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 Film Thread VI 
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Corpses has more of a 90's video clip aesthetic than his other films, so no.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:40 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
It was the badly lit/shot chop-chop editing in particular that drove me nuts.

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:17 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
DAY #30

SLENDER MAN
(2018)

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At a party, just for shits and giggles, four teenage girls gather round a computer screen and via the traditional medium of Google and internet chat rooms, invoke the “Slender Man”, a creature of folklore who, when called into our world, steals children, kills them, or drives them insane by making them star in disappointingly bland horror films.

Obviously, this turns out to be a bad move and the creature picks off one of the girls during a school trip to a local cemetery. The remaining girls (and one of their sisters) try to find a way to persuade Slender Man to return their friend and bugger off back to his own world.

Obviously, obviously, it all goes horribly wrong and for the next hour or so we get girls stumbling around the woods and crying, some hiding in bedrooms, and more stumbling around the woods. There is one particularly effective scene inside a library, but even than consists of more stumbling about and crying.

Although undeserving of such a low mark on the Imdb (it currently sits on a mighty 3.1/10), Slender Man doesn't really have a lot going for it. There are a few scenes which promise genuine dread and tension but they always seem to go from being suspenseful to boring all too quickly. The acting is reasonable, and the special effects aren't too terrible, but everything about it screams bang average.
2.5 Fists

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Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:42 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Solaris wrote:
It was the badly lit/shot chop-chop editing in particular that drove me nuts.


I don't recall much bad lighting, but I can see why the editing bothered you. The Devil's Rejects is not edited that way.

Corpses has a bit of a kitchen sink vibe to it, perhaps because Zombie thought he'd never direct another film. This is partially why it's so disconnected.

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Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:25 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Rosemary's Baby.

First time I've seen this, not too bad IMO. Ironic that a character should get drugged and raped in a Polanski movie...

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Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Bit late, but DAY #31

HALLOWEEN
(1978)

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I'll never forget the day after I saw Halloween for the first time. I can't remember if it was the first time it had been shown on TV, or just that it had actually been shown at a reasonable time, but almost everyone else in my class at school had watched it the night before too, and they were all busy talking about it the following morning.

"It was shit", "not scary at all", "boring" and "I was laughing at it" were the most common opinions during the first half an hour while everyone was together in the form room. However, as the day went on I kept receiving furtive, whispering visitors at my table or desk.

"You're the horror fan. What did you think of Halloween?". I must have been asked that ten or fifteen times during the day, and my answer was always the same. "It scared the shit out of me". The responses I met with surprised me at first, but soon became amusingly predictable after only three or four times. "Don't tell anyone else, but it scared the shit out of me too". "Don't tell anyone else, but I had nightmares". "Don't tell anyone else but it was the scariest film I've ever seen". All variations on the same theme. To this day I'm sure those people still believe no-one else in the class/school thought it was scary, and that they were the only ones it succeeded in frightening.

Shot on a shoestring budget over 2000 miles away from it's fictitious Illinois location, and filmed in early spring as opposed to late October, Halloween still manages to completely capture the atmosphere of that time of year perfectly. Costumed trick-or-treaters run from door to door shouting and giggling, their voices echoing in the small town streets, jack-o-lanterns and other decorations are set in front of porches while Autumn leaves (actually nothing more than painted leaf-shaped paper) are blown by occasional gusts of wind as the late afternoon turns first to dusk and then to night-time. It's exactly how I picture October 31st whenever anyone mentions it.

Anyway, I'd say it's time to talk about the film itself now, but in all honesty what's the point? It's horror perfection. John Carpenter is a legend, Michael Myers is creepy as fuck, Donald Pleasence is a walking clenched fist (apart from one scene where he gets to show a never seen again playful side), and a naked PJ Soles gets killed by a bespectacled bed sheet.

It's awesome.
End of.

5 Fists.

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Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Strange Days (1995).

The first time I saw this was about twenty years ago, in the graveyard hours slot on some cable channel. All I thought was that Juliette Lewis was smoking hot, even though her tits were like two asprins on an ironing board. I still would, even to this day. Anyway, I watched it again yesterday.

Ralph Feinnes is a drug dealer - well, he deals in clips of peoples memories where the person watching them can also experience the sensations that the person who recorded the memories experienced. Or something like that, there's quite a bit of technobabble. Anyway, it's set in the last two days of 1999, L.A is looking like it's about to go off at any minute (I'm guessing a lot of Rodney King/O.J Simpson trial paranoia was still hanging around during the film's writing and overall creation) and everyone is also preparing for 2K paranoia. Upon receiving a clip of a prostitute being raped and murdered (done from the rapists POV which caused a bit of controversy from what I remember, but no worse than the rape scenes in The Accused, Straw Dogs, The Entity, Casualties Of War or the uncut versions of Hollow Man and the original I Spit On Your Grave). He then ends up in a bit of a conspiracy involving the murder of a political rapper and the ensuring cover-up. With a bit of help from Tina Turner (well, Angela Bassett) he manages to sort stuff out. Michael Wincott also shows up with his trademark gravelly voice.

Not too bad a film, parts of which you'd think would still strike a chord today, mainly with the bits about police brutality. Some people have described it as on par with Blade Runner - I'd not go that far but as a piece of cyberpunk cinema with a decent soundtrack (Prong covering 'Strange Days' by The Doors is a highlight') then it'll kill an hour or two.

The movie: Four Fists.
The soundtrack: Three Fists.
Juliette Lewis: Five Knuckle Shuffle.

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Last edited by Triggmartyr on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:43 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
DEATH HOUSE
(2018)

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Billed as "The Expendables of Horror", Death House features appearances by many of the genre's more (and often less) recognisable faces but offers absolutely nothing in the way of sense, story or style. Sat on the shelf for a year now, Death House is a mess. A confused and disjointed hodgepodge of barely formed and ill-defined ideas.

Opening with Tony (Candyman) Todd smearing some sort of black goo over a girl and then inserting his fingers into her stomach but not actually hurting her, you never actually find out who he is, who the girl is, what the oily stuff is or what it can do, why there's a tap in the middle of a desert, what "The Farm" is, or basically anything. It's like they hired Todd for the film but hadn't decided on the story yet, so filmed something completely different and just hoped it would tie in somewhere. It didn't.

Two special agents of an unspecified variety are given a tour of the Death House - a virtual prison where murderers and rapists are kept drugged and living inside dreams of their own psychoses or something. The agents themselves are no angels, both having killed innocent people to exact revenge on someone who had hurt them in some way before being rewarded with their current assignment. Or did they? Considering the doctors at the Death House love to keep repeating the "we erase people's minds and turn them into something good" line over and over again, it begins to look like the two agents could indeed be former prisoners. And while that is hinted at later, the idea remains unexplored and pretty much forgotten about until the final scene. Where it still isn't explained.

With nine levels (like the nine circles of Hell), the Death House gets progressively worse the further down you go until you finally reach the basement level. This lovely room is occupied by "The Five Evils" - five inmates who may or may not be visions, immortal, or Gods. Or all of the above or none of the above. Either way, after all the build-up and when the time comes to actually meet them, all they actually do is spout metaphysical and theological nonsense for nearly ten minutes and serve no real purpose other than to confuse the story even further.

Anyway, the two agents fight their way through the facility coming up against three nutters who all think they're Satan, some unexplained skinless inmates, Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th Parts VII-X) playing an inmate who could be magical or immortal, and a selection box of other nasty things until they reach the aforementioned Five Evils. They then proceed to have a chat about life, the universe, good, evil, and everything, before buggering off to await the currently-in-production prequel.

On the plus side, Death House is gory, bloody and nasty, but it's also really badly acted, has a virtually indecipherable story, and is extremely badly shot, with so much action happening in the dark that you can barely make out what's actually going on. Sure, there are loads of cameos, but there's only so much "that's him/her out of..." you can do before it becomes distracting to the point of irritating. Especially when many of them are only given walk-on parts with nothing to do or say.

However, all that aside, it does feature a brilliantly gratuitous five minute shower scene with the lovely Cortney Palm. So there's always that.

2 Fists

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
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Last edited by blacklorre on Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:41 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
SUSPIRIA
(2018)

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Ever since around 1987 when I first saw Phenomena (or Creepers as it was known back then in its heavily abridged format) - a film which featured a chimpanzee with a straight razor, and Jennifer Connelly talking to insects – I've been a fan of Italian director Dario Argento. With films like Deep Red, Inferno, and Tenebrae, his use of lighting and camera really is a sight to behold. Acting ability and coherent storytelling are virtually irrelevant to Argento as his movies are all about atmosphere. And none more so than in 1977's Suspiria – the film many see as his masterpiece.

A simple enough story about an American girl who discovers her Berlin ballet school is run by witches, Suspiria wasn't about plot or characters, it was about creating memorable death scenes and an overwhelming sense of dread, its lurid green, blue and red lighting, and overwhelming music score performed by Goblin adding to the general sense of unease and claustrophobia.

In complete contrast to the original, the 2018 remake features muted, subdued colours, long drawn out silences, and an understated music score by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Shots of fields, pale stone walls and grey skies replace the gaudy colours of the original, and a few pullbacks, crane shots, and 1970s style zooms aside, there's little in the way of creative camera work.

Although it does feature a more cohesive storyline this time, its two and a half hour running time could have definitely have done with some trimming. The acting varies from the intense Tilda (Doctor Strange) Swinton to the decent Dakota (Fifty Shades) Johnson, and an almost incoherent Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), to a supporting cast who appear to be just out of an actual dance school rather than acting classes. In fact, as much time is spent on dance practice and rehearsals as the witches themselves.

While at no point does the remake outdo the original, it's certainly no catastrophe either, holding its own as an art-house piece very well, and rather ironically, only losing itself during the completely surreal and fucked up satanic dance ritual towards the end, when all of a sudden the director decides Dario knew best after all and bathes the screen in vivid blues and reds.

The polar opposite of the original for the most part, Suspiria 2018 is a slow moving, methodically shot film with good performances and a couple of excellent death scenes, but a little too much fat around the edges. Nowhere near as memorable as the original but still a unique and occasionally baffling experience.

4 Fists

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Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:30 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I watched it myself last night.

For the most part I enjoyed it. I actually felt like the story of it made a lot more sense in this version, and I liked the power given to the dance and the movement.

What I didn't like was the CGI exploding head head fest of the last 20 minutes. It just completely killed my immersion. Like.. I can believe that they are witches and that the dance has power and meaning. It's far fetched, but it's tangible. As soon as we went to CGI and the woman in the body suit it just lost me.

I also felt like they gave far too much time to the politics both with the hostage situation and the nazi guilt stuff. Maybe I'm missing the bigger picture and there's a glaringly obvious analogy that passed me by, but I don't feel like it added anything. Which in a two and a half hour run time is problematic.

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Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I agree Anni. The ending portion just seemed to forego the type of tension and unease that the rest of the film did so well.

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Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:41 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
it looks like it's trying way too hard to be arty in a generic and sterile way. 2.5 hours too!

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Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Cardboard Gangsters.

Another retelling of an atypical crime story - young up-and-comer starts selling drugs round his area and makes moves to get a bigger slice of the action, which does down like a fart in church with the local Mr Big. Pretty soon, the money and women are rolling in (one of them is the wife of Mr Big) and it looks like the good times will never end - of course, they come to an end in a typically gory and violent fashion. It's quite an old premise and has been done to death but what sets this one apart is - it takes place in Eire. The actors are all excellent and whilst the film won't win any originality points, it'll keep you entertained until the next gangster movie.

4 Fists.

Freejack.

Like Strange Days, the last time I saw this was over twenty years ago on the graveyard shift of some cable TV channel. It's the story of a dystopian future (aren't they all?) in which the 1% are able to prolong their lives by transplanting their minds into younger, more youthful bodies. This is done by enlisting mercenaries who search time for young people who are about to die in an accident, then transport them into the future to begin the transplant. It turns out the reason they don't use future young people is because the enviroment is too polluted at this point, and this has an effect on everyone so going through time and space like it's a Woolies pick 'n' mix for young bodies is the order of the day. Anyway, Emilio Estavez is the unlucky body donor in this, having been plucked out of his time before dying in a race-car crash as the head of a conglomerate is dying and wants his body. After escaping, Estavez learns his wife is now the right-hand of this head and the two of them are on the run from the authorities, who are lead by a rather bored-looking Mick Jagger who displays as much acting ability as he does restraint around super models. This film got fucking hammered critically back in the day, and seems to be a footnote in crazy-batshit-90's sci-fi that started with Total Recall. IMO, it's not too bad entertainment if it's taken as what it is - a B Movie with A-Listers. Anthony Hopkins is in it as well.

3 Fists

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Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Estevez was never an A-lister mate ;)

I recall Freejack being complete shit, but I've wanted to revisit it for a while now.

Thanks for reminding me.

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Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:09 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Stat_Rad wrote:
Estevez was never an A-lister mate ;)

I recall Freejack being complete shit, but I've wanted to revisit it for a while now.

Thanks for reminding me.


Wasn't he? I thought he was mostly due to his work with The Brat Pack.

Don't expect anything beyond a glorified B-movie and you'll be fine :D

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Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I'm expecting a glorified C movie, but thanks for the tip ;)

My impression of Estevez is that he rolled with A-listers but never actually became one himself. It was more of an association type deal.

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Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:38 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I'd have said he was borderline at worst, I mean the brat pack were hot at the time.

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs - hit & miss, as you'd expect, good overall. Great cast, none underused, and it's just as Coen-y as you'd expect. Looks fantastic too.

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Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:06 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
An A lister is big enough to open films. Estevez was never that. All of his hits were ensemble pieces.

The so called 'brat pack' were hot for about 15 mins in the 80's.

If Estevez really was an A-lister, it was for about 5 mins in 1988. You probably think he was bigger than he actually was because we were kids and he was cool for a minute. We were part of his target demographic. Steve Guttenberg was a bigger draw in the 80's than Estevez mate! :)

80's A-listers: Stallone, Cruise, Nicholson etc

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Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:41 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Have to agree with Stat's assessment of Estevez. Great in ensemble movies like Young Guns, Brat Pack stuff, and shared billing films like Loaded Weapon (even with a still relatively unknown Samuel L Jackson) and Stakeout, but films where he was the main draw were of a much lower quality - Maximum Overdrive (which I like, obvs), and Freejack being about the biggest. He was excellent in Repo Man, but that was early in his career and very much a cult film.
He was the big name for The Mighty Ducks, but even then he played second fiddle to the kids.

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