ok lets all shit our pants to something old: pre-2006 horror film thread

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I know there are loads of old horror film threads but I wanted a more obvious one for regular discussion of whatever you have seen recently and for recent reissues of older films.

I'll talk again about some of the older films that I mentioned in the other thread. So I'm going to repeat myself a bit.

NIGHT OF THE DEVILS came out on DVD about a year ago and its by the director of Mill Of Stone Women. Early 70s, somewhere between old Bava and more modern gorey stuff. It's about a mostly abandoned forest town with wurdalak style vampires haunting it. I don't think it's a classic but it clearly deserves to emerge out of neglect/obscurity because before it got reissued it seems there was rarely any mention of it and I think it's a lot better than many other 70s Italian horror films. It has some really great images but on the downside it has two vampires dying a screaming death in a laughably unlikely fashion.

Last summer I watched on YouTube two of the 50s versions of GHOST OF YOTSUYA. The late 50s colour version was easily the better version and probably the most glaringly absent film of all the western DVD releases of classic Japanese horror films (such as Kwaidan, Onibaba, Kuroneko, Blind Beast, 60s version of Jigoku, Horrors Of Malformed Men, Lake Of Dracula, Matango, Hausu and Ugetsu). I'd say this was better than most of them actually. Great soundtrack, great ending scenes.
This really needs a proper release, I've heard that Miike's upcoming Over Your Dead Body is a variation on this story that has been filmed roughly ten times. Maybe that'll help this version come out but I wouldn't bet on it. Do you think emailing DVD labels would be worthwhile?

BOXER'S OMEN was another impressive recent viewing mostly for the sheer weirdness and colourful grotesque elements.

MORGIANA is kind of a basic murder mystery plot but it's made worthwhile by the visual styling, great dresses of the mostly female cast and good setting. I'd like to see more of Juraj Herz's horror films but there seems to be nothing available aside from Cremator.

MUMSY NANNY SONNY AND GIRLY was really funny in a way that might annoy a lot of people; it's kind of unique. I love how in America they called it GIRLY and advertised it like a sexploitation film.

Other things I saw not long ago was SISTERS and NIGHTMARE ALLEY, both very good but probably don't need as much introduction.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 13:36 (ten years ago) link

Saw BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW on tv last night and I'm glad I didn't buy it, I find most British horror films of that era immensely overrated even though I love those gothic and rural visual styles more than anything. Redeeming features are the settings, the odd soundtrack and the lovely dancing naked girl at the end. I think this is a textbook example of conservative horror.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 13:52 (ten years ago) link

I sort of felt the same way about Witchfinder General, but eventually warmed up to the thing.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Monday, 21 April 2014 13:56 (ten years ago) link

Isn't Witchfinder General more anti-conservative? I've never seen the whole thing.

I think IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS deserves way more chat than it gets. It has some really major flaws but I think it's a lot more ambitious, effective and special in places than it ever gets credit for; probably same for Prince Of Darkness but to a lesser extent. Something that strikes me is how Carpenter has always been very pro-showthemonster but you only get a brief glimpse at what was clearly a bunch of monsters that had loads of work put into them. I've never been able to find out about the DVD extras of the film but I remember as a terrified child seeing on tv the special effects studio proudly showing off the monsters and I wonder if that clip is lost forever.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:05 (ten years ago) link

Not about the conservative angle, just the Britishness of it.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Monday, 21 April 2014 14:16 (ten years ago) link

Which Sisters are you talking about? It's not obviously bringing anything to mind right now.

Morgiana/Mumsy Nanny/Nightmare Alley all top films. The latter I love a possibly inordinate amount. The former, yeah, it's all about the styling, I see it as high gothic meets Mucha meets late '60s/early '70s surrealism. But then I may be talking crap. I actually went to a costume party as Viktorie recently, though I'm not sure how well I pulled it off (or indeed if anyone knew who I was supposed to be).

Looked up Boxer's Omen - that has gone straight on my 'to watch' list.

emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:24 (ten years ago) link

I think this is a textbook example of conservative horror.

Not entirely sure what you mean - horror kind of revolves around attraction/repulsion towards what's on screen, but I don't think Brit rural folk horror is noticeably more repulsed by its pagan practices than it is attracted...

emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:27 (ten years ago) link

DePalma's Sisters. A much better film than Scarface or Carrie I'd say.

I think the whole "conservative" horror and fantasy thing is not as easy to decide as some might say but it has been used repeatedly as a critique. Like Tolkien's orcs; pagans and vampires in films being defeated by puritans. Kim Newman talks about this a lot in his book NIGHTMARE MOVIES.

I think the conservative depiction of vampires accusation is harder to justify because it seems sensible to kill vampires who are destroying your families and are killing lots of people in the process. A vampires bloodlust overpowering their their empathy is a good enough explanation for me. The actions of those in Blood On Satan's Claw make sense inside the film, but there is a feeling among lots of critics that this comes from a unfair worldview, particularly when old Christian dudes are getting the violent victory at the end (but in BOSC the guy who kills the demon seems secular).

The depictions of pagans in particular. Like when Moorcock said that you can't really trust Tolkien to tell you that all orcs are pure evil.
I like Christopher Lee but I recall him in a recent interview talking about pagans as if they were a real threat in the modern world.

Ever since Clive Barkers era I think it's been frowned upon in some circles to depict humanoid monsters as unquestionably evil. Some people have accused Machen's "Great God Pan" being misogynist but I don't see that myself.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:03 (ten years ago) link

hey just fyi this exists too:

sometimes I like to shit my pants oldschool: 1990-1999 horror film thread

Corpsepaint Counterpaint (jjjusten), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:13 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, but the pagans in The Wicker Man are unquestionably the bad guys, but you still side with them over Edward Woodward every time. They're obviously bad, but they're much much cooler and more interesting. So does that make it a conservative film or not?


emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:15 (ten years ago) link

I'll never forget how as a child, having "good guys" win against monsters made no sense to me, I was horrified when I saw Dracula clumsily falling through cracking ice into freezing water. I think that was Dracula Prince Of Darkness.
Many years later even though my expectations were lower, I was still horrified by a Dracula who was supposed to be "powerful beyond your wildest imaginings" even more clumsily kills himself by getting tricked into walking into too many thorny bushes. That might have been Dracula AD1972.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:17 (ten years ago) link

I've never been huge on Wicker Man, Woodward doesn't deserve his fate but he is annoying enough that his downfall is funny and satisfying rather than difficult to swallow.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:20 (ten years ago) link

In the Mouth of Madness is really really great. Miles better than Prince of Darkness.

Sisters was one of Herrmann's last great film scores and it drives me crazy that it is only available on CD in a shitty sounding noise-reduced edition. Someday I'll buy the LP and make a rip of it.

I managed to download Michael (Witchfinder General) Reeves' The Sorcerers off the internet this weekend and am v v psyched to watch it.

Disappearing doorways department: I bookmarked a bunch of 70s british ITV horror items on Youtube a few weeks ago (particularly the Beasts series of short films) but when I went back to watch them the dude's account had been shut down.

hundreds-swarm-dinkytown (Jon Lewis), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:22 (ten years ago) link

looooool @ the new DVD of "The Visitor" what an entertainingly bad movie

Damn I maybe should have called this thread "pre-2005" because "post-2005" probably includes everything in 2005? I'm sure it doesn't matter too much which thread includes 2005 films.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:49 (ten years ago) link

I'm a huge fan of Nosferatu and the very beautiful Faust (aside from the prolonged romantic comedy section) but I've never tried another Murnau film despite years of opportunity and more complete versions of his other films which has risen their critical standing.
Any recommendations for Phantom or Haunted Castle?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 18:09 (ten years ago) link

COFFIN JOE COLLECTION is a bargain even if most of the 9 films are very poor...

AT MIDNIGHT I WILL TAKE YOUR SOUL is okay, it has mainly short bursts of gusto and a freshness of approach about it.

The sequel THIS NIGHT I WILL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE is the only one I'd actually recommend and if you bought the collection for only this, it would be a fair price. There is some overly long boring scenes but it is totally unique and has lots of energy; a few good hysterical scenes with strange imagery, really crazy intro credits too. Sadly the film still has censored dialogue at the end to make it appear as if Coffin Joe repented for his sins.

These first two films also have a strange philosophy that adds a lot to their appeal; but sometimes I wonder if Marins has it all figured out or if he just makes it up to be whatever sounds cool at any given moment. Coffin Joe is supposed to be crazily sexist but the way his female victims fall in love with him so easily make the film's look sexist as a whole. The director and his character are a fascinating phenomenon sometimes (worth reading about how he was regarded in Brazil) but I don't know why the later films have such an imaginative decline.

Aside from the documentary all the other films are really challeningly dull slogs with brief moments of interest and oddity.
Awakening Of The Beast has funny little four legged monster with a tree sprouting from its back, some weird hallucinatory scenes similar to the second film and people with faces painted on their shaking buttocks. A later film has a man discreetly fingering a woman to help her look like she is crying at a funeral.
After sitting through them all, I understand why so few people bothered writing about the later films.

I'm curious about his newer film Embodiment Of Evil. Marins has a reputation for making risky scenes of women being terrorized by creepy crawlies and some people have said the women in this film look genuinely hysterical in a deeply worrying way. He had to take his wife to the hospital to get an insect out her ear as she was screaming that she thought it was inside her brain.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 19:05 (ten years ago) link

There needs to be a proper Corman box set of his horror films. I'm reluctant to get a lot of them because a lot of them are underwhelming but they often have just enough going for them for me to crave more and I think they are better than the similar British films of that era.

THE UNDEAD (not seen it but the trailer has a stunning beauty in it)
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (should offend dwarves)
PIT AND THE PENDULUM (easily the best of the ones I've seen, good visuals and Barbara Steele)
TOMB OF LIGEIA (a bit dull)
THE TERROR (Karloff and Jack Nicholson, okay)
PREMATURE BURIAL (not seen it)
TALES OF TERROR (not seen it)
THE RAVEN (not seen it)
TOWER OF LONDON (really dull, not to be confused with Karloff film of same name)
HAUNTED PALACE (Lovecraft attempt with some nice visuals and gorgeous lady)

Not sure about comedies like A Bucket Of Blood and Little Shop Of Horrors. I always thought Oblong Box was by Corman but it isn't. Horror Hotel feels like one of them and I'm quite fond of that.

I'm amazed that Corman is still regularly producing films with titles just like he did in the 50s-60s. Anyone seen his newer films?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 19:47 (ten years ago) link

Don't get people who are rooting against Sgt Howie in TWM. He may be a bit of a prude but how can you not feel for him? Even on a basic level of empathy for a guy who's clearly trying to do good while all around plot against him.

ewar woowar (or something), Monday, 21 April 2014 20:53 (ten years ago) link

I guess I could feel sorry for him but my excuse is that I saw that clip "Oh God!Oh Jesus Christ!" repeatedly (people link to it regularly on forums and blogs for comic effect) on tv horror film documentaries that had obnoxious spoilers. It is very funny in isolation.
I think those shows spoiled a lot of films and I hope future viewers can experience a lot of these films more freshly than I did. Luckily when I watched Spoorloos/Vanishing, I didn't realise I had previously seen the ending on a clip show until the film finished. That would have ruined it.
Those clip show bastards showed the endings to Suspiria, Nosferatu, Exorcist and Don't Look Now.

It is sad that books aren't more widely discussed but the big benefit is you can read most of the classics without knowing what happens in them.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 22:07 (ten years ago) link

Tears of Kali (2004, Andreas Marschall)
German flick about a fictional cult whose meditation methods unleash demons, sounds pretty great. Not great by any means, but intriguing and promising. Unusual ideas, ambitious storytelling and an omnibus structure that keeps things moving. Undercut by distinctly lacklustre cinema. A trial run for something better?

Naked Blood (1996, Hisayasu Sato)
Repeat viewing. An alienated young man invents a serum that causes people to experience pain as pleasure, tragedy ensuses. This film seems known only to hardcore gore & transgression buffs, but I think it's an amazing work of art. A justly notorious (though relatively brief) midfilm auto-cannibalism setpiece drastically limits its potential audience, but I strongly recommend Naked Blood to anyone who thinks they might be able to stomach the gore. Surreal, quietly anguished and strangely haunting. A longtime personal favorite that holds up remarkably well.

Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2001, Naoyuki Tomomatsu)
Repeat viewing. A mysterious disease causes young women between the ages of 15 and 17 to die and then return to life as mindless, bloodthirsty zombies. This cheerfully schlocky, superficially comical splatter movie uses its basic situation to tell a number of related (and in most cases overlapping) stories, with varying tone & emphasis. Beneath the goofy surface, however, lies a cryptic and rather disturbing commentary on Japanese schoolgirl fetishism. Sui generis and strangely heartfelt.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 06:05 (ten years ago) link

I've seen a fair amount of talk about Naked Blood On this forum. I'm intrigued, I don't think I've even heard the name before.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:32 (ten years ago) link

damn you aren't kidding that tears of kali SOUNDS great! I have to see that despite yr mixed rev.

hundreds-swarm-dinkytown (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:12 (ten years ago) link

tears of kali is definitely worth a watch, and yeah, the concept had me sold from the get-go. the director's follow-up, masks, is much more assured & satisfying, if a good deal less original.

re naked blood: i genuinely love the move, but it's very hard to recommend. the worst moments (of which there are few) are REALLY nasty, like "some things you can't unsee" level unpleasantness. my sense is that the yuk factor unbalances and overshadows the rest of the film, to the point where even i have to admit that a threshold has been crossed. with that substantial caveat in mind, an amazing piece of work.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:54 (ten years ago) link

I never go out of my way to seek or avoid violent sickie films; but I've heard a lot of complaints recently about such things and I rarely hear a coherent argument for what is "too far" or what constitutes a unethical way of depicting a reprehensible act.
There are some things I don't like seeing but I can't think of anything that I thought shouldn't have been shown.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:32 (ten years ago) link

i don't mean that naked blood becomes reprehensible as a result of its gore (well it does, but that doesn't bother me in itself). i mean that the nastier moments alter the film's overall tone substantially, perhaps to its artistic detriment. certainly limits the potential audience, which seems a shame.

... I rarely hear a coherent argument for what is "too far" or what constitutes a unethical way of depicting a reprehensible act.

feel you, but i'm not sure that kind of thing should or even can be broken down all logical-like. we all have our limits, and gut-level emotional responses (DO NOT WANT!) are just as valid as more seemingly-coherent intellectual analyses.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:45 (ten years ago) link

I just went to amazon and bought it there. 20pounds, a little bit too expensive but I'm very intrigued. I'll have to watch this when everyone else is asleep.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:47 (ten years ago) link

A few more things I saw in recent times...

In the music section of this forum I've praised the soundtrack a lot (Libra includes a few Goblin members). When I watched the trailer for this film I decided to not bother with the film because the soundtrack by itself seemed so much more exciting.
But a few years later I got the chance to see it and it was way better than expected. This might even be one of Bava's very best films. A lot of his classic films stand on the strength of their visuals but this is better than most of them as a whole work. This is Bava adjusting to a new era of Italian horror film and he doesn't look remotely out of touch here.
The story is about a dead father who haunts his wife by possessing the body of his son.
Some really strange moments in this film, but really the soundtrack is still my favourite thing about it.

Some people rate this as one of the greatest Japanese horror films ever but it barely made much impression on me. It's made in the form of a documentary, with tv show clips and investigative journalism.

Aside from the appealingly smokey dark visuals and settings, this is yet another incredibly dull Bela Lugosi film with all the willingness and poor comic relief you'd expect.

Sluggish boredom and the expected racism. The lightning massacre at the end was kind of good but I could never recommend the film.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 21:59 (ten years ago) link

It is weirdly sedate for a gore film, reminds me in some places of Death Powder. I can see how you might think the goriest parts spoil the sleepily surreal parts. The violence is important to the story, so the gore doesn't feel entirely misplaced; perhaps after being warned it didn't seem too bad to me. The naïve quality of the film was interesting.
Looking at the director's filmography there is so many films that got renamed (the director had a different intended title for them all) to sound like taboo pushing rape fantasies, I wonder if they are all porn films or anything like Naked Blood?
There was an advert on the dvd for a film called Sexy Soccer, which looks like the laziest sexploitation film I've ever seen.

This film makes little attempt at being coherent but it has some good stuff in there. Steamy cyberpunk locations, hallucinatory scenes, a humorous music video, groups of scarred people. The version I saw was only partially subtitled.

This is really stiffly animated but it works well enough, the background art has some nice dreamy darkness about it. The first story is pleasingly monstrous, surprisingly scary with a pretty cool twist.
Umezu got a lot of his comics made into live action tv/film but I've never bothered with them apart from this.

This is from Sogo Ishii's quiet phase after his early punk films. An elegant soft black and white ghost story that is only borderline horror, really nice stuff. Ishii's frequent actor Tadanobu Asano stars.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 April 2014 15:41 (ten years ago) link

From the animation thread, but I properly linked this video because this thread isn't in threat of being overloaded with videos...

Nina Shorina's "Room Of Laughter" here. One of the best films I saw last year. A prime example of what animation can do for horror. If you have ten minutes to spare...


Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 April 2014 16:00 (ten years ago) link

Looking at the director's filmography there is so many films that got renamed (the director had a different intended title for them all) to sound like taboo pushing rape fantasies, I wonder if they are all porn films or anything like Naked Blood?

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, April 27, 2014 8:41 AM (Yesterday)

nearly all of hisayasu sato's other films are softcore sex pictures (though he did direct a memorable segment in 2005's rampo noir horror omnibus). i've downloaded a few of his pinku based on the recommendation of others, but have yet to watch any: survey map of a paradise lost, an aria on gazes and love - 0 = infinity. tbh, i don't know whether the somewhat artful titles here are original or replacements intended to help sell the films to more sensitive western audiences, and i don't really trust imdb on this. he's said to be a well respected director within his micro-genre, an experimental punk artist working at the furthest fringes of commercial cinema. i wouldn't know, and i'm not sure i want to further explore a filmography full of titles like lolita vibrator torture and horse woman dog. he did make a gay pink film called muscle, which sounds intriguing, but i haven't found a torrent.

personally, i see naked blood as an interesting and convincingly anguised peice of outsider art. the fact that the director apparently spent the bulk of his career making sleazy, violent, low budget pornography only adds to the nihilist resonance.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 28 April 2014 08:13 (ten years ago) link

and wow, death powder sounds great! thanks for the tip, will watch.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 28 April 2014 08:18 (ten years ago) link

Anyone been seeing these recent BFI disc releases? Stuff like M R James/Ghost Story For Christmas collection, Robin Redbreast, Gaslight, Sleepwalker, Dead Of Night, Supernatural and Schalcken The Painter?

Most of this appears to be old British tv shows, I'm sceptical but I've seen some extremely positive reviews for them. I've seen one or two of the M R James episodes and they were fine. I read Le Fanu's Schalcken The Painter recently and I am curious how they'd pull it off for screen.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:14 (ten years ago) link

A word of warning: the complete Karloff's Thriller is packaged and blurbed like a pure horror show but really only something like 10 episodes of the 67 are horror; it was really a noir/crime/mystery show. Quite a few people said it was better than Twilight Zone and Outer Limits but I never saw much of them.
It was decent but I never sustained enough interest to watch the whole thing. A lot of the acting is a bit sloppy. The highlights for me were a haunted house story with Rip Torn; a Bloch story about a mirror or glasses that let you see monstrous "true" forms of people; best was a Derleth story with Karloff as a weird pale lethargic scientist covered in cobwebs. But none of this was really enough to justify getting the boxed set.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:37 (ten years ago) link

I super dug the three episodes I watched before it was taken off Netflix. Also: tons of fuckin money ass goldsmith scores on those.

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:39 (ten years ago) link

The theme tune was great.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:54 (ten years ago) link

100 bloody acres now streaming on us at least netflix

ohhhh lorde 2pac big please mansplain to this sucker (jjjusten), Friday, 2 May 2014 02:11 (ten years ago) link

The Watson/Webber version of Fall Of House Of Usher. I'd say it was among the best silent horror films. Only 12 minutes...

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 2 May 2014 23:09 (ten years ago) link

Any opinions on the 1974 version of Dracula? I guess it's about to be reissued, and Varese Sarabande just issued the soundtrack by Bob Cobert-- I listened to it on spotify today and it's great stuff in the hammer romantic-menace vein (but better recorded than most of the hammer music).

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 2 May 2014 23:33 (ten years ago) link

Who was playing that Dracula, it doesn't sound familiar.

Anyone saw Mimic directors cut? Del Toro said he was pleased because he didn't have to disown the film anymore. But I'm still kind of reluctant because unlike Barker's Nighbreed, I never got the sense that it could have been something special if left alone (admittedly based on the opinions of people who saw it before it was butchered). I guess The Keep is another film that people are still hoping for a directors cut.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 3 May 2014 23:29 (ten years ago) link

Just watched my new copy of IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (not a good copy, I think it's Korean, it has way too small a screen size), I hadn't seen it in maybe more than 10 years and it holds up less well than I had imagined.
The light metal music in the intro/outro doesn't set the tone very well. I remembered the film being cheesy with the appearance of the evil writer and the clichéd scary children but I didn't remember the goofy humour at all, with all those wisecracks.
I used to be freaked out by Sam Neill laughing in the cinema but I guess there was nothing wrong with that part, I'm just older. I kept thinking Neill didn't care that much about his performance or maybe he thought this was going to be closer to a horror comedy than it really was. It's unbelievable and funny how he makes a map from the book covers.

What is still quite effective is the disordered reality scenes almost like Jacob's Ladder, a lot of the driving scenes with the tunnels, dark roads and the cyclist; I liked the creatures (especially the main tunnel scene that is very similar to Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness") and the church interior too.

2 taglines: "Lived any good books lately?" and "Reality isn't what it used to be".

I have really strong memories of being very young and even terrified of this films existence, trying to avoid looking at pictures of it. As a young teen finding it pretty scary too.

It isn't great but I don't know why it rarely gets mentioned for quite a long time.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 14:38 (ten years ago) link

One of my favourite sites heavily recommended an obscurity called Atrapados that sounded really great...

Now he linked to vimeo where the director has uploaded the film...
I hope I can watch it soon if my internet speed gets fixed.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 14:50 (ten years ago) link

I'd watch a Keep director's cut out of curiosity, but the film is perfect as is

lauded at conferences of deluded psychopaths (Sparkle Motion), Sunday, 4 May 2014 22:46 (ten years ago) link

I think the reason it has never had a DVD release is possibly the difficulty of finally putting together the directors cut. Not sure what is stopping Nightbreed.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 22:51 (ten years ago) link


I got an unexpected amount of pleasure seeing a musclebound hero who is also a convincing, likable everyman (for lack of a better word). Not a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I don't mind Stallone but I could do with more big muscle guys who seem approachable in films. Don't think I've seen a film with The Rock in it but he seems nice.

I'm very familiar with the majority of Carpenter's films but for some reason I had never heard of They Live until a few years ago.

Great funny long fight scene. The thing I liked least is the very forced sounding wise cracks and cheesy lines.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 11 May 2014 00:26 (ten years ago) link

Been looking around for Jean Rollin DVDs and some are prominently labelled for being uncut but I don't think any of his films have been censored for decades have they? He seems way too tame to be censored into the DVD age.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 12 May 2014 00:22 (ten years ago) link

Are the Dr Phibes films worthwhile?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 May 2014 18:18 (ten years ago) link

I had passed on The Hunger and Paul Schrader's version of Cat People many times because I never bought the hype, they didn't sound interesting to me. I lump them together as very 80s sexy horror films that were very modern and cool for their time, I guess Near Dark might even fit in there. But I finally watched both this weekend and I'm glad I did.

Cat People feels like a radical new interpretation possibly more based on the source short story than the original film (?), I have to agree with the camp that prefers this to the Lewton film (I think there were better Lewton films), there were so many aspects I don't recall in the older film. Kinski was really sweet in this.

The Hunger was a real surprise. I don't have much experience with Tony Scott but I was never remotely attracted to most of his output that I know of (I have heard he has done lesser known great stuff); so I was amazed that this is one of the most visually impressive and stylish films I've ever seen; really beautiful at times. A lot of old makeup jobs look terrible but the makeup for aging Bowie was very impressive. This is the type of surprise that makes me think that sometimes I should listen to hype when I'm reluctant.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 May 2014 01:58 (ten years ago) link

first doctor phibes is fun, not great, but a nice period piece, great production design. second is a wash.

dig both the hunger and shrader's cat people remake, moreso the former. other than that and true romance, though, i've never had much use for tony scott.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Sunday, 18 May 2014 04:16 (ten years ago) link

This might be kind of silly but Angel Witch's Dr Phibes tune made me think "wow, maybe if that film inspired such great music maybe the film is great too".

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 May 2014 12:30 (ten years ago) link

I watched both versions of Ghost Of Sierra De Cobre/The Haunted. The former is longer and has a sharper picture but the latter is tighter. I'd recommend it to fans of The Haunting, though it's at the seaside and the architecture is more modern. The ghost is quite eerie. It is sad that it never aired on television, I wonder how the series would have progressed because it's a cut above any Thriller and Twilight Zone episodes I've seen. Seems to be from people who worked on The Outer Limits series.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 23 July 2022 17:54 (two years ago) link

Yeah, it's surprisingly tight for something that started out as a tv pilot.

Beautiful Bean Footage Fetishist (Old Lunch), Saturday, 23 July 2022 19:13 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

I rewatched Tsukamoto's Gemini and it's still a contender for the best looking color film I've seen. Why does a film like this happen then the film industry mostly doesn't learn anything from it? It's a shame Ryo hasn't had more major roles that I can see, most of her work seems to be on television. I didn't know that writer Yasutaka Tsutsui was playing the father first time but then I probably didn't know who he was back then. Wonderful film.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 8 September 2022 15:38 (one year ago) link

Rewatched Beauty And The Beast (Virgin And The Monster) by Juraj Herz. Commentary points out how much Beast resembles Phantom Of Paradise and that was well spotted, I wonder if it was an actual influence? Herz made it at the same time as Ninth Heart and I hope to see that someday. The film studio accused him of tricking them because they asked for fairy tales and got horror films.

I thought Black Death with Eddie Redmayne and Sean Bean was really good. There's a couple of ambiguities that make it richer than it might have been. I thought the director's earlier film Creep was just okay but I might keep an eye on him now.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 10 September 2022 13:47 (one year ago) link

I love that movie, quality carice van houten performance too. Great vibe, great score. I saw triangle and liked it but haven’t kept up with later things by this director.

realistic pillow (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 10 September 2022 14:37 (one year ago) link

I mostly know Tim McInnerny from Blackadder and 101 Dalmatians, so this was different! And second thing I've seen Kimberley Nixon in after Fresh Meat.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 10 September 2022 20:05 (one year ago) link

I forgot how much Scream dialogue crossed over into Dawson’s Creek.

papal hotwife (milo z), Sunday, 18 September 2022 03:50 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Seen the full version of Salem's Lot for the first time in ages, knowing who more of the actors are changes the experience quite a lot.
I still think those shock zoom shots are a mistake and some of the vampires look like they're wincing with discomfort in the make-up. The vampire who repeatedly says "look at me" seems as if he wants the old man to shag him.
The old house in the last 6th of the film looks very good. Soundtrack might be worth seeking out?
Does anyone know if the Hooper commentary track is worth a listen because he was a notoriously quiet man and 3 hours might be difficult.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 29 October 2022 19:27 (one year ago) link

Been wanting to see Singapore Sling for a very long time and discovered recently there is a channel with the bulk of Nikos Nikolaidis's filmography in HD (I've heard his son uploaded it all). It's a contender for the strangest film I've ever seen, like a deranged soft porn film set in a neo-noir world. I don't think it's his best known film in Greece but it's the one that got him international attention and it was banned in britain. I maybe admire it more than enjoyed it but it always looks wonderful.
See You In Hell My Darling whooshed over my head even more, it has a lot of similarities to Singapore Sling but I found it harder to get a foothold. What were the multiple scenes of that woman falling in the water all about? I'm having trouble imagining what his more mainstream films might be like.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 5 November 2022 20:33 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

I was a bit underwhelmed by Ebola Syndrome but they really do go for the grossout and loathsome characters

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 3 December 2022 23:32 (one year ago) link

Really enjoyed this Mark Hartley video, I bought 2 films because of it.

I don't understand why he's so enthusiastic about The Survivor. It's quite stylish at times but I thought it was ultimately just okay.

He was totally right that Torture Chamber Of Dr Sadism is alarmingly like a Mario Bava film. I got a german bluray rather than the Severin Christopher Lee box set. How did this film escape me so long? Within the limitations of this kind of film I found it really delightful. A must-see if you like colorful gothic horror films of the 60s. Harald Reinl has done Nibelungen/Siegfired, Mabuse, many Edgar Wallace crime adaptations and westerns but I don't think he has anything else like this, what a shame! This film and a chunk of his others have Karin Dor (who I somehow didn't notice in James Bond) who he was married to for a while. I really love this film.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 December 2022 19:21 (one year ago) link

Don't know if this is streaming right now but I love this one

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 December 2022 23:06 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

I Drink Your Blood - hated it. just no hook. the build-up could have been really entertaining, a family living in a ghost town created by a nearby dam, terrorized by local Satanic cult. but the whole thing was so bungled.

when the grandpa shows up to get revenge for the rape of his granddaughter, instead of him being killed which would have made sense, they inexplicably let him and his grandson go, even though they could call police (ghost town or not, you can still get law enforcement to visit) or take another stab at revenge later. then they go to the bakery of the very people they terrorized and willingly eat something prepared by the child who is staring at you with daggers because of what you did with his grandpa the night before. by the time the violence finally starts, I was already so fucking bored.

normally love exploitation horror, but this one kept inching up to something entertaining then scuttling away for the first 70 minutes or so.

fentanyl young (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 11 January 2023 18:42 (one year ago) link

aight fess up, who else has seen Lamberto Bava's Macabre

cos LOL

fentanyl young (Neanderthal), Thursday, 12 January 2023 02:16 (one year ago) link

xp still incredible for it's amazingly wrong treatment of "rabies"

Nhex, Thursday, 12 January 2023 05:31 (one year ago) link

that, I was ok with, in that I expect horror movies to take real ideas to absurd, nonsensical heights.

fentanyl young (Neanderthal), Thursday, 12 January 2023 06:28 (one year ago) link

is that the one Stephen king talks about in Danse Macabre like the holy grail of what they wanted to see as kids, calls it "macbare"?

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2023 07:53 (one year ago) link

(ha, first ddg hit for "Stephen king macbare" is me in another ilx thread)

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2023 08:01 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Holy shit, Der Fan (1982). Just saw a screening. A lot of unpack on that one, but man pretty affecting, even just as a incredibly slow burn (coming-of-age) thriller to the climax, let alone all the pop music idolatry metaphor for Nazism. Don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, even by indirectly comparing to a certain iconic modern horror it's probably influenced, but yeah... catch it if you get a chance.

Nhex, Saturday, 18 March 2023 21:36 (one year ago) link

All Region bluray of Laurin coming

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 18 March 2023 22:22 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Nice that two of my favourite Italian films are getting blurays: Horrible Dr Hichcock and Night Of The Devils. Not sure I need to buy these films again but the former might benefit an upgrade. Undecided.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 21 July 2023 01:48 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Laurin is pretty good. Grim little Christmas film I didn't understand was a bonus feature.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 11 September 2023 18:10 (ten months ago) link

If you haven't heard of it, here's a trailer of the recent remaster

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 11 September 2023 19:22 (ten months ago) link

Just watched The Exorcist, which I'd never seen before (it's on Max). It's technically accomplished, but only moderately frightening. More interesting for its depressing early 70s vibe. NYC in 1972: scarier than demonic possession!

read-only (unperson), Sunday, 17 September 2023 03:30 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Watched Event Horizon for the first time - first two-thirds I was confused how it got bad reviews on release, it looked great and was creepy as hell.

The back third horror action could have been all right but it's the rare time I wish a movie had been longer - more build up to Sam Neill going insane or something. As it was it dropped from a couple of rungs below Alien to a couple of rungs below Hellraiser.

papal hotwife (milo z), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 03:55 (nine months ago) link

I still haven't seen it I full but it terrorized me from the bits I saw in high school

real warm grandpa (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:16 (nine months ago) link

As Sam Neill horror movies go, it's Possession > Event Horizon > In the Mouth of Madness > The Omen III.

read-only (unperson), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:24 (nine months ago) link

Night of the Demon is likely my favorite horror film ever. Jacques Tourneur is one of the great Hollywood directors and Demon is certainly one of his masterpieces in my book.

A great concept - most horror films deal with fear of the unknown, and this one develops that idea to its furthest extent. You have characters with a comfortable understanding of the world that is based on some rock solid logic - it would be very hard to take that away and convince them that the foundation for everything they believe is fallacious. To do so would be traumatizing. And what happens when they do accept that they can no longer rationalize the world around them? Suddenly anything can happen, and that leaves them very vulnerable. It's terrifying - reality becomes very alien and very hostile. Yes, Dana Andrews generally keeps his cool, but that isn't the case with Professor Harrington or with the audience.

And regardless of whether Tourneur wanted to film those demon shots, he was right to be unhappy because they break from the ambiguity inherent in the challenges to the characters' perceptions. Aside from the emerging smoke, they should have been cut out. If the rest of the film hadn't been so strong, they would have spun the entire movie on a far less powerful trajectory.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 10 October 2023 07:26 (nine months ago) link

I watched DEATH SPA (1988) over the weekend. Totally recommend it if you love ludicrous 80s horror. There's some hilarious and campy 80s design/acting/fashion throughout but it actually goes hard with the gore too. I was thinking of the Patton Oswalt bit about the movie Death Bed (The Bed That Eats People)....this is the GYM THAT KILLS PEOPLE. Great ending too as well.

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 09:40 (nine months ago) link

Death Spa is great but it absolutely must be paired with a side of Killer Workout (aka Aerobicide).

Prop Dramedy (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 12:30 (nine months ago) link

I'll have to return to Event Horizon one of these days. I saw it at the time and basically hated it

insert nothing here (Eric H.), Tuesday, 10 October 2023 12:32 (nine months ago) link

BFI: "Only 5 of the mere 17 great British horror movies ever made were from before Y2K"


Dwigt Rortugal (Eric H.), Wednesday, 18 October 2023 13:59 (nine months ago) link

Pretty embarrassing. You'd think that list was made by an American (who'd only just started getting into horror movies like three years ago).

Prop Dramedy (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 October 2023 14:10 (nine months ago) link

it's a list of their facilities coordinator's favorite British horror films, so?

bulb after bulb, Wednesday, 18 October 2023 14:24 (nine months ago) link

Greatest American Horror Films of All Time:

Night of the Living Dead
The Shining
uhh...Nightmares on Elm Street? I think is what it's called?
It Part 1
It Part 2
Totally Killer
Saw X
The Exorcist: Believer

Prop Dramedy (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 18 October 2023 14:38 (nine months ago) link

Host wasn't THAT good, geez

real warm grandpa (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 18 October 2023 14:41 (nine months ago) link

Yeah, this just seems like a little list of favourites from a BFI staff member, rather than anything more institutional.

A more comprehensive list went up on the BFI website this time last year:


Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 18 October 2023 14:46 (nine months ago) link


It’s everywhere.

The long-awaited sequel to the modern horror classic IT FOLLOWS from David Robert Mitchell.
Coming soon. pic.twitter.com/V1IiS7PpzU

— NEON (@neonrated) October 30, 2023

Number None, Monday, 30 October 2023 21:20 (eight months ago) link

Really enjoyed It Follows

real warm grandpa (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 31 October 2023 04:43 (eight months ago) link

Just watched CUJO for the first time. It's streaming on Max. Wow, that movie hits hard. It's basically a late 70s/early 80s kitchen sink drama for the first 45 minutes — there's an unhappily married couple (she's cheating on him) with an only slightly annoying kid. Then the mom's car breaks down and she drives it to the mechanic's house/shop only to discover that a) he's out of town, as is her husband and b) the mechanic's St. Bernard is rabid. From there it's 45 minutes of siege movie, tense as hell but with zero cheating. It really earns every bit of tension, and the ending is barely happy. Highly recommended — it's instantly moved to the top of my list of Stephen King movies, right up there with The Dead Zone and Salem's Lot and The Shining.

read-only (unperson), Wednesday, 1 November 2023 03:07 (eight months ago) link

If the movie had only stayed faithful to the book’s original ending, it would be the last great movie of the Uber-downer ‘70s

Dwigt Rortugal (Eric H.), Wednesday, 1 November 2023 03:12 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, but even the ending you do get is dark as fuck. The main couple's marriage was disintegrating before all this, and now they've got a probably permanently traumatized kid, Mom's gotta get rabies shots, pan out just a little bit and life is basically over for them.

read-only (unperson), Wednesday, 1 November 2023 03:26 (eight months ago) link

Naw, everything worked out ok.


peace, man, Monday, 6 November 2023 15:57 (eight months ago) link

I really love the behind-the-scenes detail about the filming of Cujo and the lengths that the director had to go to make the incredibly friendly dog actors appear even a little bit ferocious.

Material Wetness (Old Lunch), Monday, 6 November 2023 16:02 (eight months ago) link

that is an incredible photo

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 November 2023 15:16 (eight months ago) link

five months pass...

Black Roses.

heeelarious. my favorite bit is how the band actually learns an extremely lame pop/rock ballad to fool all the parents in town before launching into their real setlist. like what if the olds had stuck around for a bit, did they have more sub-Foreigner songs at their disposal?

CEO Greedwagon (Neanderthal), Friday, 12 April 2024 19:55 (three months ago) link

lol yes i loved that so much

ivy., Friday, 12 April 2024 19:59 (three months ago) link

grow, my flowers of evil!

Nhex, Sunday, 14 April 2024 03:30 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

Litan (by Jean-Pierre Mocky)

I originally passed on this because I thought it looked kind of cool but some of the images left something to be desired. But then I was researching the writer Scott Baker and discovered he had a hand in writing this film and I couldn't turn it down anymore.
Seems unusual to see an action horror film with a leading middle aged couple running for the majority of the film, across really wonderful locations with very uneven grounds. I'd like to see what those places look like today. It was a long time before I grasped what was going on and the video essay on the Radiance bluray filled in a lot for me, it's quite a cool story. Music reminiscent of the rock music in italian horror films. I still wish it looked just a bit better, with a few pushes in the right direction this could have been a favorite, but it's definitely worthwhile.
In the bonus interviews Mocky keeps talking about it as the first french Fantastique film, and I'm not sure how he's defining that, how strict french people are about the definition or if it has changed. I sometimes see it defined as horror and fantasy, or encompassing all speculative fiction or as something having a specific supernatural tension. The film resembles Jean Rollin's Grapes Of Death more than anything, so I wonder if he's ignoring Rollin and the small body of french horror and fantasy films or what? Mocky previously made a film (The Big Scare) based on a Jean Ray novel (City Of Unspeakable Fear) but played it as a comedy.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 8 July 2024 20:32 (two weeks ago) link

prompted by discussion of Le Vourdalak (2023) on the post 2005 horror film thread:

After seeing the US version of Bava's Black Sabbath many times, I finally saw the original Italian version, I tre volti della paura, here:


The three stories of the anthology are in a different order, starting with "Il telefono," a much better giallo than in the butchered/rewritten US version; "I Wurdulak" and "La goccia d'acqua" both look and flow better; and there's a short comic outro with Karloff in his Wurdulak make-up that really ought to have been kept. It appears the running time of the US version is about three minutes longer, but the Italian version feels more complete and coherent and seems to include quite a few beautiful shots I don't recall from Black Sabbath.

Brad C., Friday, 12 July 2024 15:44 (one week ago) link

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