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I remember my thoughts coming out of Vice Squad was, "that pimp really should have been in a different profession. His talents as a one man wrecking crew really went to waste in life. The black market arms trade? Hitman?"





HAUSU (1977)

So here's one that I've wanted to see for many years but just never got around to it until now.
The latter-day marketing for this one seems to focus on the cheesy effects and promises the film equivalent of one of those "WTF Japan?" memes.

It can certainly be enjoyed on that level but I wasn't prepared for some of the underlying stuff that comes with it, like The Bomb or the relationships between teens and step-parents. So it's wacky if that's what you came for, but if you're inclined to dig deeper there's some stuff to chew on.

But what impressed me most was the utterly alien approach to editing/continuity. I haven't seen anything else by Obayashi, so I don't know if this is his usual MO. It's jarring at first but I'll always admire when someone manages to produce something that is so unique. Liked this one even more than I was expecting to. This is a future BluRay purchase for sure.

My understanding is Obayashi's other feature length movies aren't nearly as creative. I've only seen Sada. I've wanted to track down The Floating Classroom, even though I've heard it's a bit of a slog. My other understanding is his short films are supposed to be a better place to look for his visual flourishes (and then went on to become more of a tv personality).


Unrelated (or is it?) I have Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell pencilled in for Halloween 2024. I don't think I want to hear other people weigh in on it before that, but I guess it makes sense to get it on other people's radars.



Dead & Buried was by far one of my favorite watches of my 80s marathon a few years ago. Very EC Comics with a comfy 70s TV vibe that's right in my comfort zone.
I tell ya what though, the part with
WARNING: "so spoilery" spoilers below
his wife
gives it real pathos too.



I've wanted to track down The Floating Classroom, even though I've heard it's a bit of a slog. My other understanding is his short films are supposed to be a better place to look for his visual flourishes (and then went on to become more of a tv personality).
There appears to be a decent print of Classroom on Youtube. I'll keep that one in mind.
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I tell ya what though, the part with
WARNING: "so spoilery" spoilers below
his wife
gives it real pathos too.
Yep
Only a couple of weeks ago I recommended it to a friend and it was a success. (That rarely happens, especially with this particular friend).

I watched D&B and Return otLD that same month, both for the first time. Dan O'Bannon was MVP that year.



Ha, I can't imagine going into it blind. I was disoriented even though I knew what I was in for.
My first viewing was a blind one, all I knew is that it was a Japanese haunted house film when it showed on TCM years ago. I don't generally let them go in totally blind but telling them it's a bonkers haunted house film and they are already underestimating how bonkers it is, still leads them to being blown away by how crazy the film is.



This is one of my favorite films that I discovered because you all.
You are clearly a tasteful, intelligent person.



Registered User
That's quite the pumpkin patch...





BURNT OFFERINGS (1976)

Many years ago a friend asked for a scary movie and I recommended this. Midway through the film I had the embarrassing realization that not much actually happens and I spent the rest of the night wishing I'd suggested something else. A couple of years later I did it AGAIN, to a separate friend. Neither of these friends were impressed. As a result, I've spent the ensuing years sort of disparaging it, despite the number of times I've watched it since childhood.



Earlier today one of my friends with taste texted me to say that she'd just watched it, so it put me in the mood to give it another go. And you know what? I'm not making fun of this movie anymore because I think it's legitimately good. Solid cast (Karen Black, Bette Davis, Oliver Reed). Solid performance from the child actor. Vaguely disturbing performance from Burgess Meredith in what amounts to a cameo. The swimming pool scene is genuinely harrowing. The scene where Bette Davis questions her memory is genuinely heartbreaking. And the end is a real zinger.

Also, Oliver Reed in swim trunks >>> James Brolin in briefs





BURNT OFFERINGS (1976)

Many years ago a friend asked for a scary movie and I recommended this. Midway through the film I had the embarrassing realization that not much actually happens and I spent the rest of the night wishing I'd suggested something else. A couple of years later I did it AGAIN, to a separate friend. Neither of these friends were impressed. As a result, I've spent the ensuing years sort of disparaging it, despite the number of times I've watched it since childhood.



Earlier today one of my friends with taste texted me to say that she'd just watched it, so it put me in the mood to give it another go. And you know what? I'm not making fun of this movie anymore because I think it's legitimately good. Solid cast (Karen Black, Bette Davis, Oliver Reed). Solid performance from the child actor. Vaguely disturbing performance from Burgess Meredith in what amounts to a cameo. The swimming pool scene is genuinely harrowing. The scene where Bette Davis questions her memory is genuinely heartbreaking. And the end is a real zinger.

Also, Oliver Reed in swim trunks >>> James Brolin in briefs
Saw this as a kid, hearse-guy scare the holy **** outta me, saw it again as a teenager, still enjoyed it, saw it again in my early 30s and thought it was lame and I should lay it to rest, saw it again in my late 30s and thought it kinda split the difference. Haven't seen it in a decade now. My take is that it is kinda slow and a bit stingy with the scares but has a fairly creepy vibe and quite good acting all around.




Oh ****, I got the Voodoo in me!



Saw this as a kid, hearse-guy scare the holy **** outta me, saw it again as a teenager, still enjoyed it, saw it again in my early 30s and thought it was lame and I should lay it to rest, saw it again in my late 30s and thought it kinda split the difference. Haven't seen it in a decade now. My take is that it is kinda slow and a bit stingy with the scares but has a fairly creepy vibe and quite good acting all around.
That's pretty much what I was bringing to it tonight. The lukewarm reception from my friends had pretty much ruined it for me, so I hadn't watched it in probably 10 years and had convinced myself that it was boring and uneventful. Perhaps this lowering of expectations was the key, but I remembered everything I liked about it again. It isn't "scary", so it was a mistake to push it on my uncultured friends, but there's a sense of impending doom hanging over everything.

I found it on TCM if you're in the mood to give it another chance.





A FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL (2018)

This is a few years old but didn't come to my attention until this year. It's an anthology film, with each segment dealing with the folklore of various countries. A "Folk Horror Anthology", if you will, with segments by the directors of Baskin, Goodnight Mommy, Nothing Bad Can Happen, The Lure, Berberian Sound Studio, and others.



I'm giving this a mild recommendation, with various caveats. As with all anthologies, you'll probably like some segments more than others, but I didn't find any of them to be terrible. At worst, some of them were sort of vague in their message so I didn't get much from them (or maybe I'm just thick), but all of them had a nice mood to them. And there were a couple that I liked a lot. The American entry, about children with enlarged crania living in the woods, was probably the most absurd but it's also the one that got under my skin the most, inexplicably.

It should be mentioned that I am a fan of anthologies in general as well as folk horror, so adjust your enthusiasm accordingly.

Also, as someone that believes that Goblins are under-represented in contemporary horror iconography, I was happy to see this guy show up.






A FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL (2018)




It should be mentioned that I am a fan of anthologies in general as well as folk horror, so adjust your enthusiasm accordingly.

Also, as someone that believes that Goblins are under-represented in contemporary horror iconography, I was happy to see this guy show up.

Two things: No three things:
I am also a fan of anthologies/omnibi.
If you like Asian folklore-Horror at all there is a series called "Folklore" on Netflix that we really enjoyed the first entry of. They're like mini-films.
I love Goblins.