Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Mummy (1959)

And here we are, at the end of another horror filled month of reviews. And how better to end where we began?

The Mummy, one of Hammer's finest movies combining the best elements from all previous Mummy movies before it, specifically the Universal Mummy movies into one excellent film. The plot is very similar to the Boris Karloff Mummy movie, explorers discover the tomb of an Egyptian princess Ananka which is percieved by protectors of the tomb as sacrilege so they ressurect her high priest Kharis played by Christopher Lee to seek vengeance on those who raided her resting place. Peter Cushing plays the son of one of the explorers, and must stop the ancient Mummy from spilling more blood. This movie, Curse Of Frankenstein, and Horror Of Dracula are the prime examples of Hammer horror and must be seen by any horror fan. The sets are excellent, the acting is fantastic and played by the best actors Britain had to offer, the story is timeless though set near the beginning of the 20th century, and I don't think I need to say this is the greatest Mummy movie ever made. Peter Cushing is a brilliant lead that plays the part with great conviction and style, while Christopher Lee though a mere pawn in the game has such emotion purely through his eyes and you feel immense sympathy for his character. The bits of action are quite good too, fully taking advantage of the set pieces and are there to progress the story but are great spectacle too. It even has a bit of romance in it, which is a common theme with the more classic monsters, the monster seeks a young woman to have and to hold till death do they part. Such emotion is severely lacking in modern horror movies today, you can feel a wide range of emotion other than just fear and shock, which is what sets classic horror so high in the eyes of this humble reviewer. The Mummy is a first rate thriller, deserving of every ounce of praise it gathered after the almost 60 years since it first hit theaters.

Thank you for joining me this month and I sincerely hope you find great enjoyment in these films, as I did. It's always such a joy to discuss horror movies this most wonderful time of the year. Oh, and.....Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell

The monster from hell? Looks like hell!

So the last of the Hammer Frankenstein movies, and to tell you the truth it does end very underwhelming but it's by no means bad. Frankenstein is now in an insane asylum continuing his experiments by putting the brain of a genius into quite possibly the worst designed Frankenstein monster in history, and that's including Frankenhooker, Blackenstein, and the monster from Evil Of Frankenstein. Dear sweet lord, it looks like an ape from a zoo. Like what the frak?? The monster is played by David Prowse who played the monster in another Hammer Frankenstein movie that did not star Peter Cushing so that's why we didn't talk about that, and to think not even 4 years after this movie came out both Peter Cushing and David Prowse were in control of the Death Star. And that's awesome! But anywho, for the last in a series it's by no means a masterpiece but I love the look and feel to it. The asylum is a dark, grim, and depressing setting for macabre experimentations, with the camera focusing on every gruesome detail, it's a slower paced movie, and Peter Cushing was very tired and frail, this being not very long after the death of his wife Helen but he continued on giving another very good performance though very routine for this role and honestly he was playing the role since 1957, this final movie came out in 1973, when you play the same role for almost 20 years you can bring a lot to it, but I have to agree it was a good thing Hammer ended the series with this. Watching all these Hammer Frankenstein movies, you can appreciate the new ground they broke with Curse Of Frankenstein ushering a new age of color horror movies, with it constantly pushing boundaries and giving the same stamp of quality every time. Whether it's Dracula, Frankenstein, or other Hammer films you always get an interesting chapter in horror history and can always enjoy them even after 60 years since its inception. It was a lot of fun and very interesting to watch all these movies, and really did remind me why I love Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing so much and adore them as actors and human beings. And I got to tell you, I was feeling real down in the dumps, just wanted to shut the lights off, close the door and lock it behind me, and just leave it all then I sat down and watched the Hammer Dracula movies and felt instantly better. So the next time you feel depressed, watch Christopher Lee bite the necks of luscious young women, and Peter Cushing create a monster. It'll make the day better.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Well that's an over the top title isn't it?

I don't know, I kinda feel split on this. It's a very good movie but it has some glaring problems, so we will have to deliberate on this. So Frankenstein has abandoned soul transfers and back to good ol' brain transplants, but he needs research from another doctor on how to preserve a brain for prolonged periods of time after his previous lab is discovered. What's interesting about these movies is that there's not really a monster in every installment, where Frankenstein creates a new monster every time, you can without a doubt do a character study and maybe even a character arc throughout these 6 movies which I find very fascinating. I actually prefer the idea of following the good doctor than his creations, cause that's what the novel was really about, it was about Victor and his changing character from beginning to end. Peter Cushing is at one of his highlights in this movie, always in control, having a brilliant scene where he puts four posh idiots in their place, and in some scenes you fully understand why Peter Cushing was called the gentleman of horror, he's very charming and kind even though you know the terrible things he has done in the past 5 movies. But....oh Jesus, there's no way I can get around this. So I'll just say it, there's a scene where Frankenstein rapes a young woman. Everybody, and I do mean everybody from the actors, to the director, to the writers were against it. It wasn't even in the damn script! But apparently the executive producer wanted it to sex up the movie. Sex it up??! It's not sexy or erotic, it's friggin' horrifying and terrible!! What in the name of all things good and holy was he thinking? Now I know this series took the character and made him more unsympathetic, not caring about killing people and feeling no remorse towards his work, but this took it way to far. Peter Cushing kept apologizing to Veronica Carlson because of the scene, and if I was there I honestly would have told the executive producer that shooting would cease and the movie would not be made until the idea for that scene was removed and would never be shot. And if that scene was not there, this would be one of the better movies in the series. And the fact that Frankenstein now needs help to properly preserve a brain after literally swapping souls in the last movie makes his intelligence seem inferior, and that hurts his character. That and the whole rape thing. Honestly, I can get over the lack of knowledge but I can't get over that scene. And the rest of the movie is well made! Sets are great, the music might be the best of the series, all the acting is really darn good, the story though extremely flawed is very well done, it just has some bad decisions in the terms of making the movie. The finale and leading scenes toward it is great, with a very good confrontation. I really, really want to love this movie, but Jesus. And I blame this on not one of the major forces of greatness in this movie, not the actors, or director, or writers. I almost wish Hammer would re-release this movie and omit the rape scene, then I could highly recommend it. I still do recommend it but it was very important to bring those issues up. If you can put up with it, you will find a very good movie.

One more. How does it all end? Well even I cannot say, but we certainly will talk about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Frankenstein Created Woman

This is certainly a better film than the last, but by how much?

Well in this installment Frankenstein has apparently evolved from transferring body parts now....are you ready for this? He's trying to transfer the soul. I am so not even kidding. His next experiment involves taking the soul from a person and placing it into another person. Let's just say it isn't what we would call a succesful experiment. Our story doesn't really focus on Frankenstein much but on a couple, Christina and Hans. The third damn Hans in this series, you know there are other German names guys geez. And they are actually a nice couple, but each have emotional baggage. Hans' father was executed right in front of him, so the townspeople think very little of him, and Christina is a closed in young girl with a disfigured face that Hans has a romantic relationship with. And the care and affection you feel between them makes future events more tragic. I'm not even sure if I can discuss the next events without giving away the whole movie, but I can say it ends on a very somber note and you feel that Frankenstein has learned a lesson and will not continue in this field. Coming off the last movie, which had so little going for it I could barely write anything, this movie does improve. I genuinely care about the characters, albeit with slight disbelief because of other events that occur but it never takes me out of the movie much. I do enjoy it, and apparently I'm not the only one. Martin Scorsese claimed this was one of his favorite films of all time. Well hell, now you gotta go see it! And one more note I have to add is, if you Google the title of this movie you will find tons and tons of promotional material with the female monster half naked alongside Peter Cushing. No scene in the movie shows the experiment performed on her, they just cut to her recovering in bed. Now I know this was the late 60s, you had to get something to make people want to see the movie, and in that time period where less people were uptight about the human anatomy it does kind of make sense why they chose that, and since not a lot of women went to horror movies compared to guys it makes even more sense. Now granted there have always been women who liked or loved horror movies even to this day, so take my word for it, if you want to make out with a young lady take her to see a horror movie. If Silence Of The Lambs can come out on Valentine's Day, why not?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Evil Of Frankenstein

And now Hammer joins Universal to bring an.....okay Frankenstein movie.

Yeah, so Hammer co-produced this installment with Universal and my God, you thought it was going to be really good and guess what? It's sub-par at best. Plot is boring, mainly dealing with the good doctor finding a previously made monster (which we have little to no background on) and they employ the help of a hypnotist that has vengeance issues, and my lord could this movie be more boring? This definitely is one of the weaker installments, I mean you hear Universal and Hammer teaming up to make a horror movie, you expect the friggin' creme de la creme of quality and you don't get much. The design of the monster itsslf is terrible, combining Jack Pierce's makeup with 60s makeup. It's bad, but granted I have seen worse even in this series! Now while the sets are fantastic in some respects, with probably the best laboratory set in the series, and even the acting is still good, the material to work with is so forgettable and kinda rubbish. I don't know, it's just not all that great. The movie is very basic, with little to keep you interested or entertained. Skip it unless you're a hardcore fan, and hopefully I'll enjoy the next one more.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Revenge Of Frankenstein

Second movie in, and still going strong.

So Revenge Of Frankenstein follows the events of the first, with the good doctor escaping the death sentence and continuing his experiments, only now everyone knows the legend of him so he also has to keep his identity and work more secret. Although the plot is basic, it keeps the pressure high and has some good twists in it, with Peter Cushing owning the whole movie. One element I must address is the laboratory sets are incredible, seeming homemade for that time period but fully functional, and even quite possibly better than the Karloff Frankenstein lab set in my opinion. There's so many good scenes in this movie! I especially like the opening scene that introduces us to Frankenstein perfectly, and it is great fun but the scene that steals the show is an interrogation scene where after a series of events, a group is formed and accuse Frankenstein of being, well...Frankenstein. But Peter Cushing is so cunning and in control of the situation, you take great delight in seeing him make everyone seem stupid. Obviously, Peter Cushing is what holds every single one of these movies together, no matter how ludicrous or silly the movie seems, his performance makes you believe it and even enjoy it. Hammer knew they had something good after the success of the first and second movie, so what happens next? Well, I'll tell you tomorrow. In the meantime, if you can get your hands on seeing this movie I do highly recommend it for it's first rate acting, set design, and continuing story of an infamous character.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Curse Of Frankenstein

How do you remake one of the most classic and recognizable horror films ever made?

Curse Of Frankenstein was the first in a long run of Hammer movies centering around Dr. Frankenstein played to perfection by Peter Cushing that took the enormous responsibility of retelling the classic story of a scientist who tried to be God and create a man that was in truth a monster. This film should be applauded because, the movie was in the shadow of the Universal classic, and tried to do it's own thing and in my opinion, it did it in aces. This film is great, with the same production level of other Hammer films and alumni actors who still give in excellent performances. Peter Cushing is our star, and this series of movie explains why he wasn't in all but 3 of the Hammer Dracula movies, because he was too busy being the greatest Dr. Victor Frankenstein ever potrayed on screen, even today. You believe his obsession with his work, and can be genuinely horrified by his actions in this and future films. What's interesting is the movie is told through flashback, with Victor in a prison cell retelling the story we all know, and there's a reason why the story is told this way but it's not obvious until the end. This was also the first movie where Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee shared the same scenes in the same movie, and it's because of this movie that they are both the horror stars we know today, and the year after this movie came out in 1957, Horror Of Dracula was made, so really the most succesful and quite even arguably best remakes in film history all spanned from this movie. Not a lot of recognition and love is shown for Hammer horror films even today, unless you're knee deep in horror like myself, so I found it very important and fun to talk about these movies. This is a very important chapter in horror movie history that deserves more recognition and respect, so that's why I chose these series of movies for this year. And we're gonna take em' one by one until the end of the week. See you then!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Satanic Rights Of Dracula

I apologize for this review being late, we had a bit of a crisis at home and let's just say it was busy.

Let me tell you there's a reason this is not only the last Hammer Dracula movie but also this is the only movie to slip into the public domain, that's right Hammer doesn't even want anything to do with it and for good reason. The Satanic Rights Of Dracula is without a doubt the weakest of the series, because it doesn't even focus on Dracula! The whole movie is just boring and they threw in elements of spy movie stuff, occult sacrifices, and crime drama and threw it in with Dracula, with very lengthy talking scenes and very little else. Peter Cushing is in most of it which is great obviously, but he's mainly used for exposition but I can listen to him talk all day so I can kinda let that slide. Dracula is barely in the movie, showing up randomly and having very little to do until the last 20 minutes. In fact the only real reason you should watch the movie is the last 20 or so minutes. The final confrontation between Van Helsing and Dracula is outstanding, with Christopher Lee having a full blown monologue before the fight erupts and it is glorious. I would talk about the plot, but I can't figure it out, it's just a series of incidents and exposition. There's actually one more good scene in the movie but only because it's just odd. So basically Van Helsing is trying to find Dracula, and for some reason he turns up at this building and meets this guy who is so obviously Dracula, but the part that interests me is he kinda talks like Bela Lugosi! His dialect and accent heavily reminds me of Bela Lugosi, and it's just odd to hear Christopher Lee talk in such a way but I strangely find it kinda neat. Bottom line, stay away from this movie, just watch the last 20 minutes or so.

Okay so tomorrow, we look at one more Hammer series and let me tell you, it will be awesome.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dracula A.D. 1972

Behold! The underrated classic of the Hammer Dracula movies!

You either look at this movie and say it's one of the worst or one of the best. Me personally? I love it! It's my 2nd favorite Dracula movie from Hammer, next to Horror Of Dracula. And it doesn't take anytime to kick off the right way, opening scene is a fight between Van Helsing and Dracula and that's how you announce Peter Cushing is finally back. Then we jump ahead 100 years, in 1972 with bellbottoms, teenagers grooving with some funk music, and shenanigans. We're introduced to Jessica Van Helsing played to greatness by Stephanie Beacham, granddaughter of this generation's Professor Van Helsing. And it must be noted it is so wonderful to have Peter back, he plays the part wonderfully as always, combining occult expert but now bringing in a new dynamic with a granddaughter that I have to say is super sweet to see. You get the feeling he loves and cares for his granddaughter deeply as she does for him, which never ceases to make me smile. Christopher Lee is very good as always, and though he doesn't have much screen time it's still great and he has some dialogue, good dialogue even. And now I can definitively say, this movie has the best ressurection scene in all of the Hammer Dracula movies, you can see the sheer fear on people's faces and the atmosphere is doomy and dark. Surprisingly, even though the film takes place in the 70s the gothic and creepy sets are ever present, and I noticed there is a lot of great sets, really good use of camera angles, the colors are bright and vibrant (Again, the 70s.) which clash with the dark and gloomy sets, the music is funky and I love it, you can really enjoy this movie. There might not be much in terms of plot, but the characters and the action is fantastic, and the final fight between Van Helsing and Dracula is very good with tension and there's this one scene where you really see the hate and passion to kill Van Helsing in Dracula's eyes, it's one of my favorite scenes of the entire series. For a movie with the title of Dracula A.D. 1972 you would expect a ridiculous, cheesy, not even slightly good movie but the movies is great compared to others, it took a chance by setting it in the then modern day but it paid off, at the very least for me. I love this movie, it's just a really damn good movie and I doubt many people have seen this movie. I really have to say give it a shot.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Scars Of Dracula

For the 5th movie in a series, this one isn't terrible.

In the 70s, Hammer was running low on ideas for movie, so they rebooted the Frankenstein and Dracula movies, although to be honest most of the movies had loose continuity to begin with, and yet for some weird ass reason the movie starts with a ressurection scene that is absolutely terrible in every sense of the word. So Dracula is back, and our main hero named Paul (It's always Paul! Was that your favorite name Hammer Studios??) is just sort of meandering about until he just so happens to turn up at Dracula's castle, then we pick up with his girlfriend and brother as they try to locate him. Basically, it's like Psycho but with gothic sets, a 19th century look and feel to it all, and vampires. If that sounds like your kind of movie great, but for me this is by no means a bad movie but not one I hold highly to the others. I mean the best scene in the movie is so just right the hell out of nowhere, doesn't make any sense, but it will shock you. And not the way you expect. Totally not even going to hint at what it is. You just gotta see this stuff to believe it. I have to say, since the movie takes place for the most part at Dracula's castle you get two things in great supplement: outstanding gloomy, gothic sets, and more Christopher Lee screen time and he does speak in good length too so that's always great. The ending is just as absurd as the beginning so take from it what you will. Not terribly bad, but not excellent either. No that honor goes to the next film in the series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Taste The Blood Of Dracula

Yet another awesome title.

So picking up after the events of the last, Taste The Blood Of Dracula is a decent sequel, not bad not great but good. The plot starts off with three very wealthy men who are fed up of the same routine and wish for something more, they meet this awesomely insane guy played by Ralph Bates who shares the idea of, "Hey wanna go ressurect Dracula?" to which they say, "Yeah sure." (You can tell they're wise men.) and so they do in now that I've rewatched it again, a better ressurection scene than in Prince Of Darkness, it really builds that atmosphere of stuff is about to get dark real quick. I love it. So Dracula is back, huzzah! And Christopher Lee has a bit of dialogue, huzzah! Let the seduction of women begin, and the inevitable death of our favorite bloodsucker. The most shocking part of the movie is Dracula really isn't the worst bad guy in this movie, it's one of the men who participated in the ressurection and father of our hero's love interest. This guy is just a bastard, a cruel, vicious, abusive man who I honestly wished got a worse demuse than he did. Our hero is named Paul, yeah the name of our last hero but tottaly different guy, he's not bad in the role but my God do they try to sell this romance, like okay guys we get it. You love each other. Now where's Chris? So yeah, it's a decent sequel, I'd rank it somewhere in the middle of the series. So tomorrow we move on to a Dracula movie that I honestly do not remember much about, so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

That's a great title by the way. Love that title.

So this particular Dracula movie takes place a year after the last with Dracula being buried under ice when a monsignor visits the town and investigates the ruins of his castle, through one of many inexplicable ressurections in the coming future the Count is ressurected and seeks after the monsignor's niece played by Veronica Carlson. Meanwhile, we meet our main hero Paul played by Barry Andrew who I have to say is the second best hero in this series besides Van Helsing, he's just a normal nice guy who gets swept up in all this and has to deal with Dracula to save his girlfriend even though he is an atheist which I think raises the stakes very nicely. And I think because of our heroes in this movie, it makes this particular movie one of the best in the lineup. All the elements from previous Dracula movies are here, excellent set design reminiscent of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Christopher Lee is a straight up pimp in this movie, the music is great, and the blood is increased greatly and I love how ridiculously red the blood is in these Hammer films. One thing that must be mentioned is Christopher Lee has a surprising amount of dialogue, though most of the time he can really speak through his body language but it's great to hear him in this. And guess what? This movie was rated G by the MPAA! What?? A horror movie that is rated G, I cannot believe it. So the next time your 3 year old niece is over, show her this movie! What were they thinking??! But all in all, it's one of the better movies to be sure, and the next one isn't half bad either. Until then....

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dracula Prince Of Darkness

I can't believe it took 8 years to get a sequel to the first Hammer Dracula movie. You think they would get right on that, but better late than never.

So how's the sequel? Ehhhh, not great. Not terrible but kinda boring. The plot follows a group of travellers that happen across Dracula's castle, what follows is an excellent ressurection scene that builds the tension wonderfully, and Christopher Lee is on the hunt again. It must be said that Christopher Lee from beginning to end is a mute monster, he hated the dialogue which is a shame because he really is a terrific Dracula. The best character in the movie is our replacement Van Helsing, Peter Cushing will be absent for most of the future sequels due to him being in the Hammer Frankenstein movies, and honestly he's awesome. A gun toting, wise, no nonsense, kickass cleric, now that's what you need in your party! The rest of the cast is the absolute worst most boring dredge you can possibly imagine, it's slabs of meat heading for the meat grinder, no character, no motivation, just boring. So yeah, not really a great or even really good sequel, but they pick up in the next installment. So until then dear friends...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Horror Of Dracula

Good God I forgot how great this movie is!

Yes, the film that made Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing the horror stars they are today, Horror Of Dracula was the first of a long running series of horror films produced by Hammer Studios in England. To my knowledge the first Dracula movie in color, and it is a sight to behold. While the plot is basic, just a retelling of the Bram Stoker novel, what the film excels in is rich visual appeal with lavish sets and costumes, great acting especially by Peter Cushing, and for a movie that's not even an hour and a half it moves at a great pace. In fact, this movie is one of those films where every scene is crucial, you cannot cut a thing out of this movie because it would hurt the film. Terence Fisher did a great job with this movie, it's gothic sets are incredible to look at, the music is used for dramatic effect which enhances the movie significantly, for a movie from 1959 it holds up because it's more or less a period piece around the late 1800s. I don't know, there's just so much good stuff in this movie. The only bad thing I can say about this movie is it takes place in Germany without a doubt but everyone, and I do mean everyone hails from Britain but honestly that's it. Christopher Lee is a fantastic Dracula and seriously has an imposing presence on the screen, Peter Cushing is by far the best Van Helsing ever potrayed on screen and plays it with sophistication and class, and it shows a lot more than in any vampire movie before. Since it was close to the 60s, censors were less uptight so now there was blood, cleavage, and two very graphic staking scenes. You know how I said before the music was used for dramatic effect? I can pinpoint the exact scene to back up my claim, it's where we see our first stake through the heart. The music builds with tension and horror as you see the open graves of Dracula and his bride, Jonathan Harker prepares to kill them and then the music goes deathly quiet. There's barely a sound, which builds the tension cause you know what he's about to do but it still is done, and it is not quick or quiet when he does so, the only sounds you hear are the hammer smashing the stake into a heart and screaming. It's very hard to watch because it's surprisingly realistic, it's not just one hit and they are dead, it takes multiple strikes and the blood is minimal but highly effective, and it happens not once but twice. For 1959 this was some serious hardcore stuff, and it still kinda is. There's no stunning visuals or ridiculous amounts of gore and blood, hell you barely even see the actual staking but the picture that your mind paints is much more effective than what the screen could ever show you. Horror Of Dracula is the best of the Hammer Dracula movies and should be seen by any horror fan, especially if you have great love and admiration for the classics like I do. Great film, great actors, and there is more to come in the days to follow.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

This movie is so bizzare. And the first movie was already bizzare enough!

So Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is the sequel to the classic, with Tobe Hooper in the director's chair yet again. It must be said this is by no means whatsoever a serious film, it harbors on a spoof and I think Tobe knew damn well he couldn't top the first so he just went crazy and had fun with it in this movie. Caroline Williams is our major star here, and my God you wanna crown a scream queen look no further. I love Caroline Williams in this movie, because she screams her lungs out and you want her to win. The plot is very difficult to describe believe it or not, it basically follows Stretch played by Caroline as the Sawyer family, our favorite family of cannibalistic psychopaths randomly pick her as their next victim. Meanwhile, Dennis Hopper is tracking the Sawyer's down, in the most insane, scenery chewing way possible and it all culminates in a frantic climax with an ending that will leave you wondering, what the actual hell did I just watch? This is a good movie, not heard or watched by many but boy howdy does it have it's fans. I can certainly see the appeal and I in no way can compare it to the first, because it's just a totally different beast. The humor is prevalent and made me laugh often, but for a horror comedy there's 2 scenes which are very difficult to watch because of just how horrifying it is, I mean this is just a weird movie. You gotta have a real twisted sense of humor and an open mind to enjoy this movie. I'm glad I saw it, and I can greatly appreciate what it tried to do, and Caroline Williams who is 80 different flavors of awesome and gorgeous make it a treat to watch. By no means for everybody, but if you want something different, this is a prime place to start.

Okay, next two weeks are gonna be busy where we look at two of the most recognizable and well made horror series from England.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


This was a really good movie. And the sad part is not many know of either the urban legend or the film.

Candyman is a truly horrifying and scary film, following a college student writing her thesis on the urban legend of the Candyman, with more and more accounts told and evidence that perhaps he truly does exist, with many twists before the end. This is an undisputed classic in my mind, it takes place in a suburban area of Chicago which makes it feel too real because it's a legit place you can go to. The film looks great, while not being fully extravagant the set design and shots of Chicago give it a realistic and yet somehow still dream like and in the realm of the fantastic. I have to say Virginia Madsen who does very good in this movie, can be misconstrued as a bad actress or just slightly off but I think that was the direction they were going for, a very surreal horror tale that has an urban and more modern look to it. But the man who steals the show is Tony Todd, even though you don't see him much in the film his presence is constantly hanging over you, and you're never quite sure when he'll turn up. He has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard, he's not just speaking he is invading your mind and filling it with his booming terrifying voice. And while we're at it, the music is fantastic! It is gloriously creepy and easily unnerves me, major props to Philip Glass for making one of the most skin crawling, and just plain disturbing musical scores ever composed. It genuinely horrified me and made me very jittery several times, and I think it is very, very safe to say I will NOT be uttering his name in front of a mirror. Ever. And to close it all out, I loved the ending. Was it good or bad? Well I'd call it all depends on your certain point of a view. I think it's a very happy and downright disturbing ending that I'll never forget.

One more movie for the week, and I think I got another cult classic just right for the season.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Carnival Of Souls

Now we truly start October.

Carnival Of Souls is not only a great cult classic, but I think it's so good this will become a regular film to watch during the Halloween season for me. The story follows a woman who after surviving a car crash goes on a search to find her place in the world again while being plagued by visions of ghouls, and a mysterious building once used as a carnival, which is now derelict. There is much to be admired here, for a low budget of $33,000 this movie does a lot in terms of atmosphere, chilling scenery, creepy music, and a basic but still quite enticing movie. I was drawn to it the first time I saw it, and I honestly can say that this is one of a few movies where you can analyze it to whatever degree you wish or simply take it at face value and lose nothing. For a completely amateur crew, director, and actors this is still a very good movie. It's slow, almost dream like or perhaps a slow building nightmare that draws you in and keeps you guessing until the end. The imagery used is unforgettable and the organ music can be genuinely bone chilling especially paired with the ruins of the carnival which is actually a real place, Saltair where you can visit it even today. It's one of the most interesting movies I've ever seen and I almost daresay to watch it how I did the first time. Let me set the scene: It's late one evening, everyone's going to bed and I'm lounging on the couch. I'm restless. It's late October, I long for a creepy classic when I decide to watch Carnival Of Souls. I sit alone, in absolute darkness as the organ music fills my ears and I soak up every ghoulish image on the screen. I don't finish the movie until near midnight, but the atmosphere it created in my mind left me creepily uncomfortable and made me have dreams of silent people waltzing in the shadows....

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blade Runner 2049

Alright, that was a pretty good movie!

So the follow up to the strange and yet enticing Blade Runner just hit theaters, and I have to say it really did not disappoint. So it's been about 30 years since the last movie and we follow a detective replicant who soon is put on a case to find a living miracle, a child birthed by a replicant. And through this we meet old friends, new enemies, and a damn impressive looking film. Now this is what a good sequel should do, take the elements of the original film and expand upon them to tell a good story and this movies does it very, very well. I almost would say this could be a standalone film, it doesn't even need to be a sequel to Blade Runner but there are important plot lines and elements from the first movie which are adressed here, but it does feel a touch self contained. Ryan Gosling, who I haven't seen in much was a competent lead, I really liked his potrayal of a replicant who just tries to live a normal life but also happens to kill his own kind. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying Harrison Ford is in this movie, but you might be surprised to know he doesn't show up until the last 45 minutes, or maybe even an hour before the credits roll, but for the time he is on screen he still does a great job, they don't bring up the whole is he a replicant thing so I still want to say he is human but regardless it was great seeing him in another reprising role. Also, thank you for not killing him off. I already saw that crap once, which is enough for a lifetime. And all the other elemnts of the film are excellent, the music is still very synth heavy like the first and I still love it, the film is rich in visual appeal but I have to say I'm of course more impressed by the original since it was all real but still the movie looks excellent, I like how it's more plot oriented so you don't get confused as to what is going on, and the ending was actually perfect for me! The ending was just what I wanted, it didn't give me more or less, it was just right, and I was very happy to see the movie. I thought it was a very good continuation of the original Blade Runner, it probably won't be looked back on with such high regard as the original but it's still a really good movie and if you feel up to having a double feature in the Blade Runner universe, I say go for it!

Alright, first week of October down. We need to snap to on this horror movie stuff, so be patient we'll have a lot to come very soon so until next time....

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blade Runner

I do not actually think it's fair to review a movie like Blade Runner on the first viewing. Yeah, it took me 22 years to finally see Blade Runner, a movie I've heard so much about and seen referenced countless times and only now have I seen the source material.

So Blade Runner is basically a sci-fi noir film following a detective on the hunt for human replicants for murder, and that's just the plot synopsis from what I saw. This is not a movie you can watch just once in your life, it's a difficult movie to fully describe. It's a quiet movie (I watched The Final Cut, so no voice over.) and you do have to pay attention to even slightly understand the plot. It's a visually rich film without a shadow of a doubt, and in retrospect Ghost In The Shell with Scarlett had much in visual style and art direction to be owed to Blade Runner. In fact almost every science fiction movie after 1982 owes some element to this movie. Now I know this movie is an adaptation of "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick, and I have read up on it briefly, but even then the movie is it's own entity. I don't know, it's just such a bizzare, mysterious, just strange movie and there's no way in hell anybody can form a true opinion on this film in one viewing, this is a movie that you have to watch multiple times so I may have to break a rule and next year I will rewatch Blade Runner and do an In Retrospect of it. There's just no movie with a look and story like this movie, so I feel really bad actually about writing this review, because I have no words to explain how I feel. I couldn't even really say it's a great or even good movie although I found little wrong with it, so it's just all depending on the person and how many times they are willing to watch it again. So that's why I absolutely have to watch this movie again and talk about it again, because it's just that kind of movie. I'm sorry I was all vague and not highly opinionated, but my mind was accepting what I was viewing and I was highly interested in the movie, it held my attention all the way through, but I just couldn't say anything very definitive besides rich visual appeal, so I have to say go watch this movie and please for the love of all things good in this world tell me what you thought of it, doesn't matter if you've seen it once or 50 times I would love to hear your opinions. All I know for sure is, I want that gun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

In Retrospect: The Mummy (2017)

I told you I didn't forget!

I'm so thrilled we get another one of these, granted not until 2019 but it will be worth it. So obviously The Mummy did a good job with not only gaining the revenue to show these movies would work in the future, but also with building the universe in which classic monsters are reborn. And I still attribute it to Sofia Boutella, you can get any big name star like Tom Cruise in a movie but the movie is called The Mummy for a reason so the film rides on her performance and I'm still head over heels about her and yet I can still look at her performance and say, yes she did a great job and I hope it won't be the last we see of Ahmanet. When I heard they would take on a more action/adventure tone with the Universal Monsters, I was worried but the movie was still very entertaining. I liked the movie a lot, it had brief but decent action, wonderful atmosphere in some scenes and the horror aspects can still be felt, so I can't say it wasn't a good movie. Not a lot of people know about the classic monsters, but boy howdy have I seen them popping up lately. From costumes, to these beautiful decorations found in regular stores not even specifically Halloween stores, they're coming back and it makes me proud. If you asked a normal person on the street how many Mummy movies Universal made, they might say 4 or 5, five if they count the Boris Karloff original when they made at least 9. These movies can create a new generation of monster movie fans, to make people watch not only The Mummy, but The Wolf Man, The Bride Of Frankenstein, even Creature From The Black Lagoon. There was a reason I talked about the classics my first October, because I was a fan and more people should watch those movies. So I applaud The Mummy, I applaud Universal for bringing them back, and I'm excited for the future of a new world of gods and monsters.