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 Film Thread VI 
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
The reviews have been surprisingly positive, even from mainstream critics.

Good word of mouth = big opening weekend.

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Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:34 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
DAY #19

HALLOWEEN
(2018)
*SPOILER FREE REVIEW*

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Set forty years after the original, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives on her own, partially estranged from her family in a house filled with secret hidey-holes and security devices, paranoiacally preparing for killer Michael Myers to return. A British couple wanting interviews for a podcast show up at the hospital to interview the perma-silent killer, and then visit Laurie, but neither give them anything they can use. During a prison transfer, Myers inevitably escapes and heads back to Haddonfield to carry on where he left off forty years ago.

Completely ignoring every last sequel, reboot and remake, this latest addition to the series is easily one of the best. Managing to be scary, funny, and even sympathetic, there are little references and cheeky callbacks to the previous films scattered throughout (Hey, Mr Elrod), and John Carpenter's return as the film's musical co-composer helps no end.

Although not especially bloody for any length of time, there are certainly a few moments of gore and brutality among the fairly large body count, but like the original, this one goes more for atmosphere than splatter with a healthy amount of effective, and often fun, BOO! scares thrown in for good measure. There's also a surprising amount of screen time given to Myers unmasked face. Sometimes out of focus, sometimes out of shot, but you still see enough to know that he's in his sixties now and not a spring chicken any more.

Where Halloween 2018 falls down is with its slightly lengthier than necessary running time, slightly lop-sided structure and some of its characters. With so much careful build up during the first forty-five minutes, the rest of film – although never actually feeling rushed – certainly seems geared towards getting to the climax with as little fuss as possible, sometimes to its detriment. And although I'm willing to accept it's what the director might have been aiming for, some of the murders almost seem to be routine and by-the-by rather than suspenseful or shocking. That said, there are still more than a couple of excellent murder sequences to enjoy.

While the main set of characters, from Laurie down to the town Sheriff (Will Patton), are all well drawn, things get wobbly with the supporting cast, one of whom isn't the slightest bit necessary in any way and quickly becomes an irritating distraction. The journalists, so heavily featured in the opening half an hour, are left with their story feeling a little incomplete, and another interesting character does something you might not expect, but instead of exploring the idea in more detail, things just sort of drift off without an interesting resolution.

Overall though, all of those faults can all be seen as minor flaws in an otherwise superb slasher movie which manages to pay homage to the past, while being able to stay relevant without the need to go all meta and post-modern.

Horror films, maybe more than most, tend to be judged on their final battles, and Halloween 2018 leaves you with a superbly directed finale. Although, if you abide by the TV/movie rule of “if you don't see the body" and stay until after the credits...

4 Fists

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Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:59 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I'm guessing that Strode comes across as less of a crazy cat lady in the film than in the trailer? i.e there is more psychological grounding for her behaviour?

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Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:48 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Not really crazy cat lady. More like an older version of Linda Hamilton in T2 but with less sweat.

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Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
DAY #20


ROCKTOBER BLOOD
(1984)

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Encouraging teenage rebellion and creating parental terror, horror films and heavy metal were perfect bedfellows in the paranoid 1980s. Disappointingly, the two subjects only intersected a handful of times, and only once with marginally better than expected results. Films like Black Roses, Rock'n'Roll Nightmare, Hard Rock Zombies, and Terror on Tour all tried their hardest and succeeded at different levels (okay, not Terror on Tour – that was just rubbish), but it was only Trick or Treat featuring Gene Simmons of Kiss that really seemed to have a grip on its subject matter. In fairness, Rocktober Blood knew what it wanted to do but it just didn't have a clue how to go about it.

The singer in a heavy metal band goes a bit mental and kills some members of his own band and some really desperate actors. Flashing forward two years, we find that the singer has been executed and that his backing singer/possible girlfriend has taken over the band. At the album launch party, it seems that the murdery singer has risen from the grave, but something far less interesting is afoot.

People are chased, people are stabbed, people act directly into the camera, boobs and bums are displayed, fake knives are run across throats, and a couple of surprisingly catchy (although clearly dated) '80s metal songs are mimed dreadfully by quite probably the worst actor to ever play a lead villain. Playing the band's manager as well as the singing voice of the terrible miming killer frontman, is actual, bonafide rock vocalist/guitarist Nigel Benjamin. Having recorded with Mott the Hoople (after Ian Hunter left and they were simply called 'Mott'), he was also in 'London' for a while, the band which included future Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. All the songs used in the film were written and performed by Benjamin and a band called Sorcery, and if you like dated '80s hair metal as much as I do, then there's a lot of fun to be had on the soundtrack alone.

If it wasn't for the decapitations, mutilations, and lines like “I want your hot, steaming pussy blood all over my face”, Rocktober Blood would actually be quite charming in its own way. Instead, it tries way too hard too be nasty, which wouldn't be so bad if the murderer was able to pull off anything even close to approximating acting, but as it is, I defy anyone to listen to his attempted evil chuckle without laughing themselves silly.

2 Fists

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Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:58 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
DAY 22

CELLAR DWELLER
(1988)

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Aspiring cartoonist Whitney Taylor (Debrah Farentino) takes herself off to an artist's retreat in the middle of the woods to work on her next project. Trying to recreate a comic based on the work of famous artist Colin Childress (Re-animator and From Beyond's Jeffrey Combs not even making it out of the opening prologue this time), she meets up with a bunch of assorted artists, either arguing with them or making friends with them. Sometimes both. It really doesn't matter.

Drawing a vicious monster as her comic strip's villain has unexpected consequences for Whitney, because as shown in the film's prologue, Jeffrey Combs did the exact same thing years ago and accidentally brought the creature to life. So, after Whitney repeats history, she has to figure out a way of killing the monster - which as we've already seen during the prologue – involves burning the original drawings.

A simple story told reasonably well by a fairly competent director (Friday the 13th Part VII's John Carl Beuchler) and some bad actors including (an aged) Lily Munster herself, Yvonne De Carlo, Cellar Dweller is 75mins of silly horror fun with some decent monster effects, a surprising amount of blood and gore, a small but perfectly packaged pair of boobs, and to my knowledge, the only film which features a monster bested by correction fluid.

2.5 Fists

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Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:30 pm
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DAY #23

BARRACUDA
(1978)

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There's a line in Jaws where Mayor Vaughn says to Chief Brody, "You yell Barracuda, everyone says 'huh, what?'". Well, that line pretty much sums up the entire first half of '70s fishy flick, Barracuda.

After an opening sequence which could have been lifted from Spielberg's classic itself, we find that divers in the sea off Palm Cove (pop. 4000 and steadily decreasing) are being eaten by rubber fish/dead fish/stock footage of fish. There's lots and lots of thrashing around underwater as fake hands get bitten off, bottoms are munched, and an unhealthy amount of red dye gets released into the ocean.

We soon find that the town, as is not unusual in 1970's animal horror movies, has an evil chemical plant with an evil boss who controls the fortunes of the town due to the amount of locals he employs. His dimwitted son, Bubba, is of practically no use as a thug, of even less use as a character in general, and the chap who plays him is of absolutely no use as an actor. And because of that, Bubba will not be appearing in this review again.

A scientist and the local Sheriff begin looking into the recent deaths of all these extras and overly optimistic actors, and discover that (shock, horror) the chemical plant is the cause of the recent and unnatural aggressive piscine behaviour. So, as soon as we get the blindingly obvious love story between the scientist and the Sheriff's daughter out of the way, the story actually gets interesting.

If you'd told me beforehand that a film about killer fish would completely end its interest in showing said fish halfway into the film, then I probably wouldn't have even started watching it in the first place. However, as soon as scientists start sciencing and Sheriffs start sheriffing, the story jerks quickly away from earlier Jaws comparisons and begins new life as a government conspiracy film with an ecological message it likes to club into your head every time it gets the chance. Which is a lot.

The strange thing is though, despite its heavy handed message, bad acting, laughable continuity, invisible gunshot wounds, the least accidental drinks spillage ever, and the dimmest deputy in police history who suggests that the diver who disappeared just a few hours ago, and whose head has just been found, savagely chewed on the beach, "maybe just drowned", it's actually quite enjoyable. The science is just the right side of silly, the acting actually improves (slightly) as the film progresses, and there's a nice amount of government paranoia and shady characters thrown in. Not to mention the ending, which is way more downbeat than you would ever imagine.

"It's the government. They'll control us all one day!"
2.5 Fists

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Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:48 pm
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DAY #24

RIARU ONIGOKKU
aka TAG
(2015)

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A few weeks ago, I discovered an odd little Japanese movie called Jisatsu Sâkuru (Suicide Club) from 2001. An incredibly strange film full of the paranormal, metaphysical and theological as well as bucketloads of gore, I decided to see if the director had gone on to do anything else since.

Well he had, and Tag was the one of the titles which stuck out the most so I slung it on and gave it a go. Although a completely different premise, Tag goes down the exact same road as Suicide Club – a great idea that doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts and hurts your head in the process.

Opening with two school buses filled with giggly Japanese schoolgirls in short, frilly skirts, one of the girls drops her pen on the floor and as she bends down to pick it up, everybody else is cut in half by the wind. Yup. One moment, everyone's giggling and laughing and talking about boys, and the next the buses are filled with bodies bisected at the waist, spurting gouts of fake blood.

Escaping the razor sharp wind, the surviving schoolgirl, Mitsuko, finds her way to a nearby lake, strips off all her blood spattered clothes and takes some from one of several dead girls lying around the vicinity. Getting to school, she somehow completely forgets about the entire incident and quickly bunks off school with three friends, each of them as giggly and short-skirted as herself. After a strange talk about parallel dimensions and multiverses, the girls return to school just in time for their teacher to mow everyone in the class down with a massive machine gun. All the teachers join in, hunting the schoolkids as they run away with their short skirts deliberately revealing their underwear (seriously, Japan, why?) and firing rocket launchers at them as the kids try to escape.

Then all of a sudden Mitsuko isn't Mitsuko any more. She's now Keiko. She has a completely different face, and she's getting married. One of her friends from school reappears, telling her that they're being watched by someone, and the wedding begins. All is fine until she gets halfway down the aisle when all her friends and guests, happy just a moment ago, now all start pelting her with stuff and screaming abuse at her. By the time she reaches her husband to be - a man in a coffin wearing a suit and a scary as fuck pig's head – Mistuko/Keiko decides it's time to leave. But not before her friend starts snapping the guests necks, legs and arms in two, and stabbing them in the head. As you do.

Running from the church, Mitsuko/Keiko is now a long distance runner called Izumi and she soon gets attacked by another angry crowd. Mitsuko/Keiko/Izumi escapes into the mountains where her friend from earlier, Aki, tells M/K/I she is part of a fictional world and has to kill her if she wants to get out. After pulling some cables out of Aki's wrists, Aki is pulled apart and a portal opens up which M/K/I walks through into a place called “Mens World” where it turns out she is actually the main character in a violent video game.

From then on, things get a little peculiar.

After fainting, she wakes up in a temple and it appears we're actually 150 years into the future. An old beardy man tells M/K/I she is a girl he liked at school and when she died, he took her – and her friends - DNA to make a 3D computer game. Because that's how computer games work, obviously. A younger version of himself gets onto a bed and tells her to sleep with him because it's the ultimate fulfilment of his destiny or something. She attacks him and kills him, then realises the only way out is to kill herself. So, all three versions of themselves do just that, and the film ends just as my brain waves a little white flag.

Although clearly bonkers, there are also many messages, metaphors, and meanings hidden among the absurdity. Some clear, some not so clear, and some which probably require you to grab a spoon, scoop out some of director Sion Sono's brain, and taste his insanity. Better, certainly more memorable, and yet somehow easier to follow than Suicide Club, stupidly gory with some hilariously inept gore effects, Tag is yet another film to prove the Japanese need a nice and cosy special ward all of their own.

3.5 Fists

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Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
seeing the new Halloween tonight

going in with high expectations

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Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I never go into anything with high expectations these days.
I want things to be good, I hope things will be good, but I've been burned that many times, I'm just happy if things aren't utterly shit most of the time.


DAY #24

HALLOWEEN H20
(1998)

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Completely ignoring movies 3-6, Halloween H20, as the title suggests, begins twenty years after the events of Halloween 1978. Now a divorced mother living under an assumed identity, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is the paranoid, alcoholic headmistress of a secluded private school in California (obviously, exclusive schools were crying out for paranoid alcoholics at the time). Josh Hartnett's bad haircut (The Faculty) plays her son, and Michelle Williams (Species, Venom) plays his puffy-faced, fluffy-haired, but not altogether unattractive love interest.

Having discovered Laurie's new identity and location, Michael kills the nurse from original movie and a teenage Joseph Gordon-Levitt and heads to the school for a spot of 20th anniversary slaughter, doing so with suspiciously young looking hands and apparently without any of the burns he would have sustained at the end of Halloween 2.

Despite its problems, H20 is a definite return to form for the series, with the suspense scenes and the final confrontation handled well by veteran horror director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Parts 2 & 3). Managing to be scary and occasionally funny, this entry also succeeds in making Laurie a lot more interesting than the crying, screamy thing last seen wearing a bad wig in (the still far superior) Halloween II. The supporting cast do their jobs to the level required (although Adam Arkin's death scene is unintentionally funny, and LL Cool J only just manages to stay the right side of irritating), and there's even time for some neat little references to the original as well as a sly wink or three to Psycho.

3 fists

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DAY #26

HALLOWEEN III - SEASON OF THE WITCH
(1982)

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Delivering a successful third instalment after two successful horror hits was always going to be a tricky prospect, especially when John Carpenter and Debra Hill (Carpenter's co-writer/producer on many movies) only agreed to produce a second sequel if the story had nothing to do with Michael Myers.

Leaving Myers with nothing more than a brief TV appearance and only using Jamie Lee Curtis as the voice of a telephone operator, the studio moved away from the slasher genre altogether, concocting a story about an evil toy-maker who wants to kill all the kids in America by using magic Halloween masks, new-fangled computers and stolen bits of Stonehenge. Many fans of the first two films were left bitterly disappointed, with this instalment being remembered mostly as "the one with that annoying song" (referring to the "Eight more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock" song which plays at least once every five minutes).

In truth, Halloween III is in no way a bad film. It's just very, very different to what people were expecting. The acting is fine, the story is original, it's just as gory as any of the other entries, the Alan Howarth/John Carpenter score is nicely atmospheric, and like the original, the whole thing actually feels like Halloween.

3.5 Fists

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Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:58 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Spiny Norman wrote:
DAY #26The acting is fine


:shock:

I'd give it a 3 personally. Definitely isn't terrible.

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:48 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Never had the attention span before to watch 2 1/2 hour epics but recently watched The Aviator & The Pianist.


Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:39 pm
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DAY #27

HALLOWEEN
(2007)

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Rob Zombie's remake has come in for a lot of abuse over the years. Some of it justified, but most of it not. The first part of the movie - the origins of Michael - although an interesting enough take on the established mythology, simply isn't required. At all. The whole point of Michael Myers is that he came from a perfectly normal suburban family. If there was a reason why he decided to butcher his sister that Halloween night in 1963, we weren't privy to it. We didn't need to be. He just did it.

Everything we needed to know about Michael in the original was explained perfectly by the relentless paranoid rantings of the obsessed Dr. Loomis. Yet in this version, for some reason Zombie wants us to get to know Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) as a trendy, hip psychiatrist first. As well put together as the first half may have been, young Loomis, and the dreadful trailer trash background given to Michael was all just way too Rob Zombie.

That said, from the moment the story moves into the present, Zombie's Halloween becomes an entirely different beast. Forget the lame-brained escape from the mental asylum (the deleted scene where he kills four security guards is so much better) and just concentrate on the suspense and scares. And there, Zombie nails it as iconic shots from the original are reworked by using different characters or locations. The violence is brutal and shocking, but still feels more in tune with the original than most of the other films, and Zombie's love of the original is clear with his almost OCD-like attention to detail. For example, the Rabbit In Red Lounge where Michael's mother (Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon) works as a pole dancer, is actually taken from the red matchbook that Nurse Chambers leaves on Loomis's car seat when Michael makes his escape in the original movie.

There are many other little nods to the original as the film goes on, but never anything to distract you from what the unnecessarily hairy director is trying to achieve. And as flawed as his version of Halloween might be, he does manage to create some of the best suspense-filled sequences since the first two films.

In fact, once it gets going (which admittedly is far too long), Halloween becomes one of the best, most underrated remakes out there. Even if it simply delivers everything you expect it to. More blood, more violence, more boobies, and more '70s rock, punk and metal on the soundtrack.

3.5 Fists

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Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
^^I watched it a few months ago and completely disagree with that assessment. I much prefer the second one he made. It's more original/distinctive and there is a sense that Myers stands for something more. The killings are also more brutal.

I gave it 5/10 and had this to say:

"Zombie's remake of Carpenter's classic is a textbook example of why horror remakes are ultimately redundant and highlights the folly of attempting to delve deeper into the psychology of boogeymen. As others have noted, the backstory lays waste to the mystery, while the second half is a pointless retread of the original. Zombie also demonstrates the blatant inferiority of modern filming methods: his shaky camera isn't a match for Carpenter's spartan style, and his Myers is absurdly strong"

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Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:40 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
With regards to the first part about H2 being better, and with the greatest of respect, no. :lol: :lol:

The second one is absolute shite.
He reduces the best segment of the film (with one of my favourite murder scenes in the entire series) to being nothing but a pointless fucking (half an hour!) dream sequence, he inexplicably retcons Loomis to being a money grabbing opportunist cunt, and don't even get me started on Sheri moon and that fucking white horse bollocks.
It's toss.
His first attempt, although obviously flawed, is still a hundred times better than H2.


Anyway, more shit here.

DAY #28

HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION
(2002)

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If you remember, at the end of Halloween H20, Michael's head decided it was time to go solo and rolled off into the trees to seek its fortune. Or so we were led to believe.

Yes, in the first of many stupid and inconceivable moves, we're now expected to believe that while half of the LAPD were rooting around the school grounds, Michael was left on his own with a single paramedic with just the right amount of time to be able to crush his larynx and swap clothes without being noticed. All this somehow meaning the body in the back of the ambulance who Laurie eventually killed at the end of H20 wasn't actually Michael at all, but the paramedic.
Er. yeah. Okay.

Anyway, it's three years later and a now long haired Laurie is living in a mental asylum. Fifteen minutes later, Michael has found her, chased her and killed her in the cheapest way since Alice's murder at the beginning of Friday the 13th Part 2, before heading back to his old stamping ground where it just so happens a reality TV show is being filmed in his old house. What an amazing, and not at all shit coincidence.

Busta Rhymes is laughably bad as the reality show's presenter, Tyra Banks does nothing of any interest apart from get killed, some kids run around the old house getting naked and murdered, some other kids watch the whole thing on a computer, and a pre-Battlestar Galactica Katee Sackhoff turns up with her name spelt incorrectly in the title credits, but somehow correctly at the end.

An absolute shambles from beginning to end, and the mask looks shit too.
Go away.

1.5 Fists

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Spiny Norman wrote:
With regards to the first part about H2 being better, and with the greatest of respect, no. :lol: :lol:

The second one is absolute shite.
He reduces the best segment of the film (with one of my favourite murder scenes in the entire series) to being nothing but a pointless fucking (half an hour!) dream sequence, he inexplicably retcons Loomis to being a money grabbing opportunist cunt, and don't even get me started on Sheri moon and that fucking white horse bollocks.
It's toss.
His first attempt, although obviously flawed, is still a hundred times better than H2.


The Dr.Loomis story isn't well integrated into the main narrative either, but stylistically it's more distinctive than his bullshit remake. It also has more going in terms of themes etc. Similar to what the new film is apparently like. i.e trauma, post-trauma etc

The Devil's Rejects: Rewatch. First watch since 2005. Pretty good. Zombie's dialogue is decent and Haig and Moseley own the shit out of their roles. Sheri Moon is less annoying than usual here becauss she is part of a real ensemble. Forsythe also gets a rare chance to shine. On the downside, Easterbrook was a questionable replacement for Black, and the 3rd act drags major ass. It's also a pretty pointless film ultimately. Still Zombie's best work as a director though. 6.5/10

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I like TDR a bit more than you but definitely agree it's his best film to date.


And still (sort of) on a Rob Zombie theme...



DAY #29
(Don't worry, only another two days of this nonsense to go)

WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS
(1971)

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If I learned anything from Werewolves on Wheels (surely a contender for the best film title ever) is that being a biker in the early 1970s was clearly HILARIOUS. When the gang aren't beating up rednecks, stealing gas, or having dusty, greasy sex with each other, they pass the time by laughing at absolutely everything everywhere. Look, a gas pump! HA HA HA!! Hey, a tree! HAAAAAA!!! Beer!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! SATANISTS IN ROBES!!! WOOOOO!! HAHAHAHA!
And so on and so forth.

After stumbling across a satanic cult holed up in a suitably EVIL CHURCH, the cult send the bikers to sleep using drugged bread and wine, but not before possessing one of the female members and turning her into a werewolf.

Next morning the gang walk into the EVIL CHURCH, beat up all the satanists, and are all quickly giggling and guffawing like children again. However, the laughter finally stops when they discover two of their friends have been savaged by something bitey.

Soon enough though, everyone's laughing again. Well, everyone with the exception of their hippiest member, Tarot. See, Tarot's figured out something's not quite right and in some wonderful 1970s hippy-speak, tries to warn their leader, Adam, about it: "That was no accident. It was heavy. Somebody's controlling the vibes".
[translation needed]

Adam's having none of it though and the laughter quickly turns to fisticuffs. Fisticuffs turn into a serious kicking, and then a serious kicking quickly escalates into a fireside werewolf battle before the remaining gang members decide to go back to the EVIL CHURCH and kill the cultists.

ONLY THE CULTISTS ARE ACTUALLY THEMSELVES. Fuck it. It was the '70s. Hallucinogenic drugs were in plentiful supply and endings to Bikersploitaiton films really didn't have to make any sense.

Although severely dated, Werewolves on Wheels is a great little movie, especially with all the werewolves, boobs, and sexy naked snake dancing. It also has the distinction of featuring quite possibly the funniest Satanic ritual ever filmed. After killing a cat and doodling something in blood, cult leader "One" (Severn Darden from Battle for the/Conquest of the Planet of the Apes), ad-libs the ritual like a fucking boss, mumbling something along the lines of "rabadabadabadadamabarambarambararararabbabadada" and just hoping for the best. The thing is, being the early '70s, he probably got away with it.

The soundtrack is excellent, some moody guitar based country for the title theme with a couple of other similar tracks along the way. And whether it's a recommendation or not, Rob Zombie clearly loves this film so much that he used a line of dialogue at the start of his song, Sick Bubblegum.

"Hey, we all know how we're gonna die, baby. We're gonna crash and burn".
3 Fists

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Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:07 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Spiny Norman wrote:
I like TDR a bit more than you but definitely agree it's his best film to date.


Perhaps my score is low. I'd say it's the only film of his that hangs together like an actual film though and not just a collection of cool set pieces.

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
The only Rob Zombie movie I've seen is House Of 1,000 Corpses and I hated every second of it. Are any of his subsequent movies any better, is that indicative of his style in general? I've been curious about his Halloween movies but if they're in the same style then fuck that from a height.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:52 am
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