The Return of Torgo and Wooley's September Excite-o-rama!


Victim of The Night

Welcome... to another edition of Excite-o-rama!

Torgo and I share a love for a juicy September buildup of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Weird, and the Horror-Adjacent prior to the Holy Month of October... but last year, in our September thread together, I think we found that it is a celebration unto itself. And in that spirit, we share with you our revels as we delve into all manner of media and surround ourselves and you as well with thrills of all manner. Behold the glory.

For a solid month we will bring to you write-ups on a number of films from a variety of enticing genres as well as posters, gifs, videos, animations, images, and whatever the hell else strikes our fancy to build excitement and thrill all of our souls for no other reason than the sheer enjoyment of it. Hopefully, we can pull you in.

So, please come this way...

... and join us on our Journey Of Excitement. And please feel free to get in the spirit and contribute whatever you like, this is for all of us. Let's rock.

Victim of The Night
Even though 90% of what gets discussed here are films I haven't seen, I'll be reading anyways.
Thrilled to have you. And Rock.

Victim of The Night
Last years thread was damned entertaining so definitely in for round 2.
Thanks a lot!

Hey guys, as I told my illustrious co-author, I'll be writing about sci-fi and fantasy movies this month that are a mix of prestige, so bad they're good and of the cheesy, silly fun variety...starting tomorrow (well, later today for those of you whose September already started). Stay tuned!

Who are you more thrilled to have between the two of us though? That's the real question.
There's only one way to settle this...

Victim of The Night
Will there be a Merch link where I can buy a framed print of this?
Honestly, I kinda thought of you when I put it in.

Victim of The Night

In the mid 1980s, the cinematic world was still in the throes of Star Wars mania, I guess, and I mean studios trying to create arch Sci-Fi and High Fantasy that would break through and be blockbusters. Conan, Excalibur, Dragonslayer, Time Bandits, Krull, The Last Unicorn, The Dark Crystal had all made various ripples but the shift of Spielberg and Lucas toward a more kid-friendly tone in Return of the Jedi and The Temple of Doom was being felt everywhere and the success of The Neverending Story would also set the stage. And then Ridley Scott threw his hat in the ring with a movie that seems to be trying to create a new tone that is some combination of these things with Blade Runner visual flair and music. And here we are.
Mia Sara plays Lily, some sort of undefined Princess who is apparently pure of heart and likes to hang out in the woods with the peasants rather than be rich. She is in love with this really inexplicable character, Jack (Tom Cruise) who even more vaguely sort of hangs out in the woods and is maybe halfway between the human world and the woodland world. What he does and if he bathes are unclear. Apparently she has always wanted to see a unicorn and he may be sort of a unicorn-guardian or something or at least knows where they are and all about them? So he takes her to see them without any instruction that there are rules to unicorns so that then when she breaks them the whole world comes tumbling down but the audience doesn’t know why until every character, including many we haven’t even met, are all a’dither.
Because the movie is either hacked to pieces by the studio or Scott’s vision was trying to hit too many targets at once and sort of lands vaguely in the area of all of them, a lot of the story is kinda back-filled. The main conflict of the film is introduced early on but before the audience really has any grasp of what the hell is going on and thus stumbles almost immediately out of the gate. Later, when the audience has had a moment to catch up… and Tim Curry enters the film (that gif in the launch-post was intentional)…

… the movie comes together a little more cohesively. And yet, even though it turns out the narrative is very, very simple it still never seems to flow.
Tom Cruise looks very much the part here but even so he seems out of place or maybe anybody would as Roger Ebert points out that his character is so leanly drawn and overwhelmed by the spectacle around him that Jack could have been played by any actor with the same result.
The same holds true of Mia Sara who probably could not look more perfect for her role and yet seems a bit lost in all this, at least when she’s white (good) Lily. She fares better during her dalliance with Darkness and that’s probably to her credit that she was able to find that as an actress…

…but a rushed narrative and some odd editing almost make it seem like she gives a bad performance as white Lily.
Of course, I hardly need to mention Tim Curry’s, um, legendary performance as Darkness. This is easily the best idea the film has and whenever he’s onscreen the film is elevated significantly. As movie-villains go, I think this one gets lost to time because the movie is… well, it’s not forgettable it’s just not something people would really wanna watch over and over.
One thing I immediately felt was that this film made the contemporary use of CGI look ridiculous. I was struck by how real most of these fantasy settings looked compared to the bluescreened worlds of today. It was really striking because they weren’t expensive CGI, they were, ya know, real. I mean, a real rabbit ran across the screen and, mind-blowingly, it looked... real? (I want to say more about that separately, perhaps after film No.2.)
The Tangerine Dream score is the reason I chose the theatrical version and not the Director’s Cut, and it’s interesting to have an electronic score to a fantasy film but I think I will just find the Director’s Cut and see that as well now. The DC is 19 minutes longer and I hear it fills in some of the gaps and that the orchestra score actually works a lot better for the film.
Not much of this film really works and yet I’m not sorry it exists. There’s something just… off - about the whole thing. But that doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t watch it once.

A system of cells interlinked
Great thread!

Will be checking in frequently...

Re: Legend - Like Ridley Scott, I much prefer the longer Director's Cut with the Orchestral score. The theatrical cut plays more like someone at MTV was brought in at the last minute and tried to cut the film like a music video. You know, back when MTV played such a thing.

The theatrical cut opens with Curry's Darkness sitting around musing to himself, which ruins any sort of tension there could have been in building up the identity of the main villain, and doesn't allow him to have any sort of grand entrance to the proceedings. The fact that the DC handles his character in a much, much better way is reason alone to considering the superior cut, but I feel it is the better version for various other reasons, as well.

Definitely track it down and give it a shot!
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP