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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six years ago) link

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

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

The theme tune was great.

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

Are the Dr Phibes films worthwhile?

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

anyone seen either of these? planning to check em out as contenders for the Halloween marathon


it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Sunday, 25 October 2020 04:59 (two months ago) link

Second film is amazing but mostly for the last scenes.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 25 October 2020 05:06 (two months ago) link

The Burning has good gore, a good first half hour but it loses a lot of steam fast. But Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens!

Neanderthal, Sunday, 25 October 2020 05:10 (two months ago) link

Yeah Burning is light fun. Pre-Friday the 13th, right?

Nhex, Sunday, 25 October 2020 05:13 (two months ago) link

Just after. It was Savini's next gig, I believe.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Sunday, 25 October 2020 11:40 (two months ago) link

I just watched Viy for the first time last week! Common wisdom claims that it's all about the ending (which tbf is amazing) but I was hooked on the whole slow, pastoral Russian folktale vibe throughout.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Sunday, 25 October 2020 11:42 (two months ago) link

ALSO, while I have appreciated the Lewton films I'd seen previously, I saw I Walked With a Zombie the other day and...it's kind of perfect? Barely a horror film in any conventional sense beyond just the sustained eerie mood, but I truly loved it. All of the performances are so muted and soporific (aside from the drunken brother who sorta raised his voice a couple of times), it was like I was walking with a whole cast of zombies. In the best way possible.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Sunday, 25 October 2020 11:50 (two months ago) link

The Burning was the first ever Miramax film, btw

Ward Fowler, Sunday, 25 October 2020 11:55 (two months ago) link

All of the Lewtons (especially the ones directed by Tourneur) are excellent. Cat People is in the queue of horror or horror-adjacent films I'm watching with my daughter (I think Diabolique is next; there are so many great movies!)

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 October 2020 12:50 (two months ago) link

Here's another Jessica Seamans piece but of Viy. You can get a print for 50 dollars

Part of the thing with Viy is that the effects in the film are so good I wonder why nobody else ever done that, it's frustrating! I totally dig the pastoral russian thing which is why I love those russian, czech etc fairy tale films but I think it drags in places. Vasilisa The Beautiful is an older russian fairy tale film that drags a bit but the horror stuff is great in it.
I've been listening to the Mala Morska Vila soundtrack and it is the most beautiful thing. I really like the film but the soundtrack is magic.
The 3d remake or reimagining of Viy is not good but there's something quite odd about it.

I reviewed those Lewton horror films upthread somewhere. Whoever argued with me about Seventh Victim was right in retrospect but I still think Leopard Man just isn't very good except a scene or two. Curse Of The Cat People is by far the best in my view.

Never seen The Burning but I may get the Rick Wakeman soundtrack someday.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 25 October 2020 21:07 (two months ago) link

Isle Of The Dead is a bit underrated, it's a shame those Lewton films have been sluggishly coming out as singles in the bluray era, they really should be in boxed sets.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 25 October 2020 21:08 (two months ago) link

if anyone wants to join I'll be screening Eyes Without a Face, Viy, The Innocents and Pulse (in that order, probably) online in high def starting at 7pm ET this Friday for all the quarantining would-be trick or treaters, if there's interest I'll share the URL on here

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Monday, 26 October 2020 15:04 (two months ago) link

i would love to drop in for the innocents

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 26 October 2020 15:08 (two months ago) link

hell yeah, I'm stoked for that, I've not revisited in years but it became an instant POX horror movie candidate for me

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Monday, 26 October 2020 15:16 (two months ago) link

Got the first volume of Voluptuous Terrors (italian posters) and Banzai!: Japanese Cult Movie Posters. Both of them have a lot of international films(probably too many in the latter book). Former book is a bit of a disappointment but the paintings are nice enough, I was completely unaware that japanese film posters were usually photo collages instead of paintings. There's a few unfamiliar films that look promising (but you how that usually goes) and one film I'm glad to finally have the name of.

Is there many kaiju films where the monsters are just doing their own thing? I always prefer when they're just out in the wilderness or in ancient japan, because as I say upthread, all the military/government/city stuff just ruins it for me.
I always liked the look of comics where Godzilla goes to hell or space. Is Godzilla In Hell a good read? I'm encouraged by the fact that it's mostly wordless.
Fingers crossed for anthologies like Mammoth Book Of Kaiju, Kaiju Rising, Daikaiju, etc.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 27 October 2020 21:22 (two months ago) link

quick poke/reminder for tonight's streaming party, here's the schedule (EST):

EYES WITHOUT A FACE aka LES YEUX SANS VISAGE (1960, 90mins. France/Italy) - 7pm
VIY (1967, 77mins, Russia) - 8:45pm
THE INNOCENTS (1961, 99mins, UK/US) - 10:15pm
PULSE aka KAIROS (2001, 119mins, Japan) - midnight

at twoseven.xyz/quarantinecinema - if you've never used twoseven before you might have to install a browser extension but it's quick and unobtrusive. there is a group chat function but you can hide it if you prefer.

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Friday, 30 October 2020 13:55 (two months ago) link

rewatched "let's scare jessica to death" the other night. one of my favorites, it's so dreamy, and the print/sound on the criterion channel are great.

na (NA), Friday, 30 October 2020 13:58 (two months ago) link

Currently watching In Search of Darkness which is a kinda fun 4 hour doc on Shudder about 80s horror. Larry Cohen pops up as a talking head from time to time and he’s hilarious.

― circa1916,

Bringing this over from the Larry Cohen thread bc many of you will enjoy this doc as I am currently (seen the first 2hrs so far). They go methodically through the '80s one year at a time showing all the choicest clips (usu the goriest ones) from all the significant films. It'll help you sort out which '80s films you need to see or rewatch. Also you can see what a bunch of the actors whom you may only know from their '80s work look like today.

Josefa, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 16:06 (two months ago) link

Coincidentally, I watched Pulse last night and it didn't quite land for me. I liked some of the technique - the way Kurosawa made it often difficult to judge how much time had elapsed between many of the cuts in particular - and some of the video footage was pretty eerie (the plastic bag head figure) but the lack of explanation or coherence felt like a bit of a cop-out ultimately. Some terrible CGI right at the end too. In some ways the film's main value now is not as a scary movie but as a historic document about computer/internet/phone culture at the turn of the century.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 16:55 (two months ago) link

I think Cure is Kurosawa's masterpiece

or something, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 17:49 (two months ago) link

Possessor on deck; I think this is best watched tonight as the madness kicks into high gear

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 18:02 (two months ago) link

the sound design in Pulse is pretty special iirc. shame about the ott ending and appalling cgi.

recently watched Possession (1981). it's like... david cronenberg directing a james bond film written by rainer rilke? lmao. seriously chilling sexual horror. spellbinding lead from isabelle adjani.

"The role was emotionally exhausting for Adjani. In one of the interviews, she stated that it took her several years to recover from, which J. Hoberman called "a veritable aria of hysteria".[8] It was rumored that she attempted suicide after filming completed,[18] which was confirmed by Żuławski.[19] Time Out magazine compared the behavior of her character to the actions of "a dervish of unrestrained emotion and pure sexual terror".[20]"

maelin, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 18:14 (two months ago) link

I'm not that big on Pulse (agreed that Cure is great) but I love that scene with the weirdly moving woman.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 18:39 (two months ago) link

I don't need it but I would like a good bluray edition of Let's Scare Jessica To Death.

I'm a little baffled that Lemora still isn't getting much love, I thought it's reputation would grow.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 18:41 (two months ago) link

In the last few years, there have been whispers that Carpenter got the basic idea for Halloween not from Yablans but from the Canadian filmmaker Bob Clark, who died last year in a car crash. Clark’s 1974 sorority-house thriller, Black Christmas, introduced several elements that would become famous in later movies. There is a crank-caller that prefigured the one in 1979’s When a Stranger Calls (which Wes Craven later satirized in his 1996 hit, Scream) as well as extensive use of the killer’s-point-of-view shot that famously opens Halloween. The killer in Black Christmas is even more mysterious than Michael Myers. We know literally nothing about him.

Carpenter and Clark had worked together for a time on a horror film called Prey, which eventually fell through. According to several old interviews with Clark, including one on the DVD of Black Christmas, Carpenter asked Clark what he would do if he ever made a sequel to his holiday-themed hit. Clark said the serial killer would be caught, sent to a mental hospital, escape the next fall, and start killing girls. The title: Halloween. (Clark never made a sequel to Black Christmas, but he did go on to direct Porky’s and, oddly enough, the holiday perennial A Christmas Story.)

Carpenter denies getting the idea from Clark, and even denies admiring the man’s work. “I remember coming out of Black Christmas thinking, I don’t know about that,” he says.


Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 7 November 2020 18:43 (two months ago) link

Is Carpenter kind of a dick or is that just my impression? I mean, I have issues with Black Christmas too, mostly about the ending, but is this guy ever gracious? He hates Val Lewton films too, that's kind of a tell.

Josefa, Sunday, 8 November 2020 00:04 (two months ago) link

Well, he is notoriously cranky, but I don't know if he's a dick. Clark himself didn't consider the idea stolen.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 8 November 2020 01:27 (two months ago) link

I think it might be a case of hating Val Lewton fans who use Lewton as an exemplar against violent horror and that they did overrate him quite a bit. The annoying "why did we need to see that?" crowd.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 8 November 2020 01:36 (two months ago) link

OK. I'm sure he didn't steal from Clark, I was just thinking of the way he talks about other directors in interviews. Seems arrogant. I like Halloween and The Fog, so not slagging him.

Josefa, Sunday, 8 November 2020 01:36 (two months ago) link

xpost but Carpenter takes the opposite extreme - "why aren't you showing us anything?"

Josefa, Sunday, 8 November 2020 01:38 (two months ago) link

I think Carpenter (who I've interviewed a couple of times) is kind of jaded and cynical, which informs his films but also his personality.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 8 November 2020 01:39 (two months ago) link

Josefa - yes and there is a bit illustrating that in Horror Cafe and he follows it with a very funny story about an audience member hating ambiguity (ambiguity is important to him).

As I said upthread, it's probably very subjective and I like all approaches to some extent but my favorite thing is seeing a face that you just can't fully process and it terrifies you.
Not all of these are good examples but a lot are.

Junji Ito said that the thing that scares him most is a face in an extreme situation, you can see lots of scary faces in his work.

Even though most of the audience may want to see something scary I think a lot of people underrate it because it's so rare and difficult to create, so almost forget how well it can be done. And some people confuse the seen with the unknown, but seeing something you can't understand or process can be as intense as anything.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 8 November 2020 04:58 (two months ago) link

Good link, RAG. Many of my candidates are there. Tar Man from ROTLD hits that button for me (the near cartoonishness of his skull face makes him that much more horrible, somehow). See also: the vagrant behind Winkie's in Mulholland Drive, mid-transformation Martin Short in Innerspace, the dead kid from Stand By Me. I'm sure I'll think of more.

For the longest time, I couldn't even bear to glance at the subliminal Exorcist face featured so prominently on that blog but now I have an empty can of Pazuzu Ale perched on my desk and I think it's fair to say that casually soaking in every horrific contour for hours every weekday has inured me a bit.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Sunday, 8 November 2020 06:25 (two months ago) link

I always found the Creep from Creepshow's face especially creepy and didn't discover until fairly recently that Savini used AN ACTUAL HUMAN SKULL which I guess explains that.

OrificeMax (Old Lunch), Sunday, 8 November 2020 06:29 (two months ago) link

Carpenter can be effusive about other directors - he's never disguised his debt to Hawks (even recording a commentary track for the original Thing From Another World), and has often mentioned Argento's Suspiria as an influence on Halloween (you could, I'm sure, make some interesting shot comparisons between the two, especially in relation to theIr shared colour palettes). Against that, I know he and (the equally cranky) Dan O'Bannon had a spectacular falling out over Dark Star, with Carpenter distancing himself from the finished film ("not my favourite").

I'm pretty certain you have to be at least a bit of a jerk to get any feature film made.

Ward Fowler, Sunday, 8 November 2020 09:05 (two months ago) link

that appears to be the case based on most (all?) of the filmmakers I've ever met

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 8 November 2020 15:06 (two months ago) link

lucky mckee was super nice when I talked to him at least

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Sunday, 8 November 2020 15:10 (two months ago) link

yeah... and I guess there's nothing wrong with a director having strong opinions; I probably just overacted to seeing Carpenter put down a couple of people, and then hearing this Bob Clark thing

Josefa, Sunday, 8 November 2020 15:35 (two months ago) link

Dan O'Bannon has a cameo in "The Fog," so he and Carpenter must have somewhat buried the hatchet.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 8 November 2020 15:56 (two months ago) link

We're taling very mild jerkness here, as far as I can tell.

some people confuse the seen with the unknown, but seeing something you can't understand or process can be as intense as anything.

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, November 8, 2020 4:58 AM

I meant to say that people equate the seen with the known, which is not at all the same thing. I hope my meaning was clear enough.

Here's another link to much of the same stuff but for some reason my first link didn't show Mulholland Drive but one of the links on this page does

I know I said it's subjective but I have to admit I'm still skeptical of people who say that The Haunting (which is do think is very scary), The Innocents and Val Lewton is intense as the nightmare power of the scary faces in Salem's Lot, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire and Watership Down.

I've had several nightmares about seeing a face that I can't turn away from soon enough and wanting to run for miles. And it does feel really conflicting to want to see it later on once I've woken up. That's the fun of horror though.
I remember roughly 15 years ago I was camping in woods with friends and walking into the darkness and loving the feeling of being scared but unable to go past a certain distance. Now Lyme disease worries me too much to be in the woods much but I wonder what I could do to feel like that again and how much pleasurably intense fear I've got left because it dissipates when you chase it but not chasing it isn't a good alternative.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 8 November 2020 19:00 (two months ago) link

RAG I find your take on the aesthetics of horror quite fascinating on here and think you're otm re scary faces. You really don't spend much time in woods because of lyme disease?

or something, Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:39 (two months ago) link


I live nearby a lot of woods and farms and it is something I hear about often enough. A local farmer got lyme disease and I've just heard so much about what it can do to people (last year a woman called into the radio about it, she was crying and near-screaming for the whole call) so I don't go into woods as often as I would like and even wary about tall grass.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:49 (two months ago) link

I've had Lyme, it infected my knee when I was 13 and I had to have surgery. Not fun, but really not worth avoiding the pleasures of the woods or fields. Just do a tick check every. Time.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Monday, 9 November 2020 00:03 (two months ago) link

Fields I'm mostly fine with, especially with boots but in the woods there is more heights for ticks to climb on.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 9 November 2020 00:19 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I mean I've lived in the woods for years at a time, to each their own.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Monday, 9 November 2020 02:39 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Anyone seen Mindwarp? I think I'll go for this one

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 28 November 2020 18:01 (one month ago) link

how is there a Bruce Campbell movie out there I've never heard of

Nhex, Sunday, 29 November 2020 08:00 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Conquest - Barbarian fantasy by Lucio Fulci. People weren't kidding when they said this is a dreamy druggy eccentric oddity. Heavier gore than the genre tends to have, monster men and transformations (that metal headed woman and her metal god boyfriend were wolves? What happened?). Don't expect much from the special effects or acting but I'd recommend this as a good stoner film.
Watched it on amazon prime.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 4 January 2021 18:54 (two weeks ago) link

Fulci For Fake - Firstly, I don't feel like I've properly seen this film because the english subtitles are very poor. I didn't think there was much point in the presenter/interviewer acting as Fulci but I guess he's a celebrity in Italy.

His films before the 70s are spoke about very dismissively and there's a general view put across that the horror films were his truest self, I had always heard that he felt trapped by the genre, like a lot of directors but this isn't touched on. No mention of Conquest, sadly.

There's a bunch of home movies, in one of them Fulci talks about his misognistic feelings and the documentary seems to say that this anger mixed with his grief over his first wife's suicide, his daughter's spinal injury, his general fears for womens' safety and erupts into all the violence you see in his films; some focus on New York Ripper being made after his daughter's accident.

His two daughters, Fabio Frizzi and other associates are interviewed. Camilla Fulci is interviewed more than anyone else, talks about working with her dad and further film work, her death is noted in the credits.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:54 (one week ago) link

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