A scary thing happened on the way to the Movie Forums - Horrorcrammers

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I still haven't seen AQP2 (not sure if I will, either), but did you like the first one, at least?
Eh.




I mean, when you boil right down to it, aren't all films a western?



But Westerns are just allegorical romantic comedies, aren't they?



But Westerns are just allegorical romantic comedies, aren't they?
They’re clearly noir.



Finished And Now the Screaming Starts, an old chestnut from 1973. The same company that brought together multiple portmanteaus (Amicus) is behind this feature film.

Pair of newlyweds (Ian Ogilvy, Stephanie Beacham) arrive at his family's estate to spend their lives together. But on her wedding night, she's assaulted by someone (or something) and starts getting visions of disembodied hands and a guy wandering around with no eyes and one hand. He thinks she's going crazy. But she discovers a woodsman with the same birthmark as the ghost and wants to know more. The people around her who she convinces to let her know about the secret die in mysterious ways leading to more frights (and screaming). Perhaps psychiatrist Dr. Pope (Peter Cushing) can help them get to the bottom of this.

Wanted to like this one. Cushing is able to elevate his section of the film. The story once the secret is finally revealed is a punch in the throat. The last 10-15 minutes feel like they belong in a better movie.

It doesn't help that the tone shifts from the present day stuff to the reveal of the secret which takes us back 50 years in the past. Featuring Herbert Lom as family patriarch Henry, what happens is brutal and pulls no punches. Which is in contrast to the more sedate film that surrounds this.

WARNING: "Spoilers" spoilers below
It's like an episode of Murder, She Wrote with that one scene of The Accused that pops up two thirds of the way in. Yes, that scene. Although it sets up the climax, one wishes that maybe they would have found a way to keep the consistent tone the rest of the film has.


Much like Final Exam, I can see what they were going for here. But despite all the screaming, there's not enough to shout out about outside of Cushing's professionalism.



I watched VHS 94. Hey it’s been a hot minute since we got one of these, and Shudder is the perfect place for them. This one was the most consistently good out of the franchise, with the wraparound probably being the weakest. The first two segments had some solid jump scares and genuine laughs. The third had terrific effects and a couple fun twists on older tropes, And the last segment was unique and hilarious.



I watched Prey, a German film about guys out camping being attacked by a sniper. Pretty by the numbers stuff but competently made. If you want a better movie about a sniper terrorizing people check out Downrange on Shudder.



The next few movies I watched for my little marathon:

964 Pinocchio (Shozin Fukui, 1991) -

An absolute force of nature when its being out there and stylized but really feels like a student film in its more subdued moments.

Martin (George A. Romero, 1977) -

Just an excellent vibe throughout.

Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926) -

Starts great and ends great but loses me a bit in the middle.

Writhing Tongue (Yoshi-taro Nomura, 1980) -

Whoever tagged this as a horror movie is a monster. I'm doing this marathon to have fun, not watch a little girl suffer through tetanus.

Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973) -

The aesthetic here is just so good. The camerawork and music are unreal. Definitely a special film.

Very strong batch of films. I gave 964 Pinocchio, Martin and Faust a
but I must mention just how close all of those were to hitting the
mark.



Maniac Cop 3 -


The conclusion to the Maniac Cop trilogy isn't bad, but it's underwhelming compared to the first two. The closest thing to a love story in the series, it follows Cordell as he rises from the grave and pursues officer Katie Sullivan, who's on life support after being shot during a pharmacy bust. His interest in Katie, however, comes from her being falsely accused of murder. The series' tradition for attracting strong character talent continues in this one, which besides the returning Robert Davi features Jackie Earle Haley's terrifying prescription drug addict and Doug Savant's very unlikeable doctor. I also like the mysticism and atmosphere the subplot involving a head-stealing cult adds, and the finale, which may make you wonder how long human skin can stay aflame, is a thrill and a hoot. Other than that, it's disappointingly ordinary. This description applies to the production values, which resemble a made-for-TNT movie from its era. While it's predecessors also have low budgets, they appear as if they were made for the big screen. The movie also doesn't add anything to the conversation about the ugly sides of tabloid journalism, police brutality, injustice, etc. that the first two movies haven't already said. If you're in the mood for a Maniac Cop movie, there's enough good things in it to make it worth your while. It's just too bad that it's more along the lines of something that's best left for a lazy Sunday afternoon.



Martin (George A. Romero, 1977) -

Just an excellent vibe throughout.
Martin is an all-time favorite for me, and it might be my favorite horror film. The way that it explores the question of nature vs nurture, the wonderful ambiguity about whether certain sequences are real flashbacks or just fantasies, and the very fine line it walks between having a vulnerable, sympathetic protagonist and showing us the horrible things he does to innocent people. A lot of it just feels very human and empathetic, while at the same time being sad and horrifying.



Okay, a third into the month and let me take stock of what I've seen out of my original list (bolded what I've watched). I do intend to get to some of the suggestions brought up earlier, just too lazy to edit the list at the moment. Also, I meant to cross post my reviews here (for the ones I felt like writing about), but got too lazy to do that as well, so let me just link a bunch of them now.


The Deadly Spawn [rating]4[rating]
The Strangeness [rating]3_5[rating]
Baby Blood
Axe aka Lisa Lisa [rating]3_5[rating]
Spookies
The Stuff
The Survivor
Suddenly in the Dark [rating]3_5[rating]
Woman Chasing the Butterfly of Death
We're Going to Eat You
The Queen of Black Magic
The Night Evelyn Came Home From the Grave
Alice Sweet Alice [rating]3_5[rating]
The Changeling
Let's Scare Jessica to Death [rating]3_5[rating]
I Drink Your Blood [rating]4[rating]
The Imp
Driller
Dracula Sucks

Also got to these:


Blood Shack

A bunch of Ray Dennis Steckler horror pornos (these defy ratings)
Kidnapped Coed

Bloody Brothers (didn't bother rating)
A Virgin Among the Living Dead

Castle of Blood

Nightmare Castle

Oasis of the Zombies

Zombie Lake

Kill, Baby...Kill! (rewatch)

Killer Nun

Vampire Ecstasy

Malabimba

Vampyros Lesbos (rewatch)

She Killed in Ecstasy (rewatch)

Malignant

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Halloween (2018) (rewatch)



I watched a pair of brand new direct-to-Netflix horror thrillers:

Till Death is kind of a Gerald’s Game knockoff starring Megan Fox. It starts off dull but gets a little better. Fox’s character has a traumatic backstory that’s supposed to make her more sympathetic but she plays every emotional beat like she’s annoyed and disinterested, making it harder for me to root for her. One of the villains is a real squirrely guy who did a great job and was fun to watch though.

There’s Someone Inside Your House is a teen slasher mystery thriller, very Scream-like without the meta. This was well made, did some stuff I haven’t seen before, and the killer had a neat gimmick. The end could have been a little more climactic but overall I was surprised at how enjoyable this was.



The Leopard Man -


This is a lean and mean horror tale about a small New Mexico town that becomes terrorized by a leopard on the loose. If anything, this movie is a masterclass in maintaining dread and tension. As soon as the beast in the title - which, I'm sorry to say, isn't an inspiration for Animorphs - is freed, I was always on guard for when the creature would claim another victim. I also like how the looming threat reveals the town's residents' true selves and how they really feel about each other, but in turn, it also revealed things about myself I'm ashamed of. The movie changes perspectives between various town residents associated with the leopard's handler, and for some of them, I found myself rooting for the leopard. At least the movie made me care enough, right? Alright, I'm the real monster! I get it! Anyway, while labeled as horror, the movie has more in common with serial killer movies, most notably the granddaddy of them all, M. Besides what I've mentioned about the town's emergency state, there's even a motif in the unsetting (and relevant) sound of castanets. Regardless of the movie's true genre, it's tense, frightening and deliciously dark. Oh, and when I said lean, I mean lean: it manages to do all of the above in under 70 minutes.
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Last Great Movie Seen
Crossfire (Dmytryk, 1947)