Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Follow us on   
Search   
Forum Home Register for Free! Log In Moderator Tickets FAQ Users Online

RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies?

 
Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Favourite Films >> RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? Page: <<   < prev  507 508 [509] 510 511   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 31/10/2013 10:02:35 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

Yoshimi Matsubara, in the midst of a divorce, moves to a run-down apartment with her daughter Ikuko, and, enrolling her in a nearby kindergarten, starts working as a proof reader, a job she held years ago before she was married. The ceiling of the apartment has a leak, which worsens on a daily basis. Matsubara complains to the janitor, but he does nothing to fix the leak. She then tries to go to the floor just above her apartment to find out the root of the leak, and discovers that the apartment is locked. Strange events start to happen repeatedly: a red bag with a bunny on the front reappears no matter how often Yoshimi tries to dispose of it, hair is found in tap water, and Yoshimi gets glimpses of a mysterious long-haired girl who is of a similar age to her daughter…..

I guess there are two main types of cinematic ghost story. There are those films which have everything upfront and bombard you with scares in the filmic equivalent of a ghost train, leaving you shaken and exhausted. Insidious and Poltergeist immediately come to mind. Then there are those, closer to the traditional ghost tale of old, which are more subtle and don’t really show you very much but chill more through atmosphere, such as The Innocents and The Others, so that the few jolts they do have really stand out. For me the latter kind tend to remain lodged in the mind for longer and often truly disturb more too. They also often have a very sad undercurrent which tends to come to the fore as the films approach their end. This is hardly surprising, since death is rarely a happy thing. If ghosts exist at all, maybe they are the product of our ways of dealing with the fact that eventually we will all eventually meet our maker? Dark Water is a fine example of a low-key ghost movie that is also very very sad and actually nearly has me in tears at the end! Directed by Hideo Nakata, it seemed to disappoint some upon release that it wasn’t another Ringu. It certainly doesn’t have a bed-wetting climax like that film, and its story is less intriguing, but it has more creepy bits along the way and just as much spooky atmosphere.

Like Ringu, it was based on writing by Koji Suzuki. This time the source was a horror anthology of short stories called From The Depths Of Dark Water, which is what the title of the film translates as in Japan. The first story, Floating Water, was the one that was adapted, and it seems that the only major thing that was changed was the ending. In the story, the ghost just wants Yoshimo to find its body. Instead of expanding the story, it was decided to stretch it out, with long periods in the film where little happens. I don’t mean that automatically as a bad thing: this approach can work very well in a film like this. The story was also turned into a manga. The film was released in the midst of the J-horror craze just before Ju-On: The Grudge, and was another big hit. The Americans of course rushed to remake it but this time the remake missed the mark, trying too hard to be scary [but not really succeeding] and missing much of the subtlety and beauty of the original. The ending, especially, fell flat. Nakata used many of the same themes and ideas in Ring Two, his sequel to the American remake of Ringu,The Ring, and even recreated a scare in a bath, but the result fell rather flat.

Despite having made Ghost Actress before Ringu and some more horror films afterwards, Nakata reckons he doesn’t have a great love for the genre. He once stated: “If you were to ask me whether I love horror from the bottom of my heart, I would have to say no”. Perhaps the phenomenal success of Ringu typecast him and he ended up making films he didn’t really believe in? There are signs of that in some of his more flawed [though always interesting and compelling] later pictures, but watching Dark Water, it comes across as the work of a filmmaker who put his ‘all’ into it. It does overtly reference other horror films more than usual, with The Haunting, The Shining and Don’t Look Now in particular having scenes copied, while many other films seem to inform Nakata’s, but his skill is in using all this other material and making it the building blocks for something new. Dark Water is a film steeped in the history of the horror movie, but it also feels unique and totally Japanese. I think this is the major problem with the US remakes of these films. They may sometimes be good, but in removing the elements that are steeped in Japanese culture and religion, they lose much of their exotic interest which attracted many Western fans to these films in the first place.

Despite its very understated approach, Dark Water doesn’t waste much time in getting creepy. Almost as soon as Yoshimo and her daughter Ikuko move into their new home, there is a palpable sense of unease. Much of this is due to Kenji Kawai’s incredibly effective scoring which often just consist of a sound much like water in pipes or distant machinery and is perhaps more sound effect than music. The ‘holding the wrong hand’ gag first employed in The Haunting get a really good work-out in the first of several chilling scene in a lift, but it’s one of many little moments that almost pass you by so you ask yourself: “did I really see that”? The tension, measured yet in its own way quite powerful, makes things like a girl’s red bag constantly showing up all over the place the creepiest happening in the world. Ikuko’s first full sightings of the ghost girl, outside as rain pours down, are bathed in yellow light, giving the scenes a sense of supernatural awe rather than fear. There are a few traditionally frightening moments later, often helped by blurring the ghost’s face, and one bit where she seems to fly at someone which knocked the stuffing out of me when I first saw it. I guess this is not a horror film to watch with a load of mates and beers, partly because it is very slow, and partly because it just wouldn’t frighten. On your own late at night with the lights turned off, it does work, not in a ‘climbing the walls’ sort of way, but in a way where chills slowly flow through the body and your mind works overtime.

The climax, when it comes, is over very quickly, but is more memorable for its emotional aspects than being exciting. There is a bit where Ikuko thinks her mother has rejected her, and the look on her face and her cries should move anyone with a heart. The revelation as to how the ghost died is less important than the growing emotional aspect of a story which ends up nothing more or less than our need for love. Therefore the lengthy final coda sequence, set some years later, is not unnecessary padding but essential to the film’s exploration of how deep a love between a mother and a daughter can be, and how such a love is needed by both parties. It also makes everything seem a bit ambiguous in the best way. Perhaps Ikuko imagined everything? In fact, thinking about this quietly disturbing but rather delicate tale, I wondered if the ghost in the film is not actually who we are told she it. There is a reading of the film which makes Yoshimo, a person who had been neglected by her own mother as a child, and a person who is definitely someone who has had mental problems, a much darker character than she appears to be and the story be more about her remembering things she had blocked out. There are a few scenes with her husband which make him out to be the villain of the piece, or do they? Maybe this is true, maybe not. I love this kind of story which is open to more than one interpretation.

Hitomi Kuroki gives a superb performances as Yoshimo. She has a pretty face that seems to have carry underlying pain and you always believe in her very well drawn character. Rio Kanno seems a little mechanical at first as Ikuko but then it’s a hard role for any young child to play, and she eventually comes through towards the end. Dark Water is a horror film that requires your full attention. Many decisions and events are detailed through implication or a line of dialogue rather than spending time on everything, and some things you just have to assume. This pared down approach means the viewer has to work a little harder than normal, but it is well worth it if you’re willing to play along. Its universal themes of love and self-sacrifice might really touch the soul as presented here.

Rating: 8.5/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15241
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 31/10/2013 10:06:48 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

Ximico, Guatemala. A man and a boy are filling small bottles with holy water. When one of the bottles begins to emit an eerie supernatural glow, Ben Mears tells Mark Petrie: “They’ve found us again.” We flash back two years to the small Maine town of Salem’s Lot. Ben is a writer who has returned to the town after a long absence to write a book about the Marsten House, an ominous old property on a hilltop which has a reputation for being haunted and which he had a traumatic experience in when he was a child. It has been bought by another new arrival, antique dealer Richard Straker, whose business partner Kurt Barlow seems to be always absent. Ben becomes romantically involved with a local girl, but then two other locals are asked by Richard to transport a coffin in the middle of the night….

It is night time and the young boy is stirring in his bed, something gradually waking him up. He looks out at the bedroom windows and fog starts to appear outside, getting thicker and thicker until a figure can be seen floating within. It is his best friend Ralphie, and he taps on the door crying: “let me in”. Now this may not sound like something especially scary, but said scene is notorious for scaring and damn near traumatising kids who watched Salem’s Lot when they first saw it on TV. Us Brits got it a few years later than the Americans because a cut-down version got into UK cinemas in 1979 the same year as the two-part mini-series was shown in the US. When that kid appeared at that window, I can still, even now, remember the shivers down my spine and wanting to turn the thing off, but of course I carried on watching. Was it Ralph’s arm, which moved as if it was on strings like a puppet? Was it the pasty-faced and cat-eyed vampire make-up which almost become the de rigueur look of nosferatu in the 80’s? Was it the tremendously eerie score? Of course it doesn’t seem frightening now but it made such a huge impression on me at the time, as did the whole mini-series, which remains a high point of TV horror and the best vampire thing ever done for the medium, though it does have flaws which even lovers like me cannot ignore!

Salem’s Lot was originally intended to be made for the big screen, influenced by the great success of the Stephen King adaptation Carrie. Three unsatisfactory screenplays were written and George Romero was slated to direct. Nosferatu The Vampyre and Dracula were put into production, so Warners decided to make it for TV and Romero dropped out because he would have felt too restricted by TV censorship, something that eventual director Tobe Hooper [The Texas Chainsaw Massacre] was happy to work in. Paul Monash’s script simplified much of the book including deleting or combining characters and removing subplots, but King was pleased [and he was certainly not afraid of criticising an adaptation, such as The Shining, if he felt it was warranted], even with the violence having to be toned down. The theatrical version which was shown in Europe removed nearly an hour [mostly from the first third] but featured slightly stronger alternate versions of three scenes, most notably when Cully Sawyer threatens Larry Crockett with his shotgun, which in the TV version was just pointed at him but in the cinema version was put in his mouth like in the book. Oddly enough, the DVD keeps the TV version of that scene but has the cinema edits of the other two altered scenes. In 1987 came a mediocre sequel A Return To Salem’s Lot and in 2004 it was remade as another TV mini-series. It contained more of the novel but far less of its feel. For me, there is only one Salem’s Lot.

Salem’s Lot’s first minute is devoted to brief highlights of what you are about to see in the next three hours, and it’s very off putting, always causing me to skip this bit on the DVD, though that’s how it was shown on TV, and I guess it was put there to warn viewers of the horror to come and to stay away if they didn’t feel they could handle it! Then we switch to the ficticious Guatemalan town of Ximico, and I’ve read much criticism of the two scenes that bookend the rest of the story [they were removed from the theatrical cut], but they give the whole thing a more expansive, even epic, feel . The next hour is devoted to slowly establishing and setting up characters and setting, and it is quite slow paced, but really has that sleepy small town feel essential to much of King’s work. Much time is devoted to the romance between Ben and Susan Norton, and it’s rather sweet, while there’s also a subplot about involving a tarty wife who’s cheating on her husband. Said subplot climaxes in a really tense and sweaty scene, full of human fear, where the husband threatens the other guy with a gun. I suppose it’s not important to the main story, but it adroitly shows what ‘real’ terror is, something that happens in real life, as opposed to ‘fantasy’ terror, and King often added in things, themes which he would repeat in other stories, which are not essential and not always developed but add flavour. Most notable in Salem’s Lot is the idea of the Marston House being a living evil entity in itself.

Despite its leisurely pacing, there is a constant brooding atmosphere, enhanced no end by Harry Sukman’s ominous music which intelligently mixes in the Dies Irae [the oft-used Latin hymn of the dead], and we get lots of shots of the house and footage of Straker, superbly played by James Mason in what is for me the best of his later performances filled with calm menace and almost subliminal hints of underlying evil, to maintain the feeling that stuff is going to happen. Which it eventually does. Now Salem’s Lot is a TV movie and thereby has a TV feel that it can’t escape, but Hooper makes it seem as cinematic as he can and pulls off some scenes which wouldn’t normally be seen amidst the conveyor belt production line of TV, like a lengthy tracking shot through a wood to reveal a dead dog. As well as the scene I mentioned at the start of this review, there’s also a tremendous bit where Ralphie’s father goes to his grave and opens it. We see Ralphie lying there, cut to his father’s face, then suddenly the boy’s face pops out of the left side of the screen in a superbly timed jump scare. The other bit that really ‘got’ me as a kid was when we finally get to see Straker’s mysterious partner Barlow properly, a vampire so powerful that a bloody earthquake precedes his appearance. We are suddenly aware of a cloak on the kitchen floor, and it gets bigger and bigger as something stands up inside it to reveal Barlow who quickly smashes a boy’s parents heads together, wearing hideous makeup that is modelled on that in Nosferatu and is closer to what Max Schreck wore than both the Klaus Kinski and Willem Dafoe versions.

Actor Reggie Nalder says that they cut out lots of his scenes as Barlow, though I can’t see what they would have been, the decision having been taken to change him from a Dracula-like attractive vampire to an ugly bogeyman working well anyway. There are a few signs elsewhere of footage cut, with the odd scene seeming to cut away before it had ended, and a few things not explained. The general lack of blood isn’t really missed. A bigger flaw overall is that Salem’s Lot doesn’t really ramp up the pace when it should towards the end. The interior of the Marsten House is creepy, and Hooper pays at least two homages to Psycho, but things don’t reach a higher level of excitement. They also get very silly, with one person suddenly displaying superhuman strength. The final scene is really strong though and affected me in another way as a child. It somehow told me what true love, something I wasn’t really familiar with, could be. Someone can be a blood-sucking monster and still feel love. It’s all very downbeat really, ending with our two heroes living a nomadic existence, being constantly on the run from vampires.

David Soul is too bland and un-emotive as Ben, but he is surrounded by a great supporting cast. Of course as a child I was most taken with young Mark, the boy obsessed with monsters and has a bedroom full of cool posters and models, a boy much like myself at the time though I didn’t have the cool posters and models! I like to think though, like Mark, I would have been able to deal with the horrifying events he has to deal with. Looking at Salem’s Lot objectively, three hours is an awful long time to spend on what is little more than a variation on the second and final thirds of Dracula, and it probably would have been better as a cinema production – you can even tell where the advert breaks would have been, while the compromises aren’t always well handled. You even get things like a silly freeze-frame claw. Overall though they did a very good job considering the constraints. There’s always the argument that letting the imagination run riot is more effective anyway. Christ, mine certainly did those two fateful nights.

Rating: 8/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15242
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 31/10/2013 8:44:42 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

Architect Walter Craig arrives at a country house party where he reveals to the assembled guests that he has seen them all in a dream. He appears to have no prior personal knowledge of them but is able to predict spontaneous events in the house before they unfold. The other guests attempt to test Craig’s foresight, while entertaining each other with various tales of uncanny or supernatural events that they experienced or were told about. A racing car driver survives a crash and keeps seeing a horse-drawn hearse….a girl plays hide-and-seek at a party and discovers a hidden room and a small boy crying….a man is bought an antique mirror by his fiancée and sees in the mirror another room from another age….two golf fanatics both love the same woman and make a strange pact….and, last but certainly not least, a ventriloquist thinks his dummy has a mind of its own….

There seem to be more anthology films in the horror genre than any other, perhaps because it’s easier if you’re scared by one tale to take a break before the next, and every now and again you get a short burst of them. Perhaps one of those bursts, with forthcoming sequels to The ABCs Of Death and Trick ‘r Treat, will be soon, though the heyday of the horror anthology was in the late 60’s/early 70’s, with the studio Amicus producing a whole series beginning with Dr. Terror’s House Of Horrors. In my view though the two best portmanteau chillers are Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath and this particular movie [which is not to be confused with the film of the same title from 1972 which is totally different but good in its own right], which doesn’t seem to be as widely seen and regarded as it ought to be, but certainly influenced the Amicus anthologies and has had certain elements, such as the story about the ventriloquist’s dummy that comes to life, and the ending twist, re-used more than once. It’s about as British as you can get, extremely restrained and ‘civilised’, and I guess it may disappoint many modern viewers used to lots of jump scares, but watched at night, certain parts can still frighten, and sometimes isn’t a slight undercurrent of uneasiness more enjoyable than jumping out of your skin every ten minutes?

Partly because of the extremely tight censorship, there was never a thriving British horror cinema till Hammer burst on to the scene in the late 50’s. In 1942, horror films were banned altogether, the thinking being that the horrors of World War 2 were more than enough for the public to deal with and any more terror would be un-productive. Interestingly, the opposite happened in the US: a greater number of chillers were produced, cinema-goers finding some solace in tales of the supernatural. The ban was lifted in 1945 and the first film out of the gate was Dead Of Night, oddly from Ealing Studios, usually making great comedies. It had four directors, two filming one story each, another filming two stories and the other filming one story and the framing device. They had all made successful films for Ealing, though one director, Charles Frend, had to pull out for unspecified reasons. The distributors were unsure how to market the film, even with some newspapers calling for it to be banned because it was too scary, and it wasn’t the huge hit it deserved to be, meaning that not many similar films were made afterwards. Nor was it much acclaimed, though it did win the award for Most Interesting Screenplay at the obscure Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland In the US it had two stories removed, meaning that some later scenes in the house made no sense because viewers didn’t know who certain people were. In 1972 Hammer considered remaking it, keeping its 40’s setting. Like many later Hammer projects, it never came to fruition, and for that we can probably be grateful.

The film’s framing device is just one of a great many things that would be imitated in many later films, though certain details were rarely used as effectively. Walter is sure he’s seen the people inside the house he’s in, and said people proceed to tell ghost stories. Sometimes they were the ones who experienced them directly, and sometimes not. After each tale, Dr. Van Straaten proceeds to debunk each one in what becomes a conflict between the irrational and the rational. It’s not long before it becomes obvious what side the film is on, and this may have just been too much for staid viewers and critics in the Britain in 1945. Eventually it climaxes in a frightening hallucinatory climax involving everyone from each story, before a It Was All A Dream ending. I’m not counting this as a spoiler, because we get another ending after this, and it’s really chilling and audacious. It’s also been copied a few times [and I wonder if certain films like Inception were influenced by the Chinese Box plotting?], but rarely done so subtly, the simple sight of a cigarette being lit in slow motion telling you, and perhaps even Walter, though he doesn’t totally realise it, what is actually going on, though certain details, as in many of the best stories of this time, are open to the viewer’s own interpretation.

The stories in an anthology always vary in quality, and so they do in Dead Of Night, though none are actually poor. The Hearse Driver is very short, but quite eerie, as a race car driver has an accident and, whilst recovering in hospital, wakes up and goes towards the curtains in his room. There is considerable suspense before he pulls them back, and sees that it’s daylight outside and there is a hearse where the driver tells him: “just room for one inside, sir”. I’ve often wondered why it is daylight outside rather than night-time, because it may have been more effective set nocturnally, but then one of the themes of the whole film seem to be the incursion of the supernatural into mundane reality. In any case, this tiny tale ends with a second sighting of the driver which is quite jolting [even if he’s very friendly], and it all makes sense. Christmas Party, which references a real murder in 1860 where a 16 year old girl killed her four year old brother, involves an encounter with a ghost by a young girl. It’s very brief too, and only sends shivers up the spine at the end when the girl is told the truth about who she has seen and exhibits fear and tears in a very distressing manner. Then we get into the real scary stuff with The Haunted Mirror, bought by a woman for her fiancée. The scenes where the man sees a totally different room, ornate and Victorian, reflected in the mirror manage to be both eerie and magical at the same time. It is found out that the mirror, whose allure pervades the whole story, belonged to a wife-murderer. The climax to this story is very intense, while the whole thing is acutely disturbing, partly because of comparisons made between the situations of the two couples in the tale.

Time for a light-hearted diversion then, and the H.G. Wells-derived Golfing Story seems to be disliked by many. The Topper-like tale of two golfers, one of whom kills himself over the girl they both love and returns to haunt him, isn’t as funny as it thinks it is but is pleasantly whimsical, has a rather daring and blatantly sexual ending which I’m surprised got through the censors, and isn’t it always great to see Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne rehash their roles from The Lady Vanishes yet again? The last story is The Ventriloquist’s Dummy, and perhaps I find the idea of a dummy developing a mind of its own more frightening than most because I find the whole ventriloquist thing bloodcurdling anyway [I mean why do the dummies look so hideous and have horrible voices?], but this is really the highpoint of Dead Of Night. It features an absolutely brilliant performance by Michael Redgrave, especially in the scene where the narrator sees him for the second time as a broken man drowning his sorrows in a bar and we realise how totally under the control of Hugo the dummy he is. Would you believe it, Redgrave had trained as a ventriloquist so he did Hugo’s voice too, and actually if you look closely you can sometimes see his mouth move a little, but so what? Hugo, the inspiration for countless movie dolls and even some more direct imitations like Devil Doll and the hugely underrated Magic, remains the scariest. Perhaps it’s because we don’t see him move until one hair-raising scene right at the end.

In fact the more I think of it you can see so much of Dead Of Night turning up in later movies: The Ventriloquist’s Dummy had its final scene virtually copied for Psycho [there’s even an identical line of dialogue, The Sixth Sense used some bits from The Christmas Party, From Beyond The Grave borrowed from The Haunted Mirror twice as did some films after, and so on. There’s a quaint feel to much of Dead Of Night which you have to get past, especially in the first few scenes, but it really is essential viewing for any true horror fan. Despite its different directors, it’s amazingly consistent in look and feel – the two Alberto Cavalcanti tales make greater use of shadows than the other stories to highlight certain things but thats's about it – and even if you’re not frightened by much of it, certain scenes and ideas will disturb and probably stay in the mind. About half of Dead Of Night is rather comforting in the manner of the traditional Christmas ghost story, and about half of it is more and more horrifying the more you think about it.

Rating: 9/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15243
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 2/11/2013 8:21:06 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1565
Joined: 20/10/2012
UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?

_____________________________

Say what now?

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15244
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 4/11/2013 7:11:53 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Here it is.





A whole after 29 years after general release, horror-master Wes Craven's iconic, decade-defining classic hasn't lost the slightest touch of quality. Despite the multitude of spinoffs, sequels and wannabes, it remains totally unique in the genre, and as shocking, entertaining, scary and insomnia-inducing as ever. Just fewer of the low-cut tops, Johnny.

5/5

Great review of my favourite Wes Craven film, and still a good fright fest, with the right amount of gore to keep us gore hounds glued, but never as good as it was on first viewing. Still a classic and a must have for any true Horror fan, and all done without CGI, unlike the remake which though entertaining just did not have that dark edginess of the original.

quote:

paul.mccluskey
Watched Lifeforce on Saturday night. Never in a million years would I have expected Tobe Hooper to direct a film about naked space vampires. From start to finish, it is utterly barmy, but quite enjoyable. I can see why it's a cult classic.

Also watched the remake of Last House on the Left. Good, but I felt the violence was too prolonged, it's best to leave some things to the imagination. However, Garret Dillahunt was very good as Krug.

Spot on about the remake of Last House On The Left, the best thing in it was Garret, though watchable over all, like most of the remakes of ye old Video Nasties, it lacks that disturbing sleazy look and feel of the original. Glad you enjoyed the barmy out of this world film that is Lifeforce, it's a real gem of a film that went straight to video hell in this part of the world, yet it's a true Cult classic, and here's what I thought of it.
LIFEFORCE (1985)
 
The space shuttle Churchill has been sent to investigate Halley's Comet when they detect something hiding inside the coma of the giant rock. A small team, led by Colonel Carlsen (Steve Railsback), has been sent to search the area. What they discover includes hundreds of frozen bat-like creatures and three nude and seemingly unconscious humanoid beings inside strange crystalline containers, two male and one female (Mathilda May).The humans from the spacecraft suddenly awake and all those who come into contact with them are drained of their "lifeforce" and in time all the victims - including most of the population of London - are turned into zombies all preying on the horrified survivors for their "lifeforce". It's up to Carlsen and Major Caine of the SAS to stop them before the whole world turns into a big blood-hunt.

Lifeforce was Tobe Hooper's first science fiction film and the script was written by Dan O'Bannon(Alien, Return of the Living Dead and Dead And Buried) and Don Jakoby(Blue Thunder), based on Colin Wilson's 1976 novel, The Space Vampires. It has everything a good Horror Sci/Fi film should have, but maybe just to much, and was trimmed for it's release in the US, as nudity in the 80's still caused censor problems. Tobe hooper directs this one with a real powerful driving force, with great images and editing, that show off his skills in a way we haven't seen before. He had a three picture deal with Cannon Films, which reportedly spent nearly $25 million in hopes of creating a blockbuster, but it bombed, as it was just to violent, gory and to much nudity for the US market at the time. Now as some will know Species is very similar in many ways,but it was better received as modern cinema fans now want a lot more sex/violence in there Sci/Fi and horror. Which is a shame for it's a great thrill ride of a film, with excellent effects by John Dykstra (Star Wars,2001 etc),superb amount of blood and gore, and one of the most sexist/nude vampires ever to hit the screen.

But the acting range from decent to pure ham for ham sake, the worst is easily Steve Railsback, who  is  hilariously over-the-top, and hams it to the limit. Much better in his part of Agent Caine is Peter Firth, who comes nearly steals the show ,looking and sounding convincingly good. Which i can't say for good old  Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, in a role that he's probably a bit embarrassed by these days, ohh i can feel his pain. But the gorgeous Mathilda May as the female vampire, is beautiful, sexy, creepy seductive, and goes through virtually the whole film without wearing clothing, and never looks uncomfortable which is impressive. She is far more convincing as an alien vampire? than Natasha Henstridge in Species, and far more hotter, in fact she seals the show, if only because of that body.

This is one of those strange/weird films that i know a lot of folk won't like, yet even as bad as some of the acting is, and the fact that the script is disjointed, and the fact that it looks so 80's looking for todays viewers, and some of the lines are so ridiculous. Yet it' never ever the least bit dull due to the nonstop nudity, the large amount of violence/gore and action, it all comes together to make an entertaining bizarre horror Sci/Fi from a director who seems to be remembered only for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. If you like large amounts of female nudity in your sci/fi, with a good splash of blood and gore, and feel to many films look great but are no fun to sit through ,well this ticks the fun ride box big time, enjoy with a few mates, and a couple of beers.7/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15245
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 4/11/2013 7:44:10 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera




Hitomi Kuroki gives a superb performances as Yoshimo. She has a pretty face that seems to have carry underlying pain and you always believe in her very well drawn character. Rio Kanno seems a little mechanical at first as Ikuko but then it's a hard role for any young child to play, and she eventually comes through towards the end. Dark Water is a horror film that requires your full attention. Many decisions and events are detailed through implication or a line of dialogue rather than spending time on everything, and some things you just have to assume. This pared down approach means the viewer has to work a little harder than normal, but it is well worth it if you're willing to play along. Its universal themes of love and self-sacrifice might really touch the soul as presented here.

Rating: 8.5/10

There's the 2005 remake of this or as I call it the Americanised version, and like Ringu, it lost something in the mix, i'd far rather watch this the original, it is far more haunting and gets right under your skin. You a always score nearly always the same as myself, so noting to add, except to encourage those that drop into this thread to get the 2002 Japanese film, it will get deep into your mind and will cause nightmares. 
quote:


 
Despite its leisurely pacing, there is a constant brooding atmosphere, enhanced no end by Harry Sukman’s ominous music which intelligently mixes in the Dies Irae [the oft-used Latin hymn of the dead], and we get lots of shots of the house and footage of Straker, superbly played by James Mason in what is for me the best of his later performances filled with calm menace and almost subliminal hints of underlying evil, to maintain the feeling that stuff is going to happen. Which it eventually does. Now Salem’s Lot is a TV movie and thereby has a TV feel that it can’t escape, but Hooper makes it seem as cinematic as he can and pulls off some scenes which wouldn’t normally be seen amidst the conveyor belt production line of TV, like a lengthy tracking shot through a wood to reveal a dead dog. As well as the scene I mentioned at the start of this review, there’s also a tremendous bit where Ralphie’s father goes to his grave and opens it. We see Ralphie lying there, cut to his father’s face, then suddenly the boy’s face pops out of the left side of the screen in a superbly timed jump scare. The other bit that really ‘got’ me as a kid was when we finally get to see Straker’s mysterious partner Barlow properly, a vampire so powerful that a bloody earthquake precedes his appearance. We are suddenly aware of a cloak on the kitchen floor, and it gets bigger and bigger as something stands up inside it to reveal Barlow who quickly smashes a boy’s parents heads together, wearing hideous makeup that is modelled on that in Nosferatu and is closer to what Max Schreck wore than both the Klaus Kinski and Willem Dafoe versions.

Actor Reggie Nalder says that they cut out lots of his scenes as Barlow, though I can’t see what they would have been, the decision having been taken to change him from a Dracula-like attractive vampire to an ugly bogeyman working well anyway. There are a few signs elsewhere of footage cut, with the odd scene seeming to cut away before it had ended, and a few things not explained. The general lack of blood isn’t really missed. A bigger flaw overall is that Salem’s Lot doesn’t really ramp up the pace when it should towards the end. The interior of the Marsten House is creepy, and Hooper pays at least two homages to Psycho, but things don’t reach a higher level of excitement. They also get very silly, with one person suddenly displaying superhuman strength. The final scene is really strong though and affected me in another way as a child. It somehow told me what true love, something I wasn’t really familiar with, could be. Someone can be a blood-sucking monster and still feel love. It’s all very downbeat really, ending with our two heroes living a nomadic existence, being constantly on the run from vampires.

David Soul is too bland and un-emotive as Ben, but he is surrounded by a great supporting cast. Of course as a child I was most taken with young Mark, the boy obsessed with monsters and has a bedroom full of cool posters and models, a boy much like myself at the time though I didn’t have the cool posters and models! I like to think though, like Mark, I would have been able to deal with the horrifying events he has to deal with. Looking at Salem’s Lot objectively, three hours is an awful long time to spend on what is little more than a variation on the second and final thirds of Dracula, and it probably would have been better as a cinema production – you can even tell where the advert breaks would have been, while the compromises aren’t always well handled. You even get things like a silly freeze-frame claw. Overall though they did a very good job considering the constraints. There’s always the argument that letting the imagination run riot is more effective anyway. Christ, mine certainly did those two fateful nights.

Rating: 8/10

Well reviewed my friend, and I still remember how this ruined my sleep all those years ago when the BBC showed it over two nights, a great way to see it to be honest, as no adverts, and I think it was edited down too two hours. The kid vampire tapping on the window after jumping out of his grave, it gave me nightmares for weeks, and yet my Mum Dad and younger brother where glued to the Box for those two nights of terror. Ohh and Mr Barlow one of the most frightening vampires ever put to film, shame that when it was on the box again it got filled with ads and was in three parts, still there's ye old DVD.
quote:


 
In fact the more I think of it you can see so much of Dead Of Night turning up in later movies: The Ventriloquist’s Dummy had its final scene virtually copied for Psycho [there’s even an identical line of dialogue, The Sixth Sense used some bits from The Christmas Party, From Beyond The Grave borrowed from The Haunted Mirror twice as did some films after, and so on. There’s a quaint feel to much of Dead Of Night which you have to get past, especially in the first few scenes, but it really is essential viewing for any true horror fan. Despite its different directors, it’s amazingly consistent in look and feel – the two Alberto Cavalcanti tales make greater use of shadows than the other stories to highlight certain things but thats's about it – and even if you’re not frightened by much of it, certain scenes and ideas will disturb and probably stay in the mind. About half of Dead Of Night is rather comforting in the manner of the traditional Christmas ghost story, and about half of it is more and more horrifying the more you think about it.

Rating: 9/10


Now this is a film i'd forgotten about, in fact last time I saw this was on the Box, many, many years ago, and it was on over a the Christmas period, I think it was BBC2, and what a treat it was, well except when you went to bed after it, as a young teenager at the time. More bloody restless nights due to these films, but then that's part of the fun of watching them, to get that rush, just hard to settle down after it.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15246
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 6/11/2013 9:12:50 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?

Nice viewing for the weekend, two classics, well this is the two films I watched for the first time:
WORLD WAR Z (2013)

United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), finds himself and family caught up in what seems to be a terrorist attack, but turns out to be much worse. He finds himself recalled to join a team that traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments turning humans within seconds into Zombies and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

Nice surprise this turned out to be, and now makes me wish I had gone and seen it on the big screen, for, a great mix of thriller, horror and disaster film genre's, and for some reason it really works well. Pitt is producer here, and I always find he knows how to pick the right script and director for his projects. Thought the story is straight forward enough, it is an intense story of the zombie apocalypse caused by an unknown virus, and has plenty of those o shit moments, that rack up the tension and keep you on edge, while delivering enough action to keep it moving at a fast pace. It also delivers some conventional moments that are surprising for a summer blockbuster disaster film, and yes I said disaster not zombie film. For this is more like more of like 2012 with 28 Days Later as a back drop, for we get shots of cities tumbling down to the rule of zombies as the world turns into a zombie wasteland, and not much in the way of gore, during zombie attacks, which are on an epic scale here. There are even a few real scary moments, that are unusual for this type of film, that are a real bonus, and kept me hooked, as I got caught up in the suspense, which works best when are hero is in more confined space, with the zombie hoards closing in. This is a superb Disaster film, and this is when it works best, and is the best way to approach this film, if you are a fan of Zombies and end of the world films, though there are a few I Am Legend moments in the CGI that nearly spoilt it for me. 

Now i am a huge fan of Romero's Zombie films, also the wonderful Walking Dead TV show, because there more than just gore fests, they have hard hitting story lines, and social comment, which keeps then in the Adult world of 18 cert fun with brains. This is why for me this is not a true zombie film, it lacks bite, it skips over some political, social comments that I think hit the cutting room floor, as this has had more drama getting to the big screen than any other film this year. Marc Forster( Quantum of Solace) was approached to direct this in 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script to the film. Filming began in July 2011 in Malta on an estimated $125 million budget, before moving to Glasgow. But was then re scripted and more re shoots in 2012, when it was due for release, and even just before release in 2013 it was re edited, with more cuts, mainly to get the 13 cert for the US, it is a 15 here. The film luckily and in my humble view deserved to be a commercial success, grossing over $540 million on a it's $190 million budget, but I would have preferred a more adult approach, and know this director is more than capable of this. But it's still a very entertaining film, and because of it's fast pacing it's many holes in the plot are never too painful.

Some may feel the fast paced opening a little too unbelievable, as in how could this violent virus arrive in a large US city arrive undetected, but Marc get's over this with a montage of news reports coming in from the radio and TV , and plays it with a question how many of us listen to everything we hear on the news, So much violence and death goes undetected while we focus on issues that effect us immediately, like the cost of fuel, cost of bread, credit payments, employment, and those murdering terrorists in are homeland. It's too late when the virus touches US soil, for not even social media can keep up with it, and if anyone here ever seen the BBC TV show SURVIOURS, you'll know how they got the fast spreading virus to go global at speed.Though I think 28 Days Later was far better in terms of realism, in-camera effects, and sheer terror, this still  holds its own and as I said it use's the zombies as just a backdrop for the end of mankind story. It is more a thrill ride, than horror, and this director knows this, as he seems to go out of his way to avoid the blood and gore you expect from a zombie film, which this is not. And good on Brad for taking this chance of trying to make something more up market for zombie fans, and Marc for on the whole delivering a great thriller of a film, that I for one really enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Yes it's a commercial film that is aimed at making lots of money, and you know and feel there was a much better film buried in the hunt for the mighty dollar, but with decent acting, superb action scenes, epic zombie attacks, plenty of suspense, all at break neck speed, will I loved it.8/10
 
MAMA (2013)

The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.

In his first major film director Andrés Muschietti knows how to push the right buttons in this Guillermo del Toro spine tingler, and that's right from the start, well he got me in that opening i'll say no more. Effectively delivering good old fashioned scares without cheap gross-out gore effects, and better still moves the heart with a strong, emotional core that is lacking in a lot of horror films these days, and by a surprising heart breaking and effectively executed climactic ending.Very European in its direction, yet set in the US, this could have ended up so by the numbers horror thriller, but it's great script, superb acting, and brilliant direction lift it to a high on scares first class horror film. This tragic tale of two young children having there mother taken from them, and a father set to murder them, a guy who was a senior partner of an investment brokerage firm, Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and then his wife. A great opening that is the hook they get you with, and pull you deeper into the story, which then lets you believe in the supernatural, as it tugs at your heart strings, as who can save the children now, Mama!!! .

The 1-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Victoria are so beautiful that they tug at your heartstrings without even trying, and carry the first 15 minutes of the film with the ease of well established actors many years older. When we jump forward to a 6-year old Isabelle Nélisse as Lily and 8-year-old Megan Charpentier as Victoria , they are quite simply the stars of this film, they are awesome with superb performance's, both handling this heavy subject matter with maturity you very rarely see a in any actors of this age if ever. Victoria has been traumatized by her past, and shae remembers so much more of what happened, so her her heart is a little harder than the average 8-year-old, wants a mommy. Isabelle Nélisse is in my opinion the most gifted child actor ever to be put on screen, she just tugs at your heart strings yet creeps you out in the same moment, with her animalistic movements, that may or may not been enhanced by CGI, but a child of her age that can maintain such serious look and pull at your heart is what true talent is about. When she plays with her toys, it's like watching an actual feral child in a documentary, and this is some of the more disturbing scenes being carried by a 6 year old. In what can only be called supporting roles are Jessica Chastain there Uncles rock chick bass playing girlfriend, who acts her socks off and has a true old world Hollywood beauty that lights up the screen, even with her punk dress code. She in truth has no interest in adopting crazy children, but soon falls for them and begins the fight to save them from, well that would be telling, but she is in some of the most chilling scenes in this film, and helps keep it in the realm of the believable. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau as the uncle of the little girls is very well cast, as his love for his brothers girls shines in what little screen time he's given, yet in this small part, you truly believe that he is the kind of guy who would spend 5 years and money he doesn't have on the hope that his nieces might still be alive, superbly acted..

After a well set up, and the children now in a new home, the film moves up a gear, as we get a roller coaster ride of scares and twists in the plot that will take your breath away,to say to much would ruin the fun. Let's just say that Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, and reveal them in teasing creepy fashion throughout the middle and end, I ended up scratching my head going "what the **k" so many times surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques.With superb editing that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments, this is a slow burn story, that grows stronger with every scene, to a nail biting final reel where it all flows together to blow your mind and break your heart. It  is simply a spell binding well directed, beautifully shot work of art, that also entertains while telling a wonderful story, that never lets go of your heart and soul, and yet delivers some of the best shocks of the year. A must have chiller that any true horror fan would be proud of, and that will last the test of time, here sirs and madams is a classic tale of loss, of need but so much more redemption and faith, wrapped up in a Gothic horror film, that yes is somewhat old school, but blows off all those torture porn horrors, because this one moves you. Mama worked wonders for me, and is another great horror film that I will add to my collection, if only for to watch two of the best child actors ever, in one of the best horror films of this year, a very close second to a certain other chiller of this year.9/10
.


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Mister Coe)
Post #: 15247
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 6/11/2013 9:22:42 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3074
Joined: 22/11/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

Nice viewing for the weekend, two classics, well this is the two films I watched for the first time:
WORLD WAR Z (2013)

United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), finds himself and family caught up in what seems to be a terrorist attack, but turns out to be much worse. He finds himself recalled to join a team that traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments turning humans within seconds into Zombies and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

Nice surprise this turned out to be, and now makes me wish I had gone and seen it on the big screen, for, a great mix of thriller, horror and disaster film genre's, and for some reason it really works well. Pitt is producer here, and I always find he knows how to pick the right script and director for his projects. Thought the story is straight forward enough, it is an intense story of the zombie apocalypse caused by an unknown virus, and has plenty of those o shit moments, that rack up the tension and keep you on edge, while delivering enough action to keep it moving at a fast pace. It also delivers some conventional moments that are surprising for a summer blockbuster disaster film, and yes I said disaster not zombie film. For this is more like more of like 2012 with 28 Days Later as a back drop, for we get shots of cities tumbling down to the rule of zombies as the world turns into a zombie wasteland, and not much in the way of gore, during zombie attacks, which are on an epic scale here. There are even a few real scary moments, that are unusual for this type of film, that are a real bonus, and kept me hooked, as I got caught up in the suspense, which works best when are hero is in more confined space, with the zombie hoards closing in. This is a superb Disaster film, and this is when it works best, and is the best way to approach this film, if you are a fan of Zombies and end of the world films, though there are a few I Am Legend moments in the CGI that nearly spoilt it for me. 

Now i am a huge fan of Romero's Zombie films, also the wonderful Walking Dead TV show, because there more than just gore fests, they have hard hitting story lines, and social comment, which keeps then in the Adult world of 18 cert fun with brains. This is why for me this is not a true zombie film, it lacks bite, it skips over some political, social comments that I think hit the cutting room floor, as this has had more drama getting to the big screen than any other film this year. Marc Forster( Quantum of Solace) was approached to direct this in 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script to the film. Filming began in July 2011 in Malta on an estimated $125 million budget, before moving to Glasgow. But was then re scripted and more re shoots in 2012, when it was due for release, and even just before release in 2013 it was re edited, with more cuts, mainly to get the 13 cert for the US, it is a 15 here. The film luckily and in my humble view deserved to be a commercial success, grossing over $540 million on a it's $190 million budget, but I would have preferred a more adult approach, and know this director is more than capable of this. But it's still a very entertaining film, and because of it's fast pacing it's many holes in the plot are never too painful.

Some may feel the fast paced opening a little too unbelievable, as in how could this violent virus arrive in a large US city arrive undetected, but Marc get's over this with a montage of news reports coming in from the radio and TV , and plays it with a question how many of us listen to everything we hear on the news, So much violence and death goes undetected while we focus on issues that effect us immediately, like the cost of fuel, cost of bread, credit payments, employment, and those murdering terrorists in are homeland. It's too late when the virus touches US soil, for not even social media can keep up with it, and if anyone here ever seen the BBC TV show SURVIOURS, you'll know how they got the fast spreading virus to go global at speed.Though I think 28 Days Later was far better in terms of realism, in-camera effects, and sheer terror, this still  holds its own and as I said it use's the zombies as just a backdrop for the end of mankind story. It is more a thrill ride, than horror, and this director knows this, as he seems to go out of his way to avoid the blood and gore you expect from a zombie film, which this is not. And good on Brad for taking this chance of trying to make something more up market for zombie fans, and Marc for on the whole delivering a great thriller of a film, that I for one really enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Yes it's a commercial film that is aimed at making lots of money, and you know and feel there was a much better film buried in the hunt for the mighty dollar, but with decent acting, superb action scenes, epic zombie attacks, plenty of suspense, all at break neck speed, will I loved it.8/10



I enjoyed this a lot more than I had expected to. I'm still disappointed that it completely disregarded the brilliant source material, but I have to admit, it was pretty exciting.

quote:


 
MAMA (2013)

The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.

In his first major film director Andrés Muschietti knows how to push the right buttons in this Guillermo del Toro spine tingler, and that's right from the start, well he got me in that opening i'll say no more. Effectively delivering good old fashioned scares without cheap gross-out gore effects, and better still moves the heart with a strong, emotional core that is lacking in a lot of horror films these days, and by a surprising heart breaking and effectively executed climactic ending.Very European in its direction, yet set in the US, this could have ended up so by the numbers horror thriller, but it's great script, superb acting, and brilliant direction lift it to a high on scares first class horror film. This tragic tale of two young children having there mother taken from them, and a father set to murder them, a guy who was a senior partner of an investment brokerage firm, Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and then his wife. A great opening that is the hook they get you with, and pull you deeper into the story, which then lets you believe in the supernatural, as it tugs at your heart strings, as who can save the children now, Mama!!! .

The 1-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Victoria are so beautiful that they tug at your heartstrings without even trying, and carry the first 15 minutes of the film with the ease of well established actors many years older. When we jump forward to a 6-year old Isabelle Nélisse as Lily and 8-year-old Megan Charpentier as Victoria , they are quite simply the stars of this film, they are awesome with superb performance's, both handling this heavy subject matter with maturity you very rarely see a in any actors of this age if ever. Victoria has been traumatized by her past, and shae remembers so much more of what happened, so her her heart is a little harder than the average 8-year-old, wants a mommy. Isabelle Nélisse is in my opinion the most gifted child actor ever to be put on screen, she just tugs at your heart strings yet creeps you out in the same moment, with her animalistic movements, that may or may not been enhanced by CGI, but a child of her age that can maintain such serious look and pull at your heart is what true talent is about. When she plays with her toys, it's like watching an actual feral child in a documentary, and this is some of the more disturbing scenes being carried by a 6 year old. In what can only be called supporting roles are Jessica Chastain there Uncles rock chick bass playing girlfriend, who acts her socks off and has a true old world Hollywood beauty that lights up the screen, even with her punk dress code. She in truth has no interest in adopting crazy children, but soon falls for them and begins the fight to save them from, well that would be telling, but she is in some of the most chilling scenes in this film, and helps keep it in the realm of the believable. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau as the uncle of the little girls is very well cast, as his love for his brothers girls shines in what little screen time he's given, yet in this small part, you truly believe that he is the kind of guy who would spend 5 years and money he doesn't have on the hope that his nieces might still be alive, superbly acted..

After a well set up, and the children now in a new home, the film moves up a gear, as we get a roller coaster ride of scares and twists in the plot that will take your breath away,to say to much would ruin the fun. Let's just say that Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, and reveal them in teasing creepy fashion throughout the middle and end, I ended up scratching my head going "what the **k" so many times surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques.With superb editing that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments, this is a slow burn story, that grows stronger with every scene, to a nail biting final reel where it all flows together to blow your mind and break your heart. It  is simply a spell binding well directed, beautifully shot work of art, that also entertains while telling a wonderful story, that never lets go of your heart and soul, and yet delivers some of the best shocks of the year. A must have chiller that any true horror fan would be proud of, and that will last the test of time, here sirs and madams is a classic tale of loss, of need but so much more redemption and faith, wrapped up in a Gothic horror film, that yes is somewhat old school, but blows off all those torture porn horrors, because this one moves you. Mama worked wonders for me, and is another great horror film that I will add to my collection, if only for to watch two of the best child actors ever, in one of the best horror films of this year, a very close second to a certain other chiller of this year.9/10
.



Right with you here; I was really impressed by Mama. Taut, skillful and surprisingly spooky. I had expected something more along the lines of the silly Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, so it was a pleasant surprise.

< Message edited by Whistler -- 6/11/2013 9:24:01 PM >

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15248
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/11/2013 9:17:50 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?


Night Of The Demon is an absolute classic!. One of the top ten British horror films ever made imo. Blood On Satan's Claw...i'm not sure I've even seen that, though I know of it.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Mister Coe)
Post #: 15249
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/11/2013 9:18:45 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Here it is.





A whole after 29 years after general release, horror-master Wes Craven's iconic, decade-defining classic hasn't lost the slightest touch of quality. Despite the multitude of spinoffs, sequels and wannabes, it remains totally unique in the genre, and as shocking, entertaining, scary and insomnia-inducing as ever. Just fewer of the low-cut tops, Johnny.

5/5

Great review of my favourite Wes Craven film, and still a good fright fest, with the right amount of gore to keep us gore hounds glued, but never as good as it was on first viewing. Still a classic and a must have for any true Horror fan, and all done without CGI, unlike the remake which though entertaining just did not have that dark edginess of the original.

quote:

paul.mccluskey
Watched Lifeforce on Saturday night. Never in a million years would I have expected Tobe Hooper to direct a film about naked space vampires. From start to finish, it is utterly barmy, but quite enjoyable. I can see why it's a cult classic.

Also watched the remake of Last House on the Left. Good, but I felt the violence was too prolonged, it's best to leave some things to the imagination. However, Garret Dillahunt was very good as Krug.

Spot on about the remake of Last House On The Left, the best thing in it was Garret, though watchable over all, like most of the remakes of ye old Video Nasties, it lacks that disturbing sleazy look and feel of the original. Glad you enjoyed the barmy out of this world film that is Lifeforce, it's a real gem of a film that went straight to video hell in this part of the world, yet it's a true Cult classic, and here's what I thought of it.
LIFEFORCE (1985)
 
The space shuttle Churchill has been sent to investigate Halley's Comet when they detect something hiding inside the coma of the giant rock. A small team, led by Colonel Carlsen (Steve Railsback), has been sent to search the area. What they discover includes hundreds of frozen bat-like creatures and three nude and seemingly unconscious humanoid beings inside strange crystalline containers, two male and one female (Mathilda May).The humans from the spacecraft suddenly awake and all those who come into contact with them are drained of their "lifeforce" and in time all the victims - including most of the population of London - are turned into zombies all preying on the horrified survivors for their "lifeforce". It's up to Carlsen and Major Caine of the SAS to stop them before the whole world turns into a big blood-hunt.

Lifeforce was Tobe Hooper's first science fiction film and the script was written by Dan O'Bannon(Alien, Return of the Living Dead and Dead And Buried) and Don Jakoby(Blue Thunder), based on Colin Wilson's 1976 novel, The Space Vampires. It has everything a good Horror Sci/Fi film should have, but maybe just to much, and was trimmed for it's release in the US, as nudity in the 80's still caused censor problems. Tobe hooper directs this one with a real powerful driving force, with great images and editing, that show off his skills in a way we haven't seen before. He had a three picture deal with Cannon Films, which reportedly spent nearly $25 million in hopes of creating a blockbuster, but it bombed, as it was just to violent, gory and to much nudity for the US market at the time. Now as some will know Species is very similar in many ways,but it was better received as modern cinema fans now want a lot more sex/violence in there Sci/Fi and horror. Which is a shame for it's a great thrill ride of a film, with excellent effects by John Dykstra (Star Wars,2001 etc),superb amount of blood and gore, and one of the most sexist/nude vampires ever to hit the screen.

But the acting range from decent to pure ham for ham sake, the worst is easily Steve Railsback, who  is  hilariously over-the-top, and hams it to the limit. Much better in his part of Agent Caine is Peter Firth, who comes nearly steals the show ,looking and sounding convincingly good. Which i can't say for good old  Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame, in a role that he's probably a bit embarrassed by these days, ohh i can feel his pain. But the gorgeous Mathilda May as the female vampire, is beautiful, sexy, creepy seductive, and goes through virtually the whole film without wearing clothing, and never looks uncomfortable which is impressive. She is far more convincing as an alien vampire? than Natasha Henstridge in Species, and far more hotter, in fact she seals the show, if only because of that body.

This is one of those strange/weird films that i know a lot of folk won't like, yet even as bad as some of the acting is, and the fact that the script is disjointed, and the fact that it looks so 80's looking for todays viewers, and some of the lines are so ridiculous. Yet it' never ever the least bit dull due to the nonstop nudity, the large amount of violence/gore and action, it all comes together to make an entertaining bizarre horror Sci/Fi from a director who seems to be remembered only for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. If you like large amounts of female nudity in your sci/fi, with a good splash of blood and gore, and feel to many films look great but are no fun to sit through ,well this ticks the fun ride box big time, enjoy with a few mates, and a couple of beers.7/10


LOVE Lifeforce. An utter silly mess, but such lunatic fun.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15250
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/11/2013 9:25:01 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?

Nice viewing for the weekend, two classics, well this is the two films I watched for the first time:
WORLD WAR Z (2013)

United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), finds himself and family caught up in what seems to be a terrorist attack, but turns out to be much worse. He finds himself recalled to join a team that traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments turning humans within seconds into Zombies and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

Nice surprise this turned out to be, and now makes me wish I had gone and seen it on the big screen, for, a great mix of thriller, horror and disaster film genre's, and for some reason it really works well. Pitt is producer here, and I always find he knows how to pick the right script and director for his projects. Thought the story is straight forward enough, it is an intense story of the zombie apocalypse caused by an unknown virus, and has plenty of those o shit moments, that rack up the tension and keep you on edge, while delivering enough action to keep it moving at a fast pace. It also delivers some conventional moments that are surprising for a summer blockbuster disaster film, and yes I said disaster not zombie film. For this is more like more of like 2012 with 28 Days Later as a back drop, for we get shots of cities tumbling down to the rule of zombies as the world turns into a zombie wasteland, and not much in the way of gore, during zombie attacks, which are on an epic scale here. There are even a few real scary moments, that are unusual for this type of film, that are a real bonus, and kept me hooked, as I got caught up in the suspense, which works best when are hero is in more confined space, with the zombie hoards closing in. This is a superb Disaster film, and this is when it works best, and is the best way to approach this film, if you are a fan of Zombies and end of the world films, though there are a few I Am Legend moments in the CGI that nearly spoilt it for me. 

Now i am a huge fan of Romero's Zombie films, also the wonderful Walking Dead TV show, because there more than just gore fests, they have hard hitting story lines, and social comment, which keeps then in the Adult world of 18 cert fun with brains. This is why for me this is not a true zombie film, it lacks bite, it skips over some political, social comments that I think hit the cutting room floor, as this has had more drama getting to the big screen than any other film this year. Marc Forster( Quantum of Solace) was approached to direct this in 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script to the film. Filming began in July 2011 in Malta on an estimated $125 million budget, before moving to Glasgow. But was then re scripted and more re shoots in 2012, when it was due for release, and even just before release in 2013 it was re edited, with more cuts, mainly to get the 13 cert for the US, it is a 15 here. The film luckily and in my humble view deserved to be a commercial success, grossing over $540 million on a it's $190 million budget, but I would have preferred a more adult approach, and know this director is more than capable of this. But it's still a very entertaining film, and because of it's fast pacing it's many holes in the plot are never too painful.

Some may feel the fast paced opening a little too unbelievable, as in how could this violent virus arrive in a large US city arrive undetected, but Marc get's over this with a montage of news reports coming in from the radio and TV , and plays it with a question how many of us listen to everything we hear on the news, So much violence and death goes undetected while we focus on issues that effect us immediately, like the cost of fuel, cost of bread, credit payments, employment, and those murdering terrorists in are homeland. It's too late when the virus touches US soil, for not even social media can keep up with it, and if anyone here ever seen the BBC TV show SURVIOURS, you'll know how they got the fast spreading virus to go global at speed.Though I think 28 Days Later was far better in terms of realism, in-camera effects, and sheer terror, this still  holds its own and as I said it use's the zombies as just a backdrop for the end of mankind story. It is more a thrill ride, than horror, and this director knows this, as he seems to go out of his way to avoid the blood and gore you expect from a zombie film, which this is not. And good on Brad for taking this chance of trying to make something more up market for zombie fans, and Marc for on the whole delivering a great thriller of a film, that I for one really enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Yes it's a commercial film that is aimed at making lots of money, and you know and feel there was a much better film buried in the hunt for the mighty dollar, but with decent acting, superb action scenes, epic zombie attacks, plenty of suspense, all at break neck speed, will I loved it.8/10
 
MAMA (2013)

The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.

In his first major film director Andrés Muschietti knows how to push the right buttons in this Guillermo del Toro spine tingler, and that's right from the start, well he got me in that opening i'll say no more. Effectively delivering good old fashioned scares without cheap gross-out gore effects, and better still moves the heart with a strong, emotional core that is lacking in a lot of horror films these days, and by a surprising heart breaking and effectively executed climactic ending.Very European in its direction, yet set in the US, this could have ended up so by the numbers horror thriller, but it's great script, superb acting, and brilliant direction lift it to a high on scares first class horror film. This tragic tale of two young children having there mother taken from them, and a father set to murder them, a guy who was a senior partner of an investment brokerage firm, Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and then his wife. A great opening that is the hook they get you with, and pull you deeper into the story, which then lets you believe in the supernatural, as it tugs at your heart strings, as who can save the children now, Mama!!! .

The 1-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Victoria are so beautiful that they tug at your heartstrings without even trying, and carry the first 15 minutes of the film with the ease of well established actors many years older. When we jump forward to a 6-year old Isabelle Nélisse as Lily and 8-year-old Megan Charpentier as Victoria , they are quite simply the stars of this film, they are awesome with superb performance's, both handling this heavy subject matter with maturity you very rarely see a in any actors of this age if ever. Victoria has been traumatized by her past, and shae remembers so much more of what happened, so her her heart is a little harder than the average 8-year-old, wants a mommy. Isabelle Nélisse is in my opinion the most gifted child actor ever to be put on screen, she just tugs at your heart strings yet creeps you out in the same moment, with her animalistic movements, that may or may not been enhanced by CGI, but a child of her age that can maintain such serious look and pull at your heart is what true talent is about. When she plays with her toys, it's like watching an actual feral child in a documentary, and this is some of the more disturbing scenes being carried by a 6 year old. In what can only be called supporting roles are Jessica Chastain there Uncles rock chick bass playing girlfriend, who acts her socks off and has a true old world Hollywood beauty that lights up the screen, even with her punk dress code. She in truth has no interest in adopting crazy children, but soon falls for them and begins the fight to save them from, well that would be telling, but she is in some of the most chilling scenes in this film, and helps keep it in the realm of the believable. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau as the uncle of the little girls is very well cast, as his love for his brothers girls shines in what little screen time he's given, yet in this small part, you truly believe that he is the kind of guy who would spend 5 years and money he doesn't have on the hope that his nieces might still be alive, superbly acted..

After a well set up, and the children now in a new home, the film moves up a gear, as we get a roller coaster ride of scares and twists in the plot that will take your breath away,to say to much would ruin the fun. Let's just say that Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, and reveal them in teasing creepy fashion throughout the middle and end, I ended up scratching my head going "what the **k" so many times surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques.With superb editing that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments, this is a slow burn story, that grows stronger with every scene, to a nail biting final reel where it all flows together to blow your mind and break your heart. It  is simply a spell binding well directed, beautifully shot work of art, that also entertains while telling a wonderful story, that never lets go of your heart and soul, and yet delivers some of the best shocks of the year. A must have chiller that any true horror fan would be proud of, and that will last the test of time, here sirs and madams is a classic tale of loss, of need but so much more redemption and faith, wrapped up in a Gothic horror film, that yes is somewhat old school, but blows off all those torture porn horrors, because this one moves you. Mama worked wonders for me, and is another great horror film that I will add to my collection, if only for to watch two of the best child actors ever, in one of the best horror films of this year, a very close second to a certain other chiller of this year.9/10
.



Though I didn't rate it quite as highly as you, I did enjoy Mama, nice and scary, and rather touching towards the end, though I felt they showed Mama too much. WWZ on the other hand, I really couldn't stand at all - nice to have a zombie film with such a large scale, but I detested the shakycam and the editing, none of the big action scenes were coherent or enjoyable and this kind of filming hurts my eyes and sometimes gives me a headache, plus you could tell the reshoots too because the bloody change in film stock was obvious! I may give it another go though....

_____________________________

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

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15251
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/11/2013 1:31:01 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

.
WORLD WAR Z (2013)

.

Some may feel the fast paced opening a little too unbelievable, as in how could this violent virus arrive in a large US city arrive undetected, but Marc get's over this with a montage of news reports coming in from the radio and TV , and plays it with a question how many of us listen to everything we hear on the news, So much violence and death goes undetected while we focus on issues that effect us immediately, like the cost of fuel, cost of bread, credit payments, employment, and those murdering terrorists in are homeland. It's too late when the virus touches US soil, for not even social media can keep up with it, and if anyone here ever seen the BBC TV show SURVIOURS, you'll know how they got the fast spreading virus to go global at speed.Though I think 28 Days Later was far better in terms of realism, in-camera effects, and sheer terror, this still  holds its own and as I said it use's the zombies as just a backdrop for the end of mankind story. It is more a thrill ride, than horror, and this director knows this, as he seems to go out of his way to avoid the blood and gore you expect from a zombie film, which this is not. And good on Brad for taking this chance of trying to make something more up market for zombie fans, and Marc for on the whole delivering a great thriller of a film, that I for one really enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Yes it's a commercial film that is aimed at making lots of money, and you know and feel there was a much better film buried in the hunt for the mighty dollar, but with decent acting, superb action scenes, epic zombie attacks, plenty of suspense, all at break neck speed, will I loved it.8/10
 
MAMA (2013)

.

After a well set up, and the children now in a new home, the film moves up a gear, as we get a roller coaster ride of scares and twists in the plot that will take your breath away,to say to much would ruin the fun. Let's just say that Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, and reveal them in teasing creepy fashion throughout the middle and end, I ended up scratching my head going "what the **k" so many times surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques.With superb editing that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments, this is a slow burn story, that grows stronger with every scene, to a nail biting final reel where it all flows together to blow your mind and break your heart. It  is simply a spell binding well directed, beautifully shot work of art, that also entertains while telling a wonderful story, that never lets go of your heart and soul, and yet delivers some of the best shocks of the year. A must have chiller that any true horror fan would be proud of, and that will last the test of time, here sirs and madams is a classic tale of loss, of need but so much more redemption and faith, wrapped up in a Gothic horror film, that yes is somewhat old school, but blows off all those torture porn horrors, because this one moves you. Mama worked wonders for me, and is another great horror film that I will add to my collection, if only for to watch two of the best child actors ever, in one of the best horror films of this year, a very close second to a certain other chiller of this year.9/10
.



Though I didn't rate it quite as highly as you, I did enjoy Mama, nice and scary, and rather touching towards the end, though I felt they showed Mama too much. WWZ on the other hand, I really couldn't stand at all - nice to have a zombie film with such a large scale, but I detested the shakycam and the editing, none of the big action scenes were coherent or enjoyable and this kind of filming hurts my eyes and sometimes gives me a headache, plus you could tell the reshoots too because the bloody change in film stock was obvious! I may give it another go though....

I gave World War Z a miss when it was at the cinema for the very reasons you've mentioned, but after hearing my mates rant about how much fun it was I gave it a go. And yes it surprised me how much fun it was, and that's down to the fact it's more a Disaster Film than Zombie flick, and I must be honest I normally can't stand shaky cam, but I did not noticed that much of it, and as for change in film stock, well again never noticed, maybe they did a clean up for Blu-Ray release, I don't know. But I am looking forward to getting Santa to stick this in my sock, and would not mind a part 2, which I believe is in the works, hopefully this time without the problems that plagued this one, and with a deeper script, yes better editing and leave the director alone Brad.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15252
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/11/2013 1:39:33 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

.
WORLD WAR Z (2013)

. Yes it's a commercial film that is aimed at making lots of money, and you know and feel there was a much better film buried in the hunt for the mighty dollar, but with decent acting, superb action scenes, epic zombie attacks, plenty of suspense, all at break neck speed, will I loved it.8/10



I enjoyed this a lot more than I had expected to. I'm still disappointed that it completely disregarded the brilliant source material, but I have to admit, it was pretty exciting.

quote:


 
MAMA (2013)

. Mama worked wonders for me, and is another great horror film that I will add to my collection, if only for to watch two of the best child actors ever, in one of the best horror films of this year, a very close second to a certain other chiller of this year.9/10
.



Right with you here; I was really impressed by Mama. Taut, skillful and surprisingly spooky. I had expected something more along the lines of the silly Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Agree about World War Z it needed a better script, and though I've never read the book, I think there's a better version of this lying on the cutting room floor, going by some of the comments of the director.
As for MAMA, well that was a superb chiller, and I too was expecting Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, and is why like a dork I gave it a miss when it hit the big screen over here. Everything about it was pure good old fashion horror, but with modern film making giving it a far greater punch, and I so enjoyed the wife jumping out of the chair more than once.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15253
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/11/2013 9:10:00 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1565
Joined: 20/10/2012
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?


Night Of The Demon is an absolute classic!. One of the top ten British horror films ever made imo. Blood On Satan's Claw...i'm not sure I've even seen that, though I know of it.


Hey, Dr L, glad you agree with me on Night Of The Demon!  Love that film... and I know that there's a school of thought amongst horror fans that the demon shouldn't have beem shown... sod that, he's one of my fave movie monsters of all time!  And that scene in the train where Dana Andrews is trying to pass the runes over is still so tense...

You should check out BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW if you're in the mood for some quaint, yet nasty, 70's horror.  It's very overlong but there are some terrific performances and a few bits that still twinge the old nerves!

I'm just flicking through Netflix and I see they have BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR...  loved the first one but I've heard not many good things about the follow-up... is it worth a punt?



_____________________________

Say what now?

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15254
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 9/11/2013 12:09:00 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

UK folks, just noticed a couple of late night goodies on Film4... BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW (which I've been dying to see for many years) is on tonight and the 1957 NIGHT OF THE DEMON (the very first horror film I was allowed to watch as a little kiddie!) on Sunday.

Opinions..?


Night Of The Demon is an absolute classic!. One of the top ten British horror films ever made imo. Blood On Satan's Claw...i'm not sure I've even seen that, though I know of it.


Hey, Dr L, glad you agree with me on Night Of The Demon!  Love that film... and I know that there's a school of thought amongst horror fans that the demon shouldn't have beem shown... sod that, he's one of my fave movie monsters of all time!  And that scene in the train where Dana Andrews is trying to pass the runes over is still so tense...

You should check out BLOOD ON SATANS CLAW if you're in the mood for some quaint, yet nasty, 70's horror.  It's very overlong but there are some terrific performances and a few bits that still twinge the old nerves!

I'm just flicking through Netflix and I see they have BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR...  loved the first one but I've heard not many good things about the follow-up... is it worth a punt?



No where near as good as the original but Beyond Re Animator is still a fun film, with the trade mark dark humour of the first film, so yes worth a viewing.

Blood On Satan's Claw is a great chiller for those that know noting of it .Well it's a British horror film made in 1971 set in 17th-century England about a village farmer who discovers the remains of a demon that had been buried under the ground. The creature's claw has supernatural powers and takes control of the minds of various members of the village. The young people who are possessed soon start sacrificing their neighbours to the Demon.This is the film that inspired League of Gentlemen's Apocolypse TV show, so for that alone it's worth the watching, and has some decent preformances from the likes of  Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews, Michele Dotrice.

< Message edited by evil bill -- 9/11/2013 12:10:40 PM >


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Mister Coe)
Post #: 15255
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 9/11/2013 12:16:39 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3074
Joined: 22/11/2006
Amazingly my expectations were met with this. It's not the year's best, but it's a damn impressive piece of work.


Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonas Cuarón, Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Running time: 91 minutes, Certification: 12A

When space debris from a Russian satellite explosion destroys their rocket, astronauts Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (Clooney) face a race against time to find a way back down to the Earth’s surface before being lost in space forever.


The first obstacle to overcome when experiencing Gravity - and you do experience it – is to hurdle the surging expectations. The level of praise and acclaim this film has received since its US release last month, and its Venice Film Festival premiere the month before that, has been incredible. Everyone, it seems, loves this film. While I’ve no doubt that’s helped the ticket sales, I can’t help but feel a vain sense of disappointment that I didn’t have the chance to go into the film with completely fresh eyes. I didn’t have the chance to be genuinely surprised. My mind was, as Sheldon Cooper would say, pre-blown. Yet it’s silly to get bogged down in such idiosyncrasies; the film should speak for itself, and if it’s really as good as they say, such things matter little. Despair, elation, fear, excitement, amazement, wonder. These are just some of the emotions we ride through during Gravity. In other words, there was nothing to worry about.

In an immediate display of ambition, we open with a marvelous, captivating sequence where Cuarón’s camera runs for ten straight minutes uninterrupted as it drifts delicately through the void of space, circling around the rocket and introducing our characters and the actions they face. Rarely is such confidence and wonderful invention with the camera displayed these days, even with accomplished and veteran directors. That willingness to just go for it, to let the camera loose and ever so slowly build and build to the crisis without worrying that the audience will lose interest, is fantastic. In fact, Cuarón often just lets the camera do its own work when he leaves it to float around transcendentally in zero gravity (or artificial zero gravity at any rate), tipping upside down, circling around helmets and spinning uncontrollable through debris-riddled space. Then when he takes control again, we get several P.O.V shots which put us right in center of the breathtaking, silent action. That P.O.V camerawork, at times to the point of actually getting inside Dr. Stone’s helmet, also lends itself to the immense claustrophobia of the whole experience. Nowhere else is quite as empty, quite as desolate, quite as vacuous as space. The thought of floating off into the black void with no way of stopping yourself is unimaginably torturous, not unlike Open Water’s depiction of floating away in the middle of the ocean only a ten times scarier and a hundred times more hopeless. Cuarón captures the feeling with deft, intimate and gentle shots, while Bullock and Clooney do the impressive work of making us really invest ourselves in them without much in the way of character development, through subtle, clever performances.

Pun, of course, intended, the whole film is also curiously down-to-Earth. There’s never a sense that it’s trying to be, or thinks it is, bigger than itself. While it certainly matches its contemporaries visually and as a spectacle, it’s refreshing in its confidence to stick to such a simple, linear story line right until the end. Because, when you strip it down, there really isn’t a lot going on here. Two characters (bar voices), one setting (space), one idea (getting back to Earth amidst volleys of space debris). That’s not to say it isn’t ambitious; it’s wildly ambitious, but similarly to the way Inception proved that blockbusters don’t have to be big and dumb to make money, Gravity proves that films don’t have to rely on big, lavish sets or complicated plots to be breathtaking. Of course, as with any genre movie, it generally conforms to the standard space cliches (many which are probably too spoilerific to post here), but it’s never too problematic. In regards to the story and plot, it’s nothing we haven’t really seen before, but it’s technically superb, and in the end, Gravity is more a film about invention and visuals than plot development.

On that note, while entirely green-screened, Gravity is a visual exhibition. As Ryan and Matt gaze over our world as the sun rises from the east, we feel as if we’re right there with them basking in the glow. Emmanuel Lubezki’s striking cinematography really captures the magic of our planet from space that so few of us are lucky enough to ever see, and thanks to his skill and films like Gravity, we can’t really get any closer to how it must feel without actually going. His utilization of stereoscopy is better than most; at times immersive with certain flying-debris sequences actually making us duck for cover, but still ultimately unnecessary. 3D isn’t the reason for the blackness of space being somehow alluring and beautiful (an IMAX print will do no harm), although at least the light loss, for once, isn’t an issue. Equally as important and impressive is the soundtrack – and that’s the actual sounds on the track, not the music (although that’s also fantastic) – which is powerful and gripping, despite the entirety of the drama taking place in soundless vacuum. It’s quality over quantity stuff, and the quality here is first drawer.

For all its many, many achievements, Gravity isn’t groundbreaking, but it is one of the most impressive and ambitious films of the year. From intense, toe-curling, edge-of-your seat action to blissful, reflective character sequences, there’s never a dull moment and it’s hard to find a single thing to fault. That being said, the expectation for something truly mind-blowing might very well result in disappointment for some, and I don’t feel it’s a masterpiece or a game-changer, but it is a spectacle, an experience, and a genuinely powerful piece of cinema that deserves to be seen on the biggest, loudest screen possible.

5/5

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15256
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/11/2013 11:17:28 AM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
Been a while since I posted. I've been to the cinema a few times...

CHILD'S PLAY (the original!)... old scratched print but great film. I hadn't seen it in years and had forgotten what a nasty twisted movie it is. And especially scary watching it as someone in their mid-30s who recalls those toy marketing campaigns with cartoons (Care Bears anyone!!)

BAD GRANDPA... VERY funny!! I was honestly crying with laughter during parts of this film. It is definitely worth catching and the fictional narrative/sketch structure works really well.

PHILOMENA... Excellent film. I realise some of the facts have been skewed for dramatic purposes but as dramas go this is worth catching. It's also nice to see Coogan not channelling Partridge for once. He's actually pretty decent when he plays it straight.

Horror wise... I've got the rest of the Chucky franchise to work through. I want to see SMILEY but have yet to pick it up. Plus, I'm hopefully going to catch GRAVITY this coming weekend and tempt (nausea!) fate by seeing it in 3D!

Oh and I forgot... I've got the Arrow BR releases of THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS and TCSM 2 (3 disc Ltd Ed) on their way!

< Message edited by losthighway -- 12/11/2013 11:21:19 AM >


_____________________________

The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one.

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15257
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/11/2013 8:17:05 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Amazingly my expectations were met with this. It's not the year's best, but it's a damn impressive piece of work.


Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonas Cuarón, Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Running time: 91 minutes, Certification: 12A

When space debris from a Russian satellite explosion destroys their rocket, astronauts Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (Clooney) face a race against time to find a way back down to the Earth’s surface before being lost in space forever.


The first obstacle to overcome when experiencing Gravity - and you do experience it – is to hurdle the surging expectations. The level of praise and acclaim this film has received since its US release last month, and its Venice Film Festival premiere the month before that, has been incredible. Everyone, it seems, loves this film. While I’ve no doubt that’s helped the ticket sales, I can’t help but feel a vain sense of disappointment that I didn’t have the chance to go into the film with completely fresh eyes. I didn’t have the chance to be genuinely surprised. My mind was, as Sheldon Cooper would say, pre-blown. Yet it’s silly to get bogged down in such idiosyncrasies; the film should speak for itself, and if it’s really as good as they say, such things matter little. Despair, elation, fear, excitement, amazement, wonder. These are just some of the emotions we ride through during Gravity. In other words, there was nothing to worry about.

In an immediate display of ambition, we open with a marvelous, captivating sequence where Cuarón’s camera runs for ten straight minutes uninterrupted as it drifts delicately through the void of space, circling around the rocket and introducing our characters and the actions they face. Rarely is such confidence and wonderful invention with the camera displayed these days, even with accomplished and veteran directors. That willingness to just go for it, to let the camera loose and ever so slowly build and build to the crisis without worrying that the audience will lose interest, is fantastic. In fact, Cuarón often just lets the camera do its own work when he leaves it to float around transcendentally in zero gravity (or artificial zero gravity at any rate), tipping upside down, circling around helmets and spinning uncontrollable through debris-riddled space. Then when he takes control again, we get several P.O.V shots which put us right in center of the breathtaking, silent action. That P.O.V camerawork, at times to the point of actually getting inside Dr. Stone’s helmet, also lends itself to the immense claustrophobia of the whole experience. Nowhere else is quite as empty, quite as desolate, quite as vacuous as space. The thought of floating off into the black void with no way of stopping yourself is unimaginably torturous, not unlike Open Water’s depiction of floating away in the middle of the ocean only a ten times scarier and a hundred times more hopeless. Cuarón captures the feeling with deft, intimate and gentle shots, while Bullock and Clooney do the impressive work of making us really invest ourselves in them without much in the way of character development, through subtle, clever performances.

Pun, of course, intended, the whole film is also curiously down-to-Earth. There’s never a sense that it’s trying to be, or thinks it is, bigger than itself. While it certainly matches its contemporaries visually and as a spectacle, it’s refreshing in its confidence to stick to such a simple, linear story line right until the end. Because, when you strip it down, there really isn’t a lot going on here. Two characters (bar voices), one setting (space), one idea (getting back to Earth amidst volleys of space debris). That’s not to say it isn’t ambitious; it’s wildly ambitious, but similarly to the way Inception proved that blockbusters don’t have to be big and dumb to make money, Gravity proves that films don’t have to rely on big, lavish sets or complicated plots to be breathtaking. Of course, as with any genre movie, it generally conforms to the standard space cliches (many which are probably too spoilerific to post here), but it’s never too problematic. In regards to the story and plot, it’s nothing we haven’t really seen before, but it’s technically superb, and in the end, Gravity is more a film about invention and visuals than plot development.

On that note, while entirely green-screened, Gravity is a visual exhibition. As Ryan and Matt gaze over our world as the sun rises from the east, we feel as if we’re right there with them basking in the glow. Emmanuel Lubezki’s striking cinematography really captures the magic of our planet from space that so few of us are lucky enough to ever see, and thanks to his skill and films like Gravity, we can’t really get any closer to how it must feel without actually going. His utilization of stereoscopy is better than most; at times immersive with certain flying-debris sequences actually making us duck for cover, but still ultimately unnecessary. 3D isn’t the reason for the blackness of space being somehow alluring and beautiful (an IMAX print will do no harm), although at least the light loss, for once, isn’t an issue. Equally as important and impressive is the soundtrack – and that’s the actual sounds on the track, not the music (although that’s also fantastic) – which is powerful and gripping, despite the entirety of the drama taking place in soundless vacuum. It’s quality over quantity stuff, and the quality here is first drawer.

For all its many, many achievements, Gravity isn’t groundbreaking, but it is one of the most impressive and ambitious films of the year. From intense, toe-curling, edge-of-your seat action to blissful, reflective character sequences, there’s never a dull moment and it’s hard to find a single thing to fault. That being said, the expectation for something truly mind-blowing might very well result in disappointment for some, and I don’t feel it’s a masterpiece or a game-changer, but it is a spectacle, an experience, and a genuinely powerful piece of cinema that deserves to be seen on the biggest, loudest screen possible.

5/5


You could have taken the words right out of my month, this is an amazing cinema experience,and I even enjoyed the 3D [I normally hate 3D]! Maybe simplistic, but incredibly tense and totally convincing. Fantastic use of sound effects and music too; sometimes their combining with the images is truly sublime.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15258
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/11/2013 8:24:10 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005
AKA Phantom Of Death
A female doctor is brutally murdered and the only clue is an indirect description of a 30 year old man from an elderly witness. As Inspector Datti investigates the crime, Robert Dominici, a hugely successful classical concert pianist who is at the height of his career, splits up with his girlfriend Susanna when she wants to get serious. After sleeping with his best friend David, Susanna decides to give her relationship with Robert another go, but she is also viciously killed. The killer challenges Datti on the phone and says he can’t be caught since he has a secret which makes him invulnerable….

Horror cinema is full of folk who just can’t stand getting old and desperately try to hold it at bay by fair means or foul. Actually none of us are probably not too keen on the idea, but we don’t have the knowledge to prevent it. She, The Man Who Could Cheat Death and Countess Dracula are three out of many title characters who manage, if not for ever, to stop the ravages of time. The Phantom Of Death has a slightly different problem. He suffers from a disease which conveniently kicks in soon after the film begins, a disease which makes him age prematurely. This actually exists in real life and is called progeria, though it usually involves children. I also doubt there have been any cases where the sufferer is also turned into a homicidal maniac by the condition. Phantom Of Death was directed by Ruggero Deodato [who can be seen hopping onto a moped at a train station], the man responsible for the brilliant Cannibal Holocaust, but to me none of his other films, including The House On The Edge Of The Park [a film which even I found a tad offensive] have come anywhere near that masterpiece in quality. This picture is a case in point, though it’s enjoyable if you don’t expect too much.

Inspired by Deodato’s own fear of aging, this film did disappointing business and remains not too well known despite having two ‘name’ stars. It was released in the UK on video as Off Limits but I distinctly remember picking up a video of it [though I didn’t buy it] under the Phantom Of Death title many years ago. Now you probably already know who the killer is by the picture, and if you don’t, I’m going to tell you now, but I’m not classifying this as a spoiler, because every review I’ve read tells you, and every video and DVD tells you on the back! Yes, it’s Robert Dominici, the concert pianist played by Michael York! Though ostensibly a giallo, the film only keeps you guessing the killer’s identity for about half an hour before it is revealed. Though we still see Robert killing and trying to kill after that, he becomes quite a sympathetic character nonetheless. This is aided immensely by two things. York’s performance is simply excellent. Though at 46 a little too old for the role, he really gets his teeth into the part and makes his degeneration quite convincing while avoiding going over the top. I’ve never really been impressed with York before. Then there’s the superb make-up of Fabrizio Sforza, which realistically shows York in several stages of old age and is amongst the best of its kind.

The increasing emphasis of Robert’s physical and psychological state allows for some rather touching scenes, like a meeting with another old man on a bench and a friendship with an abandoned dog. Another strong scene has him visit, wearing a mask, the prostitute he lost his virginity to, though part of the problem with the film is that scenes like this are often too short or don’t go as far as they should. There’s a clear tension between trying to make a serious drama about aging and trying to make a giallo, there not being really enough room for both. In terms of thrills there are some but not that many, something not helped by Deodato’s rather flat handling. There’re still some juicy kills though. One outstanding, if clearly Dario Argento-influenced, scene has a woman first have her neck pierced by a sword then, whilst the blood flows, pushed head first through a window in slow motion. Another rather sillier kill has a stabbing by table lamp! Both those deaths were virtually removed for the video version. The most disturbing scene has Robert see a child with an old man’s face on a swing. He just looks incredibly creepy. Of course some might say that using a real condition for horrific effect is distasteful, and I doubt it would happen now, but hey, it was Italy and the ‘80’s.

Donald Pleasance is also too old for his role [his daughter is young enough to be his granddaughter] and doesn’t really do a lot with it, but it’s fun to see him chasing another psychopath anyway. Giallo fans will enjoy seeing ‘70’s genre starlet Edwige Fenech, and not looking any older, though she doesn’t get strip off this time [but others do]. Pino Donaggio provides a very good score, trying his best to give the proceedings some suspense and adding a further element of compassion. His piano music for Robert is also impressive. Phantom Of Death certainly has its interesting ideas and strong aspects, but just doesn’t entirely come off, paradoxically suffering from being both over-ambitious and then not having the balls or skill to follow it all through, in the process not really satisfying anybody.

Rating: 6/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 12/11/2013 8:34:18 PM >


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15259
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/11/2013 8:33:34 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005
AKA My Dear Killer
A man standing by a lake directs someone in a dredger truck, but the driver kills him with it instead. Inspector Luca Peretti arrives on the scene and sets out to track down the driver. He finds out who he is, but discovers he has hung himself. His widow works out that a key discovered in her dead husband’s pocket could fit a locker at the local post office, but is herself killed when she checks it out. Luca starts to link the goings ons to an incident in the past where a young girl was kidnapped and a high ransom demanded from her rich parents. Her father was killed during a bungled rescue attempt and subsequently she was left to starve to death. The perpetrators were never caught….

This rather good giallo was the only film in the genre directed by Tonino Valerii, normally happier with westerns and the maker of some very good ones like My Name Is Nobody [which is often erroneously considered a Sergio Leone film though Leone did produce it]. It has a good plot which, while complex enough to require your full attention, doesn’t over complicate matters and try to lead the audience down the garden path. It moves at a decent pace, though fails to gain steam towards the end which could have made it work better, and has some creative kills, helped considerably by the editing of Franco Fraticelli who would go on to edit three of Dario Argento’s greatest films, though there aren’t very many of them which may disappoint some fans of this kind of movie. It also has some unusual touches of black humour which don’t jar with a very Lucio Fulci-like misanthropic feel [nobody’s really very nice in it and most people have something wrong with them or are doing something unsavoury] and a rather melancholic feel which makes it all quite compelling, though I could have done with less of our hero arguing with his girlfriend and a bit more emphasis on the intricate plot he unravels.

1971 and 1972 were probably the Golden Years of the giallo, with titles [and didn’t they have great titles, so imaginative!] like The Iguana with The Tongue Of Fire, Short Night Of Glass Dolls and Don’t Torture A Duckling really showing off what varied work can be done with a fairly rigid format. My Dear Killer seemed to get lost amidst all these other films and didn’t get much of a release outside of Italy. Perhaps this is because, despite a couple of very over-the-top kills, it’s generally a more low key effort than some of the others, despite its story of multiple murders, kidnapping, madness and child abuse. Perhaps it’s also because there’s a palpable sense of grubbiness to the whole affair, even if it’s not very explicit. There’s a scene, for instance, when Luca is talking to a painter and a naked pre-pubescent girl he’s obviously using as a model walks in on them. As with Who Saw Her Die? and Don’t Torture A Duckling, which also dealt with child killings, there’s a rather sad feel of lost innocence, enhanced by Ennio Morricone’s lullaby theme, which alternates with jagged, disturbing atonal passages in the typical manner of the composer for these films.

It opens with a kill so crazy you just have to laugh. The driver of a dredger manoeuvures the machine’s claw and stops it above the victims’s head, then, before he has a chance to react, brings the claw down and clasps it around his neck. The man is pulled high into the air, where he struggles for a moment before his body and his freshly severed head come tumbling to the ground! Later on the black-gloved [of course] killer sits and chats with his next victim-to-be victim before searching her house for something to kill her with. He or she obviously isn’t too well organised or just doesn’t like to carry his instruments of death with him. He eventually picks up a circular saw which is unplugged and gets to work on her, though we don’t see the killer plug the cable in, and even if we are supposed to assume he does, the wire seems to grow in length vastly! Then again, this may have been deliberate in its absurdity, as there is a distinct element of the tongue-in-cheek here and there. Aside from the police being even more stupid than normal here [when the first victim’s widow phones to tell them she’s found her husband’s key to a locker which may contain important evidence, rather than sending some people round, they advise her to check it out herself!], leading man George Hilton, normally very stoic in these films, has a few darkly comic bits like where he demonstrates how a man found hung could have not committed suicide, by casually using the swinging body as a prop to aid his argument. There are also some amusing lines like: “they’re sending the pieces along for autopsy.” And the climax has the killer unmasked in front of everyone else Poirot style, after which the killer pulls the plug on the lights plunging the room into darkness and.

The final scene is rather thrown away and, while My Dear Killer is certainly enjoyable, my feeling is that it could have done with a couple more exciting moments to ramp up the proceedings somewhat.Valerii doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with the giallo, though he carefully balances the silly and the serious [very serious] aspects of the screenplay, which he co-wrote with three others, one of them being José Gutiérrez Maesso who co-wrote the original Django, which can be glimpsed on a TV while somebody calls it a “terrible western”….and pays for it with her life. It’s a good film to introduce newcomers to the lurid delights of the genre, as for once it does all end up pretty much making sense.

Rating: 7/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 12/11/2013 8:34:41 PM >


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15260
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 12/11/2013 8:39:36 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

In a park in Prague, the body of a man is found, that of Gregory Moore, and taken to the hospital, where he is pronounced dead and taken to the morgue. However, Gregory is not actually dead. He is alive and suffering from catalepsy, where everyone considers that you are dead but you are not, just unable to move and speak out to tell them. He decides that the best course of action is to remember how he ended up paralyzed but conscious. He flashes a few days back to when he was a journalist about to be posted to London. His Czech girlfriend Jessica comes over to stay, but upon returning to his apartment from work, she has disappeared, with all her clothes and belongings untaken or untouched….

Short Night Of Glass Dolls is a very unusual giallo, and though it always seems to be classed as one, I’m not sure I would call it as such. It was made in the most productive year of the giallo, 1971, and features a man trying to solve a mystery, but doesn’t contain many of the expected elements such as a black-gloved killer and gruesome murders: out of the two kills in the film, one is totally bloodless and shown from a distance, while the other one we don’t even see and just get shown the body. Despite its arresting opening of a man talking to himself/us even though he seems to be dead, it’s quite a slow affair, at least for its first two thirds, and I imagine it disappoints many who are after the usual giallo thrills, but if you allow yourself to be sucked into its powerful atmosphere of dislocation and paranoia, it’s very rewarding, and it builds up to a very frightening final half hour with an extraordinary revelation at its core.

This was the first film to be directed by Aldo Lado, and my feeling is that he never really matched it despite some good efforts in various genres like Night Train Murders and The Disobedient. He was inspired to make it by hearing about a judge who spoke out against government corruption and got ‘moved’ to a remote part of Sicily, therefore virtually burying him alive. His original choice for the lead role was Terence Hill, who had just become a hugely popular comedy western star. Hill wanted to do the role but his agent demanded that the ending be changed, so Jean Sorel played the part instead. It was filmed in Prague with a largely international cast and crew, and Lado came to blows with his cinematographer Guiseppe Ruzzolini, who thought the film was “ a piece of shit” . The title was meant to be Malastrana, the name of the area of Prague where much of the film is set, but it was deemed too obscure so The Short Night Of The Butterflies [a good title which actually relates to things in the film] replaced it, until the giallo The Bloodstained Butterfly came out and the title had to be changed again. I don’t know what ‘glass dolls’ is intended to relate to, and the film, while successful in Italy and released theatrically in most European countries [some heavily ‘political’ lines attacking the ruling classes were removed from some versions], though it didn’t come to the UK or the US.

The basic premise had already been used in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and would go on to appear in an episode of Tales From The Crypt, while of course it was itself taken from an EC comic. Catalepsy, which may have led to the European belief in vampires after people would be mistakenly buried alive and try to claw their way out of their coffins, is a truly horrifying thing to imagine. Just think of being considered dead when you are really alive but are paralyzed so you can’t move or speak! The first moment of the film recalls the beginning of Sunset Boulevard as a man lies dead but speaks to the audience, only in this case he’s not dead and is trying to speak to those around him, though no words come out and nobody can hear him. A squawking crow alerts the park keeper to the supposedly lifeless body lying in the bushes in an extremely atmospheric opening. Then a heartbeat starts on the soundtrack when Gregory is taken in an ambulance to the centre of the city and we adopt the view of the front of the vehicle as it drives around the street as Ennio Morricone’s music, anguished and panic-filled, begins. What a striking opening this is!

Now you need to be patient for the next hour or so, because things unfold very slowly. As Gregory tries to recall events, the main plot takes place in linear flashbacks, each flashback proceeded by almost subliminal shots taken from later events, along with reoccurring motifs like butterflies and chandeliers, which initially seem confusing but add immensely to the uneasy feel. Gregory spends much time romancing his girlfriend and chatting to his best friend, and they all attend a snobbish social function in a scene which seems dull and pointless but which by the end can be seen to be essential to the film’s social commentary. We seem to linger on certain things, like the chandelier, with the score even approximating the sound of the chimes blowing under it, and an odd woman who doesn’t move or speak at the party but who later dances crazily at a cafe. Then Jessica is kidnapped, and Gregory begins his investigation, an investigation which reveals other young women have been kidnapped and the possible existence of a bizarre conspiracy which removes anyone who gets close to the deadly secret of the mysterious Klub 99, a club whose tentacles seem to be spreading all over the city. The final revelation is maybe rather heavy handed in its political commentary and introduces a slight element of fantasy which is perhaps jarring, but is brilliatly audacious nonetheless. The final scenes really pack a punch and the last moment truly upsetting [imagine what one of the most horrible things to a cataleptic would be?] even if the film stops before it can show us the gory details.

In terms of what you see on the screen, this movie is quite tame, a weird orgy involving old people [where, after the younger cast members had been very coy about enacting their portion, the old folk 'rediscovered' their sexuality and went mad!] notwithstanding. The decision to hold back on the graphic aspects actually allows Lado to be more imaginative sometimes. The one murder you see is staged in a way directors in the 30’s and 40’s may have done and even has a fantastic feel of film noir, or perhaps Cold War spy thriller about it. The victim stands on a bridge as the killer walks up to him from behind. A train speeds by and envelopes the victim in smoke, and it’s now that the killer pushes him over the wall to his death. Despite the reticence the film really looks into the abyss of true darkness and is very disturbing. It is helped immensely by the score by Morricone, who was probably at the height of his creative powers and often allowed the giallo format to let him experiment. The score is a master class in building tension, with even the ‘love’ theme heard a lot in the first third having an undercurrent of unease about it. As the story gets darker the score follows suit, with even the normally beautiful sound of Edda Dal ‘Orso, who provides the wordless female sounds in his scores, coming across as scary in one particular point.

Sadly the English dubbing [as usual, Short Night Of Glass Dolls was shot silent and dubbed into various languages] is not too good. Gregory’s friend sounds like someone doing a very bad imitation of an Irish accent. The quality of the performances, which include an early appearance by Barbara Bach [straight from another giallo Black Belly Of The Tarantula] just about shines through. Then there’s Giuseppe Ruzzolini’s cinematography: he may not have liked the film, but his work superbly evokes the grey beauty of Prague, back in the days when it didn’t constantly double for another city and still looked very old. In the end, you could say that Short Night Of Glass Dolls gets rather daft, but the gradual, yet firm, way in which in unfolds, its unsettling atmosphere, and its just darn frightening final reels result in quite a unique offering that definitely stands out amidst the multitude of giallos coming from Italy in the early 70’s. Closer to Roman Polanski than Dario Argento, it will stick with you and haunt you for ages. A shame it isn’t more widely known and seen.

Rating: 8/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15261
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 13/11/2013 7:07:00 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Amazingly my expectations were met with this. It's not the year's best, but it's a damn impressive piece of work.




For all its many, many achievements, Gravity isn't groundbreaking, but it is one of the most impressive and ambitious films of the year. From intense, toe-curling, edge-of-your seat action to blissful, reflective character sequences, there's never a dull moment and it's hard to find a single thing to fault. That being said, the expectation for something truly mind-blowing might very well result in disappointment for some, and I don't feel it's a masterpiece or a game-changer, but it is a spectacle, an experience, and a genuinely powerful piece of cinema that deserves to be seen on the biggest, loudest screen possible.

5/5

Well I went to see this last night, ye old Crazy Tuesday, and in 3D, and was surprised how good the 3D was, and agree how visually stunning it was, with stand out acting from the two leads. As you said in truth there's noting new here for us Sci/Fi fans to talk about, yet it is an awesome film, that has enough emotion and drama to keep you glued to the screen, and for a change I felt the 3D not only worked, but enhanced the feeling of being trapped in a void. Space has not in a very long time been the star of the show, but here it is and reminded me of 2001 at times, for it's been that long ago that Space was used to full effect, with that feeling of eternity, and loss, which is down to the visuals for the entire film. Like 2001 this is a show case of visual effects over story, but lacks the mystery of 2001 and the mind bending plot, for this is a simple story with a huge backdrop, but thanks to both actors it packs enough punch to make you care for them and hope for a good outcome.8/10 


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15262
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 17/11/2013 12:13:19 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
I watched CHILD'S PLAY 2 and CHILD'S PLAY 3 back-to-back last night on BR (from the recent Complete Chucky Collection from the States)... They work surprisingly well as continuations from the original (especially) the second one but sadly both (particularly the third) lack the smarter aspects of the first film. As for transfers, CP2 looks very good but CP3 just looks like an up-scaled DVD. I will admit the third part is not the car crash I remember though and it's clear why it got an 18 in the UK as the tone of the film is less twisted and just a lot darker (more adult). Only trailers as special features but it's nice to see them both on BR finally.

I've also been mulling over picking up on SMILEY on BR or waiting for it to drop and come down very cheap. Anyone seen it, is it worth £7-8!?

Oh and possibly going to see GRAVITY in 3D tonight (my first 3D experience... hoping I don't get motion sickness!!!)

_____________________________

The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one.

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15263
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 19/11/2013 6:55:49 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera
quote:


AKA Phantom Of Death
.


Donald Pleasance is also too old for his role [his daughter is young enough to be his granddaughter] and doesn’t really do a lot with it, but it’s fun to see him chasing another psychopath anyway. Giallo fans will enjoy seeing ‘70’s genre starlet Edwige Fenech, and not looking any older, though she doesn’t get strip off this time [but others do]. Pino Donaggio provides a very good score, trying his best to give the proceedings some suspense and adding a further element of compassion. His piano music for Robert is also impressive. Phantom Of Death certainly has its interesting ideas and strong aspects, but just doesn’t entirely come off, paradoxically suffering from being both over-ambitious and then not having the balls or skill to follow it all through, in the process not really satisfying anybody.

Rating: 6/10

Never been a fan of this one, though I have not watched it in years as I only had this on VHS, and not a great copy to be honest, but love your review all the same, and your right about it's lack of skill from the director and writer, but I also felt the acting was second rate too.


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15264
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 19/11/2013 7:05:10 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk

quote:

ORIGINAL: losthighway

I watched CHILD'S PLAY 2 and CHILD'S PLAY 3 back-to-back last night on BR (from the recent Complete Chucky Collection from the States)... They work surprisingly well as continuations from the original (especially) the second one but sadly both (particularly the third) lack the smarter aspects of the first film. As for transfers, CP2 looks very good but CP3 just looks like an up-scaled DVD. I will admit the third part is not the car crash I remember though and it's clear why it got an 18 in the UK as the tone of the film is less twisted and just a lot darker (more adult). Only trailers as special features but it's nice to see them both on BR finally.

I've also been mulling over picking up on SMILEY on BR or waiting for it to drop and come down very cheap. Anyone seen it, is it worth £7-8!?

Oh and possibly going to see GRAVITY in 3D tonight (my first 3D experience... hoping I don't get motion sickness!!!)

Got myself CURSE OF CHUCKY on Blu-Ray for £10, still to watch it, have too many shows to watch, IE Dracula, Bates Motel, American Horror Story:Coven, Sleepy Hallow, True Blood, The Walking Dead, and a few others not horror.


_____________________________

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

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15265
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 21/11/2013 3:27:37 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3248
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
I went to see GRAVITY 3D two nights ago. My first 3D experience (and I didn't get sick! Lol)... Absolutely fucking stunning film. A masterpiece imho and the best film I've seen this year. My only gripe involves a scene towards the end with Clooney which kind of jarred the tone a bit, however it's a very small gripe. Nothing else to say except go and see it (if you haven't already!). Overall: 5/5

I also watched SMILEY last night. Minimal gore, quite a few decent jumps and a storyline that feels like an updated Candyman but with none of the class (plus the ending feels very much like You're Next!). Anyway, long story short it's an OK film not a great one. Overall: 2.5/5

And finally my XBox One: Day One is (hopefully!!!) shipping this evening...

_____________________________

The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one.

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15266
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 22/11/2013 11:26:45 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3930
Joined: 19/10/2005

Northern Italy, during the early 14th century. Franciscan monk William of Baskerville and his novice Adso of Melk arrive at a Benedictine abbey where a mysterious suicide has occurred ahead of an important theological Church conference. William, known for his deductive and analytic mind, confronts the worried Abbot and gains permission to investigate the death. Over the next few days, several other bizarre deaths occur, and the two gradually discover that everything is not what it seems in the abbey….

The Name Of The Rose is a dark, gloomy, medieval murder mystery that, as many of director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s [Quest For Fire, Enemy At The Gates] films do, takes the viewer into a world that seem strange and alien, and makes it feel totally and utterly authentic. A monastery and the doings of monks may not even seem very interesting to some, but the film’s unique setting actually helps make it so interesting. Though there is some blood and breasts, and certainly a giallo feel to certain sections of the film, it’s a very dour work that doesn’t really make many concessions to the viewer and requires him or her to be patient. I think it’s a very rewarding watch that has a decent story and also a strong, always relevant theme about the suppression of individuality and writing. It also has to my mind one of Sean Connery’s greatest performances. He plays a sort-of medieval monk Sherlock Holmes, brilliant at spotting things and working things out, and superbly conveys both the character’s intelligence and a certain world-weariness. Only as 007 has that twinkle in Connery’s eye seemed as appropriate.

The book was written by Umberto Eco, and an extremely heavy-going tome it is, though definitely rewarding if you have the patience for it. Annaud, who has a lifelong fascination with medieval churches, told Eco that he was convinced the book was written for only one person to direct – that is to say himself. He spent four years preparing the project. The script by Andrew Birkin, Gerard Brach, Howard Franklin and Alain Goddard simplified much of the book but retained its essence, though some were disappointed by the happier ending and more simplistic depictions of some of the characters. Michael Caine, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Ian McKellen, Roy Sheider, Marlon Brando, Max Von Sydow [now he would have been good] and Donald Sutherland were amongst those considered for the role of William of Baskerville until Connery got the part. Because Connery’s career was in a slump, Columbia pulled out and the film became a co-production between several European companies. It was partly shot at the Eberbach monastery in Germany, where a key page from one of the many religious books and manuscripts was stolen [it took them a year to make a new page], and partly on the largest exterior set since Cleopatra. Connery caught fire for real in one scene and was saved by Annaud, who jumped on top of him and rolled him to the ground. The Name Of The Rose flopped in the US, but was a big success in many European countries, though a sex scene had to be cut from some prints because Christian Slater, whose first film this was, was 15.

Straight away this is a visually strong picture, Tonino Delli Colli’s [Once Upon A Time In America] photography really bringing to life the bleak landscapes and every nook and cranny of the forbidding monastery in which most of the film will take place. I guess these days most people think of monks as content, peaceful folk, but straight away the monastery in this film comes across as being very sinister indeed. Annaud seemed to go out of his way to find the ugliest, or at least the most visually interesting, actors he could to be play many of the monks, the most memorable, unsurprisingly, being Ron Perlman as a truly mad brother who, as William puts it: “speaks all languages, and none of them well”. These human gargoyles scurry around like rats and scheme all sorts of things as the plot develops to take in murder, blackmail, homosexuality, and many other things besides. Though we certainly want to know who is committing the murders, it becomes more a case of ‘whydunit’ rather than whodunit. The search for a forbidden book ends up being very reminiscent of the later The Da Vinci Code, but whereas Dan Brown’s novel became utterly ludicrous and the film got lost in tedious exposition, this story remains believable and keeps the dialogue precise and to the point.

The tale widens to take in the wider religious conflict that was occurring in Italy at the time, where the Franciscans, the Benedictines and several smaller Christians sects were virtually at war with each other over their approach. It really rams home what a terrible period it was all over Europe, where the Church, sometimes even more than the aristocracy, ruled with an iron hand, keeping the starving poor totally downtrodden. One striking moment shows a Church judge’s carriage being pushed through mud by peasants, forced to do this by the accompanying soldiers while the judge remains nice and clean. Now all this makes this film to sound unrelentingly grim, but there are moments of wonder, and even joy, like when they discover a secret library and William is ecstatic. There is also a certain amount of humour, much of it arising from the conversations of William and Adso, his novice who is on the brink of manhood. Adso asks him about women, and William gives him the priceless answer of: “Well, of course I don’t have the benefit of your experience, but I find it difficult to convince myself that God would have introduced such a foul being into creation without endowing her with ‘some’ virtues. Hmm? How peaceful life would be without love, Adso, how safe, how tranquil, and how dull”.

The film doesn’t dwell on its brutality and actually holds back on showing some torture, but remains an ‘18’ certificate due to the extremely erotic scene where William’s novice Adso is borderline sexually assaulted by the nameless Girl, a beautiful [she should probably have been a snuggle-toothed, greasy-haired, filthy, lice-ridden horror, but never mind] peasant girl in the habit of sneaking in to the monastery and exchanging sexual favours for food. Slater was actually asked to pick the actress he liked best out of several choices, yet wasn’t actually told what she was going to do to make his response more realistic. The lucky 15-year old wenton to have a relationship with the lovely 23-year old Valentina Vargas. Slater wasn’t really good enough of an actor back then to convey his character’s falling in love and inner turmoil, and the Girl’s subplot feels undeveloped. Her role is slightly larger in the film than the book, and her story altered towards the end, but the film’s invented final scene, where Adso has to make a choice which will set in pattern the rest of his life, is not as moving as it should be because it feels that not enough of the rest of the narrative has been leading up to it. You may think for ages afterwards whether he made the right choice though. When I was younger, I thought he didn’t and found his decision baffling. Now, with the benefit of a greater understanding of life during those times, I understand it.

Annaud just about keeps control of what is a somewhat oddly-shaped story, a story which sometimes feels as if it doesn’t know where it’s going. Other members of the cast so-far unmentioned who stand out include former Bond-villain [though he faced Roger Moore, not Connery] Michael Lonsdale, and F. Murray Abraham in fine nasty form as an Inquisitor and enemy of William. James Horner contributes a strange, mostly synthesised, score that doesn’t sound much else he has written and adds another, rather odd, aspect to the film. Less a thriller than a thoroughly convincing immersion into a world where things we take for granted like compassion and laughter were considered alien to many, The Name Of The Rose is one of those films that may seen unsatisfying the first time round, but its incredible atmosphere [you can almost feel the cold] will stay with you, while the film itself seems to get better and better each time you see it. Can you imagine it being made, at least on such a large scale, today? I would also have liked to have seen William of Baskerville on our screens again.

Rating: 8/10

_____________________________

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

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15267
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 23/11/2013 10:46:36 AM   
Platter

 

Posts: 112
Joined: 14/8/2010
Valhalla Rising (2009)

An unusual movie that is clearly aiming for the oddball, midnight cult movie genre as exemplified by El Topo, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead and more recently A Field In England. The problem is that it has the weird atmosphere but not enough strange stuff going on in it.

It's a curiously empty movie with a lot of Scottish highlands landscape shots instead of actual content. There are only so many images of people wandering around these landscapes you can watch before it becomes boring and trite. A lot of musical noise accumulates on the soundtrack to signify something momentous is going to take place. Then nothing happens and the soundtrack quietens down again. They used this technique many times. Very little happens in the film. The hollow script is more suited to a short movie as it feels more than a little stretched at feature length.

The reputation it had seemed to suggest that it was a relentlessly tense movie full of sickening violence, and that half the running time would be fighting - of an artier variety rather than Hollywood action. The opening has a bit of violence, and then it drops off and the slack pacing means there is no tension. There are brief bits of sudden violence throughout the movie, but it doesn't last and is not that gory or bone crunching. I did not feel the movie was filled with tension that never lets up.

The boat section was boring but it wasn't until they reached land that I realised just how slow the movie was. It really started to plod as they walked around finding nothing. So it took me about fifty minutes to work out that it was a slow movie. Until then it didn't particularly strike me that it was limping along.

The director is the star. The actors aren't given enough to work with to give compelling performances (there is little dialogue, or personality to the characters) and the story is so indifferent and uneventful that by default you spend your time paying attention to what the director is doing. So the cinematography and editing and the weird atmosphere become more interesting than anything else. I find the director's style to be in your face but also strangely impersonal. He doesn't have a big enough personality to take over and really justify making himself the star of the film. He just isn't that interesting and out-there.

The ending is disappointing and rather arbitrary. Ultimately I'm not sure if there is much point or substance to the film. There was potential for something outrageous here. There is a definite sense of a wasted opportunity to make a Vikings on acid head-trip film - it's a long way from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was obviously an inspiration on the film.

The film is slow, meandering and uneventful. There isn't enough content to fill the running time and the ideas and scenes aren't strange enough to make it into a satisfying midnight cult film. For all these complaints, it was watchable and it didn't stretch my patience. I feel ultimately it was an alright film that just needed a better script (weirder and more eventful).

5 out of 10





Warm Bodies (2013)


Below average. I struggled with some of the odd logic (eating brains gives zombies the memories of the victim?!) and the depiction of the main zombie is just bizarre (he's made a home for himself in an airplane and he collects vinyl?!). The tone was a little strange. The thing felt very mild with a young adult novel feel to it. It didn't work very well and was just very, very average. It was watchable and it passed the time, but beyond that I can't say anything for it.

4 out of 10




The Collection (2012)


It's a very silly movie that has decided to go over the top and bigger. It's too contrived and fake to be offensive or scary. There are a few mild jumps but there is nothing in it that disturbs. No matter how many severed body parts or sick images they throw at us it's just too ridiculous to be unnerving. It's all a bit camp in a funhouse hall of mirrors sort of way. The plot just about holds together and it is entertaining enough. The editing is a bit choppy at times with whole actions being cut out and around (a person is hiding under a medical cabinet on the floor, next shot they are already on their feet; they call for an ambulance, two shots later it turns up as though its only one minute later). The pace might be a bit too fast, which kills any tension, but at least reaction shots have been kept so the actors have a chance to at least act to some extent (when reactions shots are cut out the acting looks incompetent as they all shrug with total indifference over the death of their friends). It's not a clever, well written movie, and it's way too silly for its own good to work as a horror, but it was an okay film. An unremarkable movie but by the low straight to rental horror sequel standards it's a masterpiece. Also there is a lot less prolonged torturing in this one, so it's not as sick as the first one. The movie it reminds me of the most is Hellraiser II, in that it goes for a grander scale over the small, contained mostly to one house, first movie.

5 out of 10





The Fourth Man (1983)


It has a very inconsequential, slight little story full of over the top, unsubtle symbolism. It's decent for what it is, it's just it isn't about much. It's not really a film with much ambition. It's entertaining I suppose. It was okay.

6 out of 10




The Elephant Man (1980)


Possibly about fifteen years ago I tried to watch this film. I gave up at about the hour point when the caretaker took a woman up to Merrick's room. I thought the subject matter was icky, and the many scenes of public embarrassment made the film very uncomfortable to watch. I thought the movie wasn't too bad, but I was not enjoying it at all so I gave up on it. So now I've tried to watch it a second time. I got to the end. The first hour is very powerful and atmospheric with great black and white cinematography. The subject matter, and the scenes of public humiliation, mean the movie is a hard watch. The pace was good and the work with the (very respectable) actors and the camerawork is strong - I think Lynch's work in these area became worse with later movies. There are only three indulgent Lynchian moments of arty abstractly shot, edited and soundtracked parts in the film - the birth, a nightmare towards the end and the final moments. It's not a very Lynchian movie. His personality doesn't dominate. I guess he was more of a director for hire than he was on his other movies (with the exception of Dune). The second half, once Merrick has begun to be accepted into high society, starts to meander a bit and it loses its dramatic thrust and narrative momentum. It becomes a bit plodding. The (I assume historically inaccurate) kidnapping to France serves a point to give the film some drama at the end, but it feels like a contrived, lumpy speed bump on the way to the ending. I suppose without this sequence it would be a very mundane and bland ending. I liked the film, but I admire it more than love it.

7 out of 10



Housekeeping (1987)


Strange, oddball little movie about unconventional subject matter. Visually pretty and quite substantial within the slender story. The ending was unexpectedly abrupt as the credits suddenly started scrolling up the screen. I liked it. It deserves to be more well known than it is.

7 out of 10





Point Blank (1967)


There are a few iconic images (mostly in the first fifteen minutes) but overall the plot is rather prosaic and the direction not as startlingly out-there as it once was. The editing could be pretentious and abstract for no good reason, and those moments tended to slow the film down. The set piece action scenes were mostly drab. It was alright, but it's nothing to get excited about. The Mel Gibson remake Payback (1999) is the better version.

5 out of 10




The Limits of Control (2009)


I expected a slow pace, a meandering story and a non-committal climax that doesn't explain or justifies any of it. I got that, but even with those expectations I'm still slightly surprised at how blank and empty it all was. The first half hour was a bit of a struggle as it was very unengaging. Then for about an hour I got into its weird rhythm and enjoyed it. I was lulled into its way of working - I particularly noticed this when he is on the train with the Japanese/Chinese woman. The last twenty or so minutes, from when he goes to the closed-up house in the desert and then travels to the white walled compound, started to stretch my patience. By that point it really needed to go somewhere or do something. The climax was unsatisfying. I knew that would be the case, but still they could at least have had the guy say a monologue or something before he is killed for unexplained reasons. It was a very insubstantial film. It only came alive during the amusingly (in a good way) pretentious dialogue scenes (in a sea of silent sequences) when people would actually talk. There is a lot of repetition built into the story (every conversation starts with, 'You don't speak Spanish, right?'), but it was done in an amusing way. It was okay, I enjoyed a large chunk of it, but overall it was too pointless. It is very nearly 6 out of 10, but the ending left me with enough dissatisfaction for me to be slightly annoyed at how pointless the journey was.

5 out of 10





Stoker (2012)


This film has perhaps the worst screenplay ever written. The script was an awkward, incompetent mess of old clichés. There isn't a single semi-original idea in the film. It's just stunningly bad. The story is very basic but it hides information from the viewer (not that there is much that you can't guess straightaway) and uses lots of unnecessary obscure scenes and dialogue to confuse the watcher. The film is wilfully cryptic for absolutely no reason. Instead of being intriguing or mysterious it just comes across as half written. Scene after scene sort of half plays out without going anywhere or doing anything. I suspect each scene was written in isolation (perhaps not even in order) from each other and was then copy and pasted into sequence at a later point. Then no unifying rewrite took place to get the scenes to flow together. This would account for the sheer lumpiness and structural messiness of it. The story doesn't build and work. The script is an atrocious, inconsistent disaster. You can see what the writer was conceptually trying to get at, but he missed the mark by a vast distance.

The direction was over stylised to a silly degree. It was okay as the over the top images at least breathed some life into it. It's not like they could get in the way of the great script. Also the gothic ambience was appealing.

The film was watchable I think mainly because the pace was quick. Good pacing can hide a multitude of deficiencies and stave off boredom. With a slower pace I would have been unable to watch it.

The script is an epic stinker. How it got made I can't imagine. The film is an insubstantial turd. I hope the scriptwriter never finishes another script ever again.

2 out of 10





Separation (1967)


Watchable enough avant garde English movie from the 60s. The first half hour reminded me of late period Terrence Malick with the pretentious voice overs and the random improvised scenes randomly cut together. There was some sort of a story and a bit of forward momentum so it was easy enough to watch. The long Italian restaurant scene with improvised dialogue went on a bit but it was still okay. After that it became rather fragmented and abstract with the swimming pool fantasy scenes. The story petered out and it became a rather shapeless load of nothing. Without a narrative thread to hold onto there wasn't anything to pay attention to. It became a bit boring and the last (very silly and pointless) minutes started to try my patience. Overall it was an interesting experimental film that almost works. There is a strong echo of the French New Wave movies by Godard, and it holds up very well in comparison to those. The framing of the camera work was often impressively unusual and the black and white photography looked very, very good on the Blu-Ray disc (there are a few bits in colour). Not a great film, but of some minor merit and it wasn't hard going until the final stretch.

5 out of 10




Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)


The first half hour with the FBI agents is surprisingly strong. There are clever moments and lots of humour. There is a story and forward momentum. 8 out of 10 material. Abruptly that section ends. The first hour of the Laura Palmer story is fairly good. A lot of interesting scenes. 7 out of 10 materiel. After about the rock club with barely audible dialogue it loses its way. I haven't seen the first season of Twin Peaks in a long time so maybe all the random odd stuff cluttering up the story needs to be there to set up the TV show. As it is, the plot judders to a halt and there's a lot of pointless scenes. It becomes all rather abstract and overlong. Frankly it was both boring and annoying. The ending goes on way too long, the pace slows to a crawl and the content is silly and baffling - and I'm not sure it's meant to be this confusing. A horrible ending. Overall it starts strong but becomes weaker as it goes on until it's from 8 to 6 out of 10 stuff. The script is full of dead ends, but maybe the show picks up on them.

6 out of 10




World War Z (2012)


Very average, verging on bad. It has almost zero connection to the source novel which was full of potential for action sequences. It's almost perverse for them to ignore such strong material in favour of this bland and unimaginative script. The direction is weak with fast editing that makes it hard to really get a good sense of what you are seeing. The film makes little to no impact beyond a few well executed shock moments that made me jump. There is little tension and the story is unengaging. The first quarter in Philadelphia is weak but watchable while the second quarter, on the Korean base, was alright. The strongest section was the third quarter in Israel. The scale is big and the action almost exciting. The last quarter in Wales is slow and boring. They spend the first hour looking for patient zero and then by the end completely forget that storyline as they just accept that there is no way to trace the origins. The film doesn't really work and is poorly directed and written. It was watchable in a low wattage sort of way (and it doesn't look like two hundred millions dollars was spent on it). As an adaption of the book it's a joke (a little speech about Israeli military paranoia is about the only thing they kept from the book).

5 out of 10





Dune (1984)


The film doesn't really work. None of it came off very well. Visually it looks ugly (sets, camera work, lighting), the special effects are terrible and the acting often wooden. The script is not good. It's clearly too big a book to squeeze down into a conventional length movie. There's too much random world building and mystical stuff coming at you all the time. In the novel (which I read a long, long time ago) I assume there is context and in-depth explanations for all this stuff so it doesn't come across as random, nonsensical, silly stuff like it does in the film. It just kept throwing more made up stuff with weird names at you right up to the very end. The Fremen scenes are particularly abrupt. It feels like a hundred pages of prose has been condensed into four scenes and five lines of dialogue. It is portentous and silly with Paul being appointed the messiah in about five seconds, and then his sister is born a minute after that etc. Also the endless voice overs come across as desperate and silly as they are clearly only there as a last resort to try and explain everything. The script is a weak mess. Paul, the hero, is never the underdog in the story. He is born into royalty, accepted as exceptionally gifted, anointed as a possible messiah, joins the great warriors of the Fremen and is then found to be the actual messiah. His chances of complete and total victory are assured without any doubt. It is not the greatest of drama when the hero is invincible. The movie fails on almost every level and is a stodgy, slightly boring viewing experience. It has a strange atmosphere of dour depression mixed in with incredible cheesiness. For all of its many faults it is interesting source material and it does hold the attention. It's bad, but it's of some substance and it's not a hard watch. I like it more than I should.

5 out of 10



The Straight Story (1999)


It was alright. There are strong stretches in it, particularly in the middle, but there are also boring stretches. I expected nothing much from the climax, but even so it was a little weak and indifferent at the end. Bits of it were quietly affecting, such as the World War 2 sniper story. The direction was very restrained and controlled with minimal editing so the shots (often on cranes) were held for longer than average lengths of time. There wasn't much of a story - I knew that going in so I didn't expect anything resembling thrills or dramatic content. The one joke idea is a little overstretched towards the end. The film works well enough. I first tried to watch this over a decade ago and gave up at the 25 minute point when he buys the grabber in the shop as I hated it.

6 out of 10



Pacific Rim (2013)

As good a movie as it could have been. It's certainly better than any of the Transformer movies. The story was interesting and set in a well realised future world. The action was very well filmed with restrained camera work and editing - you can mostly see what is happening without any problem. A lot of time is spent on the characters. They might be paper thin and clichéd but somehow they are worth spending the time with and their issues are well presented to the point they are actually interesting. The director has a good BS detector and sense of what will work and what is worth spending time on. It shows what a quality, artistically minded director can bring to a film as a hack would have made something much more average from this pulp material. Some of the acting was so-so (the scientist characters are way too broad) and some of the logic is shaky. I really enjoyed it.

9 out of 10


_____________________________

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 #: 15268
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 23/11/2013 10:58:16 AM   
Whistler


Posts: 3074
Joined: 22/11/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

Valhalla Rising (2009)

5 out of 10




Warm Bodies (2013)


4 out of 10




The Collection (2012)


5 out of 10





The Fourth Man (1983)


6 out of 10




The Elephant Man (1980)


7 out of 10



Housekeeping (1987)


7 out of 10





Point Blank (1967)


5 out of 10




The Limits of Control (2009)


5 out of 10





Stoker (2012)


This film has perhaps the worst screenplay ever written. The script was an awkward, incompetent mess of old clichés. There isn't a single semi-original idea in the film. It's just stunningly bad. The story is very basic but it hides information from the viewer (not that there is much that you can't guess straightaway) and uses lots of unnecessary obscure scenes and dialogue to confuse the watcher. The film is wilfully cryptic for absolutely no reason. Instead of being intriguing or mysterious it just comes across as half written. Scene after scene sort of half plays out without going anywhere or doing anything. I suspect each scene was written in isolation (perhaps not even in order) from each other and was then copy and pasted into sequence at a later point. Then no unifying rewrite took place to get the scenes to flow together. This would account for the sheer lumpiness and structural messiness of it. The story doesn't build and work. The script is an atrocious, inconsistent disaster. You can see what the writer was conceptually trying to get at, but he missed the mark by a vast distance.

The direction was over stylised to a silly degree. It was okay as the over the top images at least breathed some life into it. It's not like they could get in the way of the great script. Also the gothic ambience was appealing.

The film was watchable I think mainly because the pace was quick. Good pacing can hide a multitude of deficiencies and stave off boredom. With a slower pace I would have been unable to watch it.

The script is an epic stinker. How it got made I can't imagine. The film is an insubstantial turd. I hope the scriptwriter never finishes another script ever again.

2 out of 10





Separation (1967)


5 out of 10




Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)


6 out of 10




World War Z (2012)


5 out of 10





Dune (1984)


5 out of 10



The Straight Story (1999)


6 out of 10



Pacific Rim (2013)

9 out of 10



You aren't impressed by many of these!

Have to firmly disagree about Stoker. I thought it was brilliant, twisted, cerebral, striking and compelling.

But that's just me

(in reply to Platter)
Post #: 15269
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 25/11/2013 7:38:19 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler


quote:

ORIGINAL: Platter

.





Stoker (2012)

This film has perhaps the worst screenplay ever written. The script was an awkward, incompetent mess of old clichés. There isn't a single semi-original idea in the film. It's just stunningly bad. The story is very basic but it hides information from the viewer (not that there is much that you can't guess straightaway) and uses lots of unnecessary obscure scenes and dialogue to confuse the watcher. The film is wilfully cryptic for absolutely no reason. Instead of being intriguing or mysterious it just comes across as half written. Scene after scene sort of half plays out without going anywhere or doing anything. I suspect each scene was written in isolation (perhaps not even in order) from each other and was then copy and pasted into sequence at a later point. Then no unifying rewrite took place to get the scenes to flow together. This would account for the sheer lumpiness and structural messiness of it. The story doesn't build and work. The script is an atrocious, inconsistent disaster. You can see what the writer was conceptually trying to get at, but he missed the mark by a vast distance.

The direction was over stylised to a silly degree. It was okay as the over the top images at least breathed some life into it. It's not like they could get in the way of the great script. Also the gothic ambience was appealing.

The film was watchable I think mainly because the pace was quick. Good pacing can hide a multitude of deficiencies and stave off boredom. With a slower pace I would have been unable to watch it.

The script is an epic stinker. How it got made I can't imagine. The film is an insubstantial turd. I hope the scriptwriter never finishes another script ever again.

2 out of 10




.



You aren't impressed by many of these!

Have to firmly disagree about Stoker. I thought it was brilliant, twisted, cerebral, striking and compelling.

But that's just me

Well i'm with you on this one mate, it's a great twisted weird film that is well directed and acted, and is what this thread was created for, and here's my old review.
STOKER (2013)

India Stoker(Mia Wasikowska) was not prepared to lose her father and best friend Richard (Dermount Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident. The solitude of her woodsy family estate, the peace of her tranquil town, and the unspoken sombreness of her home life are suddenly upended by not only this mysterious accident, but by the sudden arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Mathew Goode) whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evie (Nicole Kidman) India thinks the void left by her father's death is finally being filled by his closest bloodline. Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives. Yet instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless young woman becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Now I watched this on Sunday night, and what a surprise it was, and some how suited a Sunday nights viewing, with it's slow burn, in a very visual entrancing dark gothic style, with it's strange, melancholy story. It's plot of fragile relationships in what at times feels like an extreme Adams Family twisted take, and has a real Vampire feel to it, hence the title name Stoker, but not a set of fangs in sight, for this is about sexual predator seducing the innocent and is full of symbolism that could fit into a tale of Vampires. This strange mix of a film is all developed with great mastery by acclaimed director Chan-wook Park (Thirst, Old Boy) in a tale of obsession, sexual desires and secrets that create a tale of chilling terror. It's also a great mystery/thriller that Hitchcock would be proud of, but at no time steals from any of the great mans films or any other film I can think of. It's a superbly well scripted film, that's use of the dialogue is outstanding, giving the actors plenty to work with, and of course great performances from all.

Nicole Kidman plays mother Evelyn Stoker, who has recently been widowed and I have to say she fit's so neatly into this role, and plays it in an entirely believable way, as we find her struggle with her own distress at the lost of her husband, and a teenage daughter she has been distant from. She never overplays any role she is given, and here you feel her loss, her confusion, of her husbands brother turning up who she never knew existed, her own latent desire to be loved again, but guilt at having these feeling, and yet jealous of her own child, who grows ever closer to her uncle.Matthew Goode plays the strange charismatically creepy Uncle Charles Stoker, in a real unnerving yet hypnotic way, that shows a talent I never thought this actor had to be honest, yeah he's always been a decent actor, but here he goes the extra mile. But there's simply no argument as to who steals the film, it's Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland, Jane Eyre), as 18 year old India Stoker, she is outstanding here, in what should at the very least get her an Oscar nod. She is 23 has the skill and looks to be an 18 year old, as her character demands, and being the main focus of the film,she was perfectly cast for the role, as she's old, portray a darkly sexy woman, yet make you the viewer feel a little conflicted about thinking so, as this is a teenage girl, despite her innocent appearance, has a look that you can believe hides a personality a lot more sinister.

The true star of course is Chan-wook Park direction, from the surreal CGI aided opening which is also the ending, to the stylish, artistic, beautiful, camera work that so marks this film as not just another Hollywood thriller. It is also must be said quite controversial and feeling much more like a movie from South Korea, though less violent and more subtle than those movies. Not that there's not any violence, cause there is, and it is brutal when it appears, but this is primarily a character study focusing on the loss of innocence. It's stunning to look at and almost every shot is symbolic, mainly it's sexual symbolism regarding loss of innocence, and the same goes for the frequent symbolism in the dialogue, and his use of colour and shade keeps you glued, even with it's very slow opening pace, that goes from a crawl to a prance later. Those looking for the action of Old Boy will be disappointed, but those looking for a deep, well written and directed film, that is more close to Argento's Gothic thrillers wil be well pleased. I mentioned Hitchcock and Argento, and the reason being this is the Korean Hitchcock, who reminds me of that one time master of terror the Italian Hitchcock, for there's a wonderful Hitchcock feel to it and clearly pays homage to Shadow Of A doubt with a character called Uncle Charlie. But yet like Argento's early work, it is so much different in style and content, and with a 20 minute enforced cut made to the film by an editor for the studio, it reminded me of Argento's problems with getting his filmed vision released. Here's hoping there's a Director cut released at some point, for I think this just falls short of being a masterpiece, for it's awesome, but something is missing that I can't put my finger on,still I will give it a good score, maybe on second watch i'll give it a ten but for now.9/10


_____________________________

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

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15270
Page:   <<   < prev  507 508 [509] 510 511   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Favourite Films >> RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? Page: <<   < prev  507 508 [509] 510 511   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


 
Movie News  |  Empire Blog  |  Movie Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Video Interviews  |  Image Gallery  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Magazine  |  Resources
 
Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.281