Wooley & Torgo's September Excite-o-rama!

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To be clear, I watch "bad" movies all the time. And I like a lot of them.
More to the point, I am usually able to find lots of little things that I like in them so that, while I may acknowledge that they are not good films and I wouldn't recommend them to people with "normal" movie sensibilities, it doesn't mean I don't like them or wouldn't watch them again.
And then there is Bloody Pit Of Horror.
This is a movie that, honestly, can only be mocked. There is, essentially, nothing in this film of actual value. There is almost nothing that can be taken away as a "well, I did think that was kinda cool" or "well, that looked good at least". It's just terrible.
The story is, basically, that a guy called The Crimson Executioner was put to death for sadistic crimes some centuries ago and left in the dungeon of this old castle. Present day, a group of people who are on some kind of ill-defined "assignment" are looking for shelter from a storm and end up at a castle which is owned by a mysterious man who wants no part of them. Yadda, yadda, yadda, we end up in the basement dungeon with the women all naked (but covered) and the men all dead (except for whichever guy has to be the hero).
Honestly, it's not that bad of a story as tropes go. And I'll be honest, I was so disappointed by what the movie turned out to be about versus what I had expected and hoped it would be about, that that made the slog that was getting through the first 30-40 minutes of the movie seem like an act of cruelty beset upon me by people who shouldn't have made a movie.
The acting is bad (obvious even though it's dubbed). The dubbing is just awful, I mean, honestly probably the worst dubbing I've ever seen in a movie, bar none. The story doesn't make much sense until you get pretty late into it and you're like "Oh, so that's what those people were doing and this is what the killer is and man this movie is way too long..."
Which is a fact, this movie should probably have clocked in at no more than 70, maybe 75 minutes if I'm being incredibly generous, but it is brutally padded out to make an 87-minute run-time.
I dunno, I'm rambling. This movie was a real disappointment. I had genuinely hoped that this would be a little "bad" gem, not a good movie by any means but a movie with some fun, garish **** in it. Instead it's just like somebody who wanted to make a movie somehow got permission to film in the same castle as Kill, Baby! Kill! and so they technically made a movie. I feel pretty confident saying that this is the worst Euro-trash movie I've seen, and I've seen a lot of them.
Sigh.



Bloody Pit of Horror is pretty good.


*shrugs*
Do you maybe have a review somewhere that I could read? Because I am open to liking this movie, I wanted to like this movie, and I just couldn't fight my way through how bad it is, even compared to cheapest Euro-trash movies I've seen.
For example (and I don't think this necessarily qualifies as Euro-trash but the movies are not dissimilar), The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism isn't like 25 or even 50% better than Bloody Pit Of Horror, it's like 300-400% better. Maybe more than that. Girl Slaves Of Morganna Le Fay is several times better than BPoH. House Of Whipcord is far, far better than BPoH.
I'm really struggling to even come up with a single movie that is in the same low tier as BPoH.
Maybe my expectations were the problem. I can tell you that when it turned out that
WARNING: "main spoiler" spoilers below
it was really just this very fit (for the time) rich actor who'd lost his mind and decided he was actually the reincarnation of The Crimson Executioner and he was just mustache twirling and exclaiming "The Crimson Executioner!" over and over again for the whole second half of the film,
I was pretty much lost and a little angry that I had sat through all of this movie's shortcomings just for that.
I'd love to hear what I missed that made it a pretty good because I am open to being wrong and re-visitong it.



I'd love to hear what I missed that made it a pretty good because I am open to being wrong and re-visitong it.
I'd say you were right the first time. I mean, "worst ever" is pretty strong and I wouldn't go that far, but I'd agree that any enjoyment I got out of it was of the unintentional variety. And lord knows I'm pretty forgiving of such things. You have to remember that Crummy hasn't seen a "good" film since approximately 1995 so it's all relative.



Do you maybe have a review somewhere that I could read? Because I am open to liking this movie, I wanted to like this movie, and I just couldn't fight my way through how bad it is, even compared to cheapest Euro-trash movies I've seen.
For example (and I don't think this necessarily qualifies as Euro-trash but the movies are not dissimilar), The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism isn't like 25 or even 50% better than Bloody Pit Of Horror, it's like 300-400% better. Maybe more than that. Girl Slaves Of Morganna Le Fay is several times better than BPoH. House Of Whipcord is far, far better than BPoH.
I'm really struggling to even come up with a single movie that is in the same low tier as BPoH.
Maybe my expectations were the problem. I can tell you that when it turned out that
WARNING: "main spoiler" spoilers below
it was really just this very fit (for the time) rich actor who'd lost his mind and decided he was actually the reincarnation of The Crimson Executioner and he was just mustache twirling and exclaiming "The Crimson Executioner!" over and over again for the whole second half of the film,
I was pretty much lost and a little angry that I had sat through all of this movie's shortcomings just for that.
I'd love to hear what I missed that made it a pretty good because I am open to being wrong and re-visitong it.

I saw it a long time ago, probably in the beginning of me starting to re-evaluate what the value of 'cheap' or 'stupid' or 'ridiculously cheap and stupid' movies were. I doubt anything that I liked about it had to do with the motivations of the villain, or the fact that it's pacing is probably interminable. As usual, it was probably about a film carving out a very particular niche and just expecting the rest of the world to come around to it.



It certainly wasn't a high point in my film going life though. And not one that I've ever had a serious interest in going back to (although I have contemplated it once or twice). If I ever do, and I feel similarly, I'll do my best to articulate the kind of mediocre black magic it casts on me.



I'd say you were right the first time. I mean, "worst ever" is pretty strong and I wouldn't go that far, but I'd agree that any enjoyment I got out of it was of the unintentional variety. And lord knows I'm pretty forgiving of such things. You have to remember that Crummy hasn't seen a "good" film since approximately 1995 so it's all relative.

Hey! I watched Marketa Lazarova! That is almost three hours of watching a movie that is "good"! Three out of Five stars good!



Now, excuse me while these Czechloslovakian film studies scholars hand me my final cigarette. It's hard to type underneath this blindfold.





Is it obvious that I'm ready for it to be October so I can binge horror? I'm not saying that I'm not enjoying this binge, but this movie's double genre label of sci-fi and horror enticed me. Then again, besides making God and The Devil space aliens, does it really count as sci-fi? Okay, that's enough genre semantics: The Devil, a.k.a Sateen, has taken the form of Katy, a spoiled 8-year-old girl and Karen-in-training (Paige Conner). Upon discovering Sateen's identity, Yahweh (John Huston) shows up in the form of Jerzy, an elderly visitor from Poland, to stop her.

This is one of those movies that make you wonder what took you so long to see it. For starters, it's set in Atlanta and features locations I've visited several times. Plus, what a cast! If it were not enough that John Huston plays God, they managed to get Franco Nero to play Space Jesus and Sam Peckinpah to play Katy's mother's ex. As for Katy and Jerzy's cat and mouse game, it's thrilling to watch, especially since you're never sure what their next showdown venue will be or what weapons will be at their disposal. Besides a scene that was obviously inspired by The Birds, it has possibly the strangest one I've ever watched featuring an ice-skating rink.

Speaking of The Birds, nearly the entire movie has scenes you could describe as "obviously inspired" by ones from another property and they range from The Omen, obviously, all the way to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Regardless, the movie not only worked for me, but it also manages to be coherent and make sense albeit in its own strange way. What's more, it may come across like a movie the mockbuster studio The Asylum would cook up there days, but it's not just doing a lot of aping. It's no coincidence that the bad guys and their minions are all wealthy capitalists. Again, there are times when the outlandishness of the entire affair made it impossible for me to keep a straight face, but the important thing is I had a lot of fun.

I just hope that someday, I’ll be so cool that when I enter any room, this music plays (skip to 0:11):
__________________
Last Great Movie Seen
The Tomb of Ligeia (Corman, 1964)



Added The Visitor to the watchlist. Hopefully, I manage to find it soon.

IIRC, I remember buying it from Drafthouse years ago, so they might be the place to rent it from these days.


Be aware, while there are definitely some entertaining wtf scenes, there are also extended sequences of Huston walking down 30 floors of stairs to some 70's action music.





Is it obvious that I'm ready for it to be October so I can binge horror? I'm not saying that I'm not enjoying this binge, but this movie's double genre label of sci-fi and horror enticed me. Then again, besides making God and The Devil space aliens, does it really count as sci-fi? Okay, that's enough genre semantics: The Devil, a.k.a Sateen, has taken the form of Katy, a spoiled 8-year-old girl and Karen-in-training (Paige Conner). Upon discovering Sateen's identity, Yahweh (John Huston) shows up in the form of Jerzy, an elderly visitor from Poland, to stop her.

This is one of those movies that make you wonder what took you so long to see it. For starters, it's set in Atlanta and features locations I've visited several times. Plus, what a cast! If it were not enough that John Huston plays God, they managed to get Franco Nero to play Space Jesus and Sam Peckinpah to play Katy's mother's ex. As for Katy and Jerzy's cat and mouse game, it's thrilling to watch, especially since you're never sure what their next showdown venue will be or what weapons will be at their disposal. Besides a scene that was obviously inspired by The Birds, it has possibly the strangest one I've ever watched featuring an ice-skating rink.

Speaking of The Birds, nearly the entire movie has scenes you could describe as "obviously inspired" by ones from another property and they range from The Omen, obviously, all the way to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Regardless, the movie not only worked for me, but it also manages to be coherent and make sense albeit in its own strange way. What's more, it may come across like a movie the mockbuster studio The Asylum would cook up there days, but it's not just doing a lot of aping. It's no coincidence that the bad guys and their minions are all wealthy capitalists. Again, there are times when the outlandishness of the entire affair made it impossible for me to keep a straight face, but the important thing is I had a lot of fun.

I just hope that someday, I’ll be so cool that when I enter any room, this music plays (skip to 0:11):
Yeah, The Visitor.
Like you, I may have waited too long to see this one, although I also guess it's good that there are still some cool things to see out there for me. In fact, I often intentionally save movies to watch later so there will always be something cool to watch.
I did a big writeup on this last September on Corri, a real bummer that it is lost forever, but I certainly enjoyed this cookie-ass thing in very much the same way I enjoy Fulci films. It's sort of like a big-production Sci-Fi/Horror version of City Of The Living Dead (and I don't mean the story, I just mean the vibe of it). Although maybe that's not quite apt since The Visitor actually makes at least one lick of sense. But still, that weird, otherworldly feeling you really only get in Italian (and sometimes Spanish) genre pictures of a certain era.
And you gotta love Nero as Space Jesus!



Yeah, The Visitor.
Like you, I may have waited too long to see this one, although I also guess it's good that there are still some cool things to see out there for me. In fact, I often intentionally save movies to watch later so there will always be something cool to watch.
I did a big writeup on this last September on Corri, a real bummer that it is lost forever, but I certainly enjoyed this cookie-ass thing in very much the same way I enjoy Fulci films. It's sort of like a big-production Sci-Fi/Horror version of City Of The Living Dead (and I don't mean the story, I just mean the vibe of it). Although maybe that's not quite apt since The Visitor actually makes at least one lick of sense. But still, that weird, otherworldly feeling you really only get in Italian (and sometimes Spanish) genre pictures of a certain era.
And you gotta love Nero as Space Jesus!

I feel like the Visitor falls into the same realm of Zardoz (but overtly not quite as far out there, which let's face it, Zardoz), where they tried to do a sci-fi movie with big ideas, but maybe a tad too much booze was involved in putting it all together.




Here's another one I haven't seen since the 1980s. I enjoyed this a good bit back in the day, even though I felt, even then, like it was a little too light and a little too "safe for kids". Which is funny how much that concept has changed.


Yeah, and that's also how I managed to call this Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Thriller and watch it this month.
I want to make the disclosure here that I have read every Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, many of them multiple times, and lots of other Sherlock novels and short-stories written by other variably reputable authors... and I did not hold this film to any pre-conceived standard. I knew what I was going into and I was happy to let the film be what it was.

So, this is the very Spielbergian story of how John Watson first met Sherlock Holmes and the adventure that galvanized their friendship. Watson goes off to a new boarding school and ends up rooming right next to Holmes who immediately drags him into his eccentric shenanigans. Which is adorable in a very light, jaunty-scored kind of way... except that there are murders afoot. And Holmes is the only one who believes the deaths are related, or even murders at all. And while his sleuthing skills may have been limited to guessing peoples' backstories and finding a missing trophy at this tender age, when the murders strike close to home... the game is afoot!

So, this is very light, very Spielberg/Levinson/Chris Columbus. I actually enjoyed it because I understood what it was going to be very quickly and, in the right context, I can tolerate Spielbergism. If you take this as a sort of "Spielberg wanted to make Indiana Jones totally for kids" type of exciting children's movie, you can enjoy this pretty well, I think. But it's got a very Saturday-matinee tone and that 1980s Spielberg gloss that spilled onto everybody in that time (Dante, Donner, Levinson, etc.) and the score is very much from the Spielberg canon: imagine the sections of Jaws that make it seem not like a Horror or even scary movie but a light, fun sea-adventure, and you have the score to Young Sherlock Holmes.
Sayeth The New York Times in its review, "... a lighthearted murder mystery that weds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the kind of rollicking action-adventure that has made Steven Spielberg the most successful movie maker in the world".
And really, the other thing is that the sleuthing leaves a lot to be desired. It's more, like I say, of a Young Indiana Jones In London than it is the brooding master sleuth in his youth.
That said, there is certainly enough pain heaped on Young Sherlock in this film that you can maybe see how this much more gentle, approachable, normal teenager became the dour, withdrawn, sometimes severe character that Conan-Doyle wrote.
In the course of just a few days, Sherlock's primary mentor is murdered, the love of his life is shot to death right in front of him, and he is forced to kill his other trusted mentor.
And yet, somehow, the film feels closer in tone to The Goonies than Murder By Decree. And I was willing to take that given the time and Spielberg's influence over everything of that time, but not everyone will feel so charitable toward it.
Pauline Kael wrote, "As long as the movie stays within the conceits of the Holmesian legends, it's mildly, blandly amusing. When the picture forsakes fog and coziness and the keenness of Holmes' intellect – when it starts turning him into a dashing action-adventure hero – the jig is up... Levinson's temple of doom".
I would be remiss if I did not mention the special effects before I go, which were excellent and a lot of fun.



As Roger Ebert said on the subject, "The elaborate special effects also seem a little out of place in a Sherlock Holmes movie, although I'm willing to forgive them because they were fun."
Of course, on that topic, I would be remiss if I did not mention the famous stained-glass knight scene, the first CGI character ever to appear on the silver screen:


So, it's really this kind of thing. If you were hoping for a true-to-character exploration of what the youthful version of the most famous detective in Western literary history might be like when immersed in a sinister plot, you will be disappointed. If you'd like to see a period version of Temple Of Doom aimed at young teens... wait a minute... anyway, if you want that, you may very well enjoy this little romp.




Here's another one I haven't seen since the 1980s. I enjoyed this a good bit back in the day, even though I felt, even then, like it was a little too light and a little too "safe for kids". Which is funny how much that concept has changed.

Yes, this is nothing great, but it's fun if a bit kitschy. I enjoyed watching it when it came out and again last year with my then-8-year-old. It's also one of the first movies that made me realize you sometimes have to stick around through the credits.



Yeah, The Visitor.
Like you, I may have waited too long to see this one, although I also guess it's good that there are still some cool things to see out there for me. In fact, I often intentionally save movies to watch later so there will always be something cool to watch.
I did a big writeup on this last September on Corri, a real bummer that it is lost forever, but I certainly enjoyed this cookie-ass thing in very much the same way I enjoy Fulci films. It's sort of like a big-production Sci-Fi/Horror version of City Of The Living Dead (and I don't mean the story, I just mean the vibe of it). Although maybe that's not quite apt since The Visitor actually makes at least one lick of sense. But still, that weird, otherworldly feeling you really only get in Italian (and sometimes Spanish) genre pictures of a certain era.
And you gotta love Nero as Space Jesus!
That's too bad about the lost writeup. I would have enjoyed reading that. Granted, I haven't seen very many, but there hasn't been an Italian knockoff that I haven't enjoyed. 1990: The Bronx Warriors, 2019: After the Fall of New York and Escape 2000 (why do they all have years in their names) are great fun as well.

A few more random thoughts and observations:

-I wonder what people looking out of their offices and hotel rooms thought when they saw Jerzy and their disciples were doing their "shadow puppet research" on the roof of that abandoned building.
-That talking bird gift? Not really a gift. I would've thrown that piece of junk out the car window within seconds!
-The escalator Jerzy is walking on during the ice skating scene happens to be the tallest escalator in the world. You can ride on it if you take the CNN Center tour.
-I love the way Franco Nero pronounces mutant as "mu-TANT."
-I discovered that it was screened at the Atlanta Film Festival a few years ago and Paige Conner, who played Katy and who still lives in Atlanta, was a guest. Other than that, I can find next to nothing about the movie in newspaper archives. There's even an article that lists movies filmed around Atlanta and it's not in it. It's as if the city is embarrassed of it or something.



Be aware, while there are definitely some entertaining wtf scenes, there are also extended sequences of Huston walking down 30 floors of stairs to some 70's action music.
I watched The Visitor today, and found the above exaggerating the amount of walking in stairs the film has by a considerable amount. I doubt all characters combined there weren't 30 floors worth of it.

I thought the film was just fine. Not really a good one, but definitely on the upper half of the OK. Kinda like The Omen but with aliens and drug- or booze-induced logic. I'd definitely recommend it for the freaks and weirdos such as myself.



That's too bad about the lost writeup. I would have enjoyed reading that. Granted, I haven't seen very many, but there hasn't been an Italian knockoff that I haven't enjoyed. 1990: The Bronx Warriors, 2019: After the Fall of New York and Escape 2000 (why do they all have years in their names) are great fun as well.

A few more random thoughts and observations:

-I wonder what people looking out of their offices and hotel rooms thought when they saw Jerzy and their disciples were doing their "shadow puppet research" on the roof of that abandoned building.
-That talking bird gift? Not really a gift. I would've thrown that piece of junk out the car window within seconds!
-The escalator Jerzy is walking on during the ice skating scene happens to be the tallest escalator in the world. You can ride on it if you take the CNN Center tour.
-I love the way Franco Nero pronounces mutant as "mu-TANT."
-I discovered that it was screened at the Atlanta Film Festival a few years ago and Paige Conner, who played Katy and who still lives in Atlanta, was a guest. Other than that, I can find next to nothing about the movie in newspaper archives. There's even an article that lists movies filmed around Atlanta and it's not in it. It's as if the city is embarrassed of it or something.



I watched The Visitor today, and found the above exaggerating the amount of walking in stairs the film has by a considerable amount. I doubt all characters combined there weren't 30 floors worth of it.

I thought the film was just fine. Not really a good one, but definitely on the upper half of the OK. Kinda like The Omen but with aliens and drug- or booze-induced logic. I'd definitely recommend it for the freaks and weirdos such as myself.

Alright, 25 floors, which I might have rounded up.


I've noticed in a "it's not just me" way, that there are spots in the movie that feel a bit extended and dead. The "John Huston walking down a lot of stairs," part often coming to mind as the primary example.


Still, it's an interesting and recommended movie. Those dead parts are mostly what separate it from being upper half of OK from being really crazy, entertaining that the movie feels like it should be.





Is this fantasy? Is this sci-fi? Maybe neither and maybe a little bit of both. Whichever category in falls into, it's a hard movie to write much about because doing so feels like explaining how a magician does their tricks. I'll at least give some background and a plot outline: it's a late '80s Australia/New Zealand co-production written and directed by Vincent Ward (Map of the Human Heart, What Dreams May Come) and it's set in a remote English village that has not yet succumbed to the Black Plague. A ragtag group of miners, inspired by young team member Griffin's clairvoyance, go on a quest they think will ward off the disease: trek to the world's tallest church and place a copper cross on its steeple before nightfall. The visions lead them to believe they'll reach this church by digging underground to the other side of the Earth, but they discover a much different place.

The movie's depiction of dreams could be the best I've seen since the last David Lynch movie I watched whether it's the unconventional editing style or the use of transitions between stark black and white and color photography. While it's sometimes hard to tell what's really happening and what's in Griffin's head, I actually found this to be a strength of the movie rather than a sticking point. As for the quest, it had me engaged and inspired the entire time and none of its milestones turned out the way I thought they would. This says a lot considering my rational mind constantly reminded me that what they're doing obviously won't solve their problems. Then again, that's kind of the point. It's very much a story about the value and power of faith as well as its relationship with, or better yet, dependence on impending doom. Apologies if this seems vague or incomplete compared to what I've written about other movies in this thread so far. Aside from doing so seeming like bad form since it’s not well known, if I said too much about it, I’d lessen the experience. I will say, though, that's its one of the best discoveries I've made so far this year.





Is this fantasy? Is this sci-fi? Maybe neither and maybe a little bit of both. Whichever category in falls into, it's a hard movie to write much about because doing so feels like explaining how a magician does their tricks. I'll at least give some background and a plot outline: it's a late '80s Australia/New Zealand co-production written and directed by Vincent Ward (Map of the Human Heart, What Dreams May Come) and it's set in a remote English village that has not yet succumbed to the Black Plague. A ragtag group of miners, inspired by young team member Griffin's clairvoyance, go on a quest they think will ward off the disease: trek to the world's tallest church and place a copper cross on its steeple before nightfall. The visions lead them to believe they'll reach this church by digging underground to the other side of the Earth, but they discover a much different place.

The movie's depiction of dreams could be the best I've seen since the last David Lynch movie I watched whether it's the unconventional editing style or the use of transitions between stark black and white and color photography. While it's sometimes hard to tell what's really happening and what's in Griffin's head, I actually found this to be a strength of the movie rather than a sticking point. As for the quest, it had me engaged and inspired the entire time and none of its milestones turned out the way I thought they would. This says a lot considering my rational mind constantly reminded me that what they're doing obviously won't solve their problems. Then again, that's kind of the point. It's very much a story about the value and power of faith as well as its relationship with, or better yet, dependence on impending doom. Apologies if this seems vague or incomplete compared to what I've written about other movies in this thread so far. Aside from doing so seeming like bad form since it’s not well known, if I said too much about it, I’d lessen the experience. I will say, though, that's its one of the best discoveries I've made so far this year.
Huh.
I've never even heard of this movie. Very interesting.