs husband, Hank. FatherĀfs Day is an amusing and solid enough first story but does not really grip or engage the viewer.



For me the second story, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill is the weakest of the bunch. On one of the discĀfs extra features Romero explains that he advised Stephen King to overplay his titular character as far as he pleased. The director was delighted with the results, a viewpoint I cannot agree with. KingĀfs performance reveals his shortcomings as an actor and his comical timing is for the most part awful. The tale is solid enough with Verrill tormented by a fast growing, extraterrestrial weed that sprouts from everywhere when he touches a piece of space rock.

Something to Tide You Over has the hilarious Leslie Nielson, playing a rich sociopath who gets more than he bargains for when he undertakes a sadistic form of revenge on his cheating wife and her lover (Ted Danson). He realises that all his sophisticated security cameras and equipment are no match for justice. The middle segment has some fantastic moments and a superb electronic score which was used Eli Roth is his fake trailer, Thanksgiving in Grindhouse (2007).

The Crate will likely be the part that most people who have watched Creepshow will remember. Hal Holbrook plays Henry Northrop, a burnt out college lecturer who is hen-pecked by his alcohol swilling and overbearing wife, Wilma (Adrienne Barbeau). When his colleague and chess partner, Dexter Stanley (Fritz Weaver) uncovers a crate with a hungry yeti like beast, Henry sees an opportunity to dispose of his abusive spouse. Tom Savini showcases his special effect prowess in his wonderful, toothsome creation.

TheyĀfre Creeping Up on You is the final story and arguably the best of the ensemble. E. J. Marshall portrays a horrendous and sadistic businessman called Upton Pratt that has made a fortune out of steamrolling and destroying the lives of those around him. When a black out hits the city, Pratt finds that he is not alone in his sterile and high security penthouse suite. If the saying of Āewhat goes around comes aroundĀf is accurate then this businessman is in for a night of sheer hell. Although the final chapter has some great comical moments, this is by far the creepiest of the tales and features a horrific final image that still makes me shiver. It rightfully appears in BravoĀfs 99 Scariest Horror Movie Moments.

Where as most horror anthologies are patchy and uneven, Creepshow benefits from having the one director and writer taking the reigns. All the stories are filmed and sound very similar which only enhances the project. Romero cleverly decided to incorporate the frames and bold colours that one would associate with a comic book. The score is also beautifully constructed with a mix of 80ĀĆs synthesizers and old-fashioned organs. The tales themselves are not particularly gripping or clever yet they are fun and enthousiastic. The final segment, TheyĀfre Creeping Up on You was the almost scrapped due to budget constraints. This would have been a travesty as this is perhaps the most efficient mix of scares and laughs with an incredible performance from the late E.G. Marshall. You end up cheering on the repellent cockroaches as they invade his personal space.

Although films like Asylum, Black Sabbath, CatĀfs Eye and Tales from the Crypt have stronger individual stories, Creepshow has the strength of being expertly made with a superb cast. It is gruesome, full of energy and affectionately reflects on the essence of those old DC horror comics. It is a shame that the sequels were unable to discover the same energy.

Rating: 8/10

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(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 15201
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/10/2013 2:19:24 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3156
Joined: 22/11/2006


Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Kyle Ward
Cast: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen/Carlos Estevez, Sophia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Vanessa Hudgens
Running time: 107 minutes
Certification: 15

Machete Cortez (Trejo) is back with a vengeance when heís recruited by POTUS (Sheen/Estevez) to track down and stop a Mexican super-criminal intent on destroying the US. However, along the way he finds himself chasing an altogether different bad guy in the form of insidious self-acclaimed psychic Voz (Gibson).

You really have to leave all sense and logic at the door to begin approaching a film like Machete Kills. Thanks to its predecessor, the bonkers (but kind of disappointing) Machete back in 2010, we already know pretty much the area weíre in for Rodriguezís sequel, but how do you really comment something that is so knowingly bad? How do you comment on acting when itís supposed to be so over the top and hammy? How do you comment on the script and plot when itís supposed to be so stupid and contrived and ridiculous? How do you comment on any of this when itís genuinely, with every possible intent, supposed to be so terrible?

The simple answer is, you donít. I went along with Machete Kills right from the wonderfully silly opening trailer for Machete Kills AgainÖIn Space (which should, fingers crossed, be the third installment), and just let it entertain me from there on out. No prejudice, no preconceptions. For a film that boasts Carlos Estevez (aka Charlie Sheen) as the President and offs about a hundred people in the first five minutes, whereafter practically every scene ends in a massive, over the top shootout or sword fight, you canít really be angry that nothing makes sense. Rodriguez is patently a huge fan of exploitation B-movies (the reason for his Grindhouse collaboration with Tarantino) and heís clearly enjoying himself here; enjoying the fact that he can do whatever he wants and not get into trouble for it. Heís reveling in its stupidity, and I think that sense of boisterousness and frivolity permeates into the audience.

The cast, too, is having a great time. Just by glancing up a few paragraphs you can see how many great names it boasts Ė some in small cameos, others in pivotal roles (if a role in this film can indeed be called pivotal). Walton Goggins, on-screen for merely two minutes in a Tarantino in Desperado-esque sequence, is great, and itís wonderful to see Cuba Gooding Jr. on the big screen. Heís dropped too far off the radar in recent years, but Machete Kills being the film to bring him back is perhaps a dubious prospect. I think even Bruce Campbell shows up in a blink-and-youíll-miss-it cameo.

Yet, as far as the so-bad-itís-good stuff goes, it does begin to wear a little thin around the fifty minute mark because it is just all the same. The same jokes, the same action, the same ridiculousness. Itís great, but thereís only so much of that we can take in one sitting. Mel Gibson showing up sparks things back into gear, at least for a time, but not quite enough to completely win us back.

I think you just have to go with it. You really canít hate this film. You can decide not to enjoy it if you like; if you completely pass it by no-one will judge you. But you canít hate it. Itís so purposeful in its ludicrousness and so blatantly aware of how utterly outrageous it is that itís just not possible to critique it in any conventional way. Terribly great, brilliantly bad.

6/10

(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 15202
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 13/10/2013 8:59:18 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3251
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
It's been ages since I last posted on here (sadly life has just got in the way!) but I have been keeping up with some films...

THANKS FOR SHARING: Shockingly mis-marketed in the UK this is not the rom-com the trailer suggested but a drama that plays out like a lighter version of Shame (and a better one at that imho). Pink is very good as are the majority of the cast (it's nice to see Paltrow again, she's a decent actress and one that appears to have disappeared off our screens in recent years) plus it doesn't stray away from the nastier elements of addiction. Definitely worth hunting out. 3.5/5

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2: Loved the remake of the original, so was psyched to finally buy this last Monday. Watched it last night and dear God what a disappointment. For a start I hadn't realised that it had been pre-cut prior to classification by over 6mins (27 cuts) at the request of the BBFC to secure classification. Those cuts regardless this film is exactly the kind of film the original remake managed to avoid being... an exploitative, sadistic, poorly made Hostel rip-off with two blokes off Eastenders and Hollyoaks!! Honestly, I'm no prude (I think A Serbian Film (uncut) is a masterpiece!) but this one won't be staying in my collection - mostly due to it being rubbish! 2/5

FILTH: Not much to say about this one other than really liked it! It's definitely a marmite film (you'll either love or hate it) but certainly one to go and watch knowing very little unless you've read the book, of course. My only gripe is I think McAvoy is a few years too young to play the lead role but he still did an amazing job. Oh and don't go in expecting a film about police corruption, it's not really about that at all but a film about mental health and it's toil on one man. I was impressed! 4.5/5

I've got CHUCKY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION on its way from the US as I type this. Will let you know my thoughts on Curse and the set as a whole when get my hands on it!

< Message edited by losthighway -- 13/10/2013 9:02:02 PM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 15203
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 14/10/2013 12:52:29 AM   
CORLEONE

 

Posts: 4721
Joined: 2/11/2005
From: Nakatomi Plaza
Watched a film called The Dyatlov Pass incident last night. Not a bad little low budget film. Won't spoil the ending but it wasn't what I expected. A pleasant surprise.

_____________________________

Al Swearengen: "Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back".

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15204
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 14/10/2013 9:00:19 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

AMER (2009)

All style and no substance

***CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS***

This is a very odd art movie. I knew going in that there would be no story worth speaking about, and that it was split into three barely connected sections. So even knowing this before I started it, Iím still taken aback by how insubstantial it was. The film is mostly pointless with no obvious aim or purpose.

It was all style, no substance. The style was good and initially intriguing in its own way. There is a constant use of extreme close ups and exaggerated sound effects - doors creaking, leather crinkling and heavy breathing being the most used sounds. For the first section it worked and was holding my attention well even though nothing much was happening.

The pace was slow but it was fine with me. It wasnít stretching things out too much and seemed correct.

Then after about twenty minutes it becomes too abstract and vague when the little girl is locked in the room. She appears to be under attack and ends up on the ceiling. Or something. It was so confusingly filmed in close ups that itís hard to say what was happening. After about five minutes of nearly incomprehensible images I started to become a bit bored.

Then it switches to the second section. This whole twenty or so minute part is outright pointless. They walk to a shop, and then they walk back home. They meet a few people. There is a hint of menace and sexual frustration.

The style had now completely taken over. The problem was that they had already used up every stylish idea they had. We were now seeing and hearing the same things for about the fifth time. Also the bright sunny outdoors of this part couldnít compete with the dark gothic atmosphere of the first section. The goth atmosphere allows a certain licence for pretentious avant-garde visuals that are easier to accept. Without that tone it just looks a bit silly.

Also the tendency to film someone walking a ten second distance with fifty camera set-ups that take two minutes to play out becomes both wearying on your patience and more than a little ridiculous looking.

At least the first part, although clearly plotless, at least hinted at some sort of a vague shape of a story somewhere in the background. Part two had no suggestion of a plot.

Part three begins okay. The taxi ride gives them some interesting visuals to play with. Then it becomes rather random and very overlong. By the end itís exhausting watching these endless over directed close ups.

The ending itself is unsatisfying and meaningless. This is not a film with any characters, a story or a point. Itís a string of stylised close ups accompanied with extremely exaggerated sound effects. A little goes a long way. Itís very overegged with overwhelming style at the expensive of any plot. If only they could have bolted some vague sort of a story onto these visual ideas. Then they might have had something worthwhile. As it is, without any proper narrative itís all just a bunch of pretty images that donít mean anything.

I discovered this film by looking the directors up after watching their contribution to The ABCs of Death (2012) anthology movie. The directors (there are two, a man and a woman, both apparently from Belgium) contributed the short film O is for Orgasm which was a stylised bunch of close ups and abstract images and sound effects that simulate what an orgasm feels like for a woman. This decent enough film, along with four of their frankly terrible earlier short movies (2000-2004 and included on this disc) reveals that this style is what they do. They have been very consistent in their approach to filmmaking. Story is clearly a lesser concern to them than filming lots of detailed close ups. Also there might be a bit of a leather fetish going on. Perhaps even a glove fetish, which conveniently nods towards 70s Italian slasher movies.

The film is dripping in sensual imagery. The camera pervs at the older girl. Lots of shots of things rubbing against her skin. I thought was odd considering one of the directors is a woman.

By the second part I saw signs of deliberately stretching little moments as far as they could. The third part felt very bloated with pointless moments (the taxi driver coming and going). The pace suffered, but it remained watchable. It somehow didnít become outright annoying or frustrating, and I say this as someone who has nearly zero patience for arty slow pacing. I can imagine some people being driven up the wall with how slow it is.

Is it any good? Itís not good, but itís not bad either. Itís more below average. Overall itís just very pointless. If there just a more convincing hint of a story and a little substance then this could have been good. A failed experimental dud, but an interesting failure. Itís worth seeing at least once just because itís so unusual.

4 out of 10


Aw mate....I loved Amer, gave it 9 out of 10. A terrific tribute to the giallo and a stunningly artistic piece of filmmaking.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 15205
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 14/10/2013 9:04:54 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: losthighway

It's been ages since I last posted on here (sadly life has just got in the way!) but I have been keeping up with some films...

THANKS FOR SHARING: Shockingly mis-marketed in the UK this is not the rom-com the trailer suggested but a drama that plays out like a lighter version of Shame (and a better one at that imho). Pink is very good as are the majority of the cast (it's nice to see Paltrow again, she's a decent actress and one that appears to have disappeared off our screens in recent years) plus it doesn't stray away from the nastier elements of addiction. Definitely worth hunting out. 3.5/5

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2: Loved the remake of the original, so was psyched to finally buy this last Monday. Watched it last night and dear God what a disappointment. For a start I hadn't realised that it had been pre-cut prior to classification by over 6mins (27 cuts) at the request of the BBFC to secure classification. Those cuts regardless this film is exactly the kind of film the original remake managed to avoid being... an exploitative, sadistic, poorly made Hostel rip-off with two blokes off Eastenders and Hollyoaks!! Honestly, I'm no prude (I think A Serbian Film (uncut) is a masterpiece!) but this one won't be staying in my collection - mostly due to it being rubbish! 2/5

FILTH: Not much to say about this one other than really liked it! It's definitely a marmite film (you'll either love or hate it) but certainly one to go and watch knowing very little unless you've read the book, of course. My only gripe is I think McAvoy is a few years too young to play the lead role but he still did an amazing job. Oh and don't go in expecting a film about police corruption, it's not really about that at all but a film about mental health and it's toil on one man. I was impressed! 4.5/5

I've got CHUCKY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION on its way from the US as I type this. Will let you know my thoughts on Curse and the set as a whole when get my hands on it!


Filth I wasn't too keen on. Tedious, one-note and unfunny for the first half. It did get better and even a bit compelling, though Ferrera and Kietel did it.

I Spit On Your Grave 2 I intend to see but will get the R1 uncut version. Here's hoping I like it more than the original's remake, which in total opposite to you I found dumbed down, simplistic and pandering to the Saw crowd....though it was still okay.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15206
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 15/10/2013 8:32:04 AM   
UTB


Posts: 9992
Joined: 30/9/2005
Whilst I didn't think much of the ISOYG remake, I find it difficult to understand why a sequel to a rape revenge movie would be anything other than exploitative. The fact that it's been pre-cut should be an indication of what the film is reaching for. It might as well have been called ISOYG 2: Rape Harder.

I haven't seen it though, this presumption is all based on the fact that some numpty thought a sequel was necessary. Is it even a sequel or another person getting raped then revenging? I don't think I wanna know.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15207
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 15/10/2013 5:20:02 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

Well the good Dr did a great review of a certain Vampire film that I so much wanted to see, well Ok finally got round to seeing;
Byzantium (2013)
 
This is British-Irish film-making at its best and as I stated it is one of my favourite films of the year so far with two leading lady's who will keep you nailed to the screen, and I only wish I had of had the chance to see this on the big screen, well I know this I will be buying this to add to my vampire collection.9/10


I knew you would enjoy this one, you rated even higher then me, a shame it only seemed to stay in cinemas a week or so and pass most people by.

Well you know my favourite horror is Gothic and when there's Vampires in it well I just can't get enough, and am so disappointed I never got to see this on the big screen. Still it hit all the right notes for me, and Neil Jordon is always an interesting director, never boring or too over the top, and keeps telling great story's.

quote:


 
Though its use of a semi-comic march theme doesnĀft work too well, The Final ProgrammeĀfs score by Paul Beaver and Bernard Krause, with great saxophone and guitar work [by Eric Clapton], is very diverse, if very 70ĀĆs, and contains some fine pieces, while Norman WarwickĀfs photography is expert: some early shots of a fog-shrouded lake are incredibly atmospheric. A lot of good work went into The Final Programme and it should definitely be seen by anyone yearning for something off the beaten track, though even I, who have not read the book, can see that they missed the mark a little. It perhaps needed more money and a director who wasnĀft concentrating on set design at the expense of everything else, but then the occasional Āemake it up as you go alongĀf feel to many films from this time is part of their appeal. In any case, it looks great [as usual, Network seem to have worked wonders in restoring the film], is both inventive and hugely evocative of the time it was made in at the same time, and is also just damn cool.

Rating: 8/10


A cult Classic Stoner film, which I have not seen in such a long time, and was on ye old VHS, shit picture and sound though even for then, i'm glad it's had a make over. I think your review captures the overall look and feel to this film perfectly, and once again your love for the Weird/Strange cinema flows all over this piece. 

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15208
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 15/10/2013 5:29:59 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler




I think you just have to go with it. You really can't hate this film. You can decide not to enjoy it if you like; if you completely pass it by no-one will judge you. But you can't hate it. It's so purposeful in its ludicrousness and so blatantly aware of how utterly outrageous it is that it's just not possible to critique it in any conventional way. Terribly great, brilliantly bad.

6/10

Your so right, it's nearly impossible to write about films like this, yet this is another reason why this thread exists, we love these over the top blood bath films that have no real story, for they are aimed at people who loved the 80's splatter films, and had there heads buried in comics. They have little to no plot, the acting is pure ham, the direction is 70's/80's style throw back, and yet I can't get enough of films like this, so this is on my must see list, even though it's pretty bad in so many levels, yet so much fun i'm sure.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15209
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 15/10/2013 6:05:45 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6742
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: DAVID GILLESPIE

Creepshow (1982) - Review

When I very young I used to wait in anticipation for a British horror comic called Scream to hit my local newsagents in Abronhill. Normally only three copies would hit the shelves and I would be at the store at 9am to make sure that I was one of the children that were going to get their hands on the new edition. Usually there was a free gift accompanying each issue. Sometimes it was Dracula teeth, a fake spider or eyeball etc. The stories were fairly gruesome for kidĀfs fair with psychotic hunchbacks, poltergeists, bloodthirsty vampires and haunted houses. I loved it. Then it was pulled from the shelves, probably due to poor sales. I kept my copies and would read them over and over.

Creepshow is so much like that comic and for the most part is a hilarious fun ride of gruesome scares and laughs in equal measures. It was the brainchild of Stephen King, George A Romero and producer, Richard P Rubenstein and based on the old DC horror comics. It also remains RomeroĀfs highest grossing film at the box office. The film consists of five stories tied together by a short tale of a vulnerable boy who has his favourite horror comic confiscated by his oafish father.

.


Where as most horror anthologies are patchy and uneven, Creepshow benefits from having the one director and writer taking the reigns. All the stories are filmed and sound very similar which only enhances the project. Romero cleverly decided to incorporate the frames and bold colours that one would associate with a comic book. The score is also beautifully constructed with a mix of 80ĀĆs synthesizers and old-fashioned organs. The tales themselves are not particularly gripping or clever yet they are fun and enthousiastic. The final segment, TheyĀfre Creeping Up on You was the almost scrapped due to budget constraints. This would have been a travesty as this is perhaps the most efficient mix of scares and laughs with an incredible performance from the late E.G. Marshall. You end up cheering on the repellent cockroaches as they invade his personal space.

Although films like Asylum, Black Sabbath, CatĀfs Eye and Tales from the Crypt have stronger individual stories, Creepshow has the strength of being expertly made with a superb cast. It is gruesome, full of energy and affectionately reflects on the essence of those old DC horror comics. It is a shame that the sequels were unable to discover the same energy.

Rating: 8/10

I too was addicted to horror comics, I read these in the early 70's, comics like House Of Mystery and The Witching Hour both DC comics, and a few others, so like you Creepshow was just what the doctor ordered. Shame the following films where so lame, but then sequels rarely come close to the original work, here's my old review.
CREEPSHOW 1982

Cult classic anthology from two of horrors big wigs, Romero and Stephen King, the film contains 5 sections, held together with 50's style comic images. A murdered man returns from the grave demanding his Father's Day cake and death ensues, a meteor's space ooze causes anything and anyone that comes in contact with it to grow (special appearance by Stephen King himself), a scheming vengeful husband buries his wife and her lover in sand to await death at high tide, a professor selects his nagging negative wife to become a tasty snack for a strange crated creature, and finally, a mean ole millionaire with an intense insect phobia becomes the prey of an army of cockroaches.

This is one of my favourite horror movie anthologies ever, it is also a lot better than 2, which had only one really good story to it and turns up on midnight TV from time to time, but this is so much fun and worth forking out the cash for the DVD/Blu Ray. The first story is ok, a story involving this grumpy old man killed by his daughter, who comes back to life expecting a cake cause its father's day, nothing too surprising happens here, but it is still pretty fun opening. The next one involves a story that has Stephen King as the main star, this for me is the weakest one of the five, but it is worth a chuckle or two as King does a somewhat good job of playing a slow fellow, and involves a meteor that makes grass grow everywhere. The next story is one of the best, a revenge tale with Ted Danson and Leslie Nielson staring, and who both help make this so much more fun than you'd expect. Danson has been having an affair with Nielson's wife so Nielson takes him to the beach and buries him up to his neck in the sand. He had done the same thing with his wife and the tide apparently kills them both or does it? The next tale is rather good as well as it has Adriean Barbeau in it as this obnoxious wife, who terrorises her husband, but soon the tables are turned as the wimpy husband finds out about a crate that may take care of her . And the final tale is about a rich man E. J. Marshall who always gets his way, and cares for no one except himself, plus who is a bit of a clean freak(Howard Hugues style) and lives in a special apartment that is supposed to be germ free, but it apparently has a roach problem.

All in all this has some decent gore and decent story lines, and all nicely tied together by the comic called Creepshow, which is also part story too, and links everything together in a cool way, which brings back memories of many late nights as a child reading those nasty comics. And King and Romero's love of these comics is all on show here, as between them they transport us back to an age of innocence, when the scariest thing was those dark shadows, and the rumble of thunder approaching. Yeah it's a bit low on scares, and maybe a bit too tame even for the 80's, but it's so much fun, and if you liked the old horror anthology films like Dr Terrors House Of Horror,Asylum, Black Sabbath, and Tales from the Crypt, well this is a great fun ride that will keep you happy. 7/10

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 15210
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