Re93animator's Review Thread

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As of June 2016: I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription, is tediously writing some film reviews. However, please keep in mind that, naturally, looking back on much of the older content makes me wince, and my keenness for many of the films previously rated here has fluctuated quite a bit since.

Index:

Page 1 (Older stuff):

Gangs of New York (2002)
Death Wish (1974)
Sweeney Todd (1936, 2006, 2007)
Mad Love (1935)
The Omega Man (1971)
Dead of Night (1945)
Hangover Square (1945)
Mean Streets (1973)
French Connection II (1975)
Page 2:

Magic (1978)
Nightmare Alley (1947)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
The Lodger (1927)
Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)
Bedlam (1946)
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Cure (1997)
Dust Devil (1992)
The Wolfman (2010)
Page 3:
Smart Money (1931)
Predators (2010)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
House by the River (1950)
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
Hardware (1990)
Shutter Island (2010)
Angst (1983)
Encounter at Raven's Gate (1988)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
De dødes tjern (1958)
Page 4 (More recent stuffs):
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
Lust for Life (1956)
L'Atalante (1934)
The Revenant (2015)
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993)
Kin-dza-dza (1986)
Until the End of the World (1991)
Split Second (1992)
Necronomicon (1993)
Dagon (2001)
Re-Animator (1985)
Page 5:
Bride of Re-Animator (1989)
Beyond Re-Animator (2003)
Visitor of a Museum (1989)
The Short Films of Jan Svankmajer (1964-1993)
Sorcerer (1977)
Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Night of the Creeps (1986)
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Furry Vengeance (2010)
Page 6:
A Bucket of Blood (1959)
No Escape (1994)
Six-String Samurai (1998)
Fortress 2: Re-Entry (1999/2000?)
Fortress (1992)
Golem (1980)
O-Bi, O-Ba – The End of Civilization (1985)
Webmaster (1998)
Page 7:
Impostor (2001)
Stalker (1979)
Beauty and the Beast (1978)
The Dead Pit (1989)
Hardware (1990)
Gregoire Moulin vs. Humanity (2001)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The War of the Worlds: Next Century (1981)
World on a Wire (1973)
Doctor X (1932)
Page 8:
Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel (1979)
The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians (1981)
Dune (1984)
On the Silver Globe (1988)
Solaris (1972)
Page 9:
Eden Log (2007)
Ga, Ga - Chwala bohaterom (1986)
The Neon Demon (2016)
Happy End (1967)
The Old Dark House (1932)
The Blood of Heroes (1989)
Page 10:
Alphaville (1965)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Posrednik (1990)
Nirvana (1997)
Woman in the Moon (1929)
Los Olvidados (1950)
Soy Cuba (1964)
Enter the Void (2009)
Metropolis (1927)
The Sentinel (1977)
Page 11:
Hard to Be a God (2013)
Combat Shock (1984)
Esoteric Sci-fi List!

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First of all, I'm not sure if there's a certain post count required to have one of these threads, and I apologize if there are some rules I'm violating. I just want a place to keep all of my reviews organized rather than losing them in the countless pages of the Movie Tab, so I decided to try this.

Anyway, I've been seeing a bunch of Drag Me to Hell reviews everywhere, and I figured that I'd add to the pile:

Drag Me to Hell (2009)


Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the theater, and with Drag Me to Hell being the presentation, it was certainly a refreshing experience. I’ll start by stating that anyone who thinks Drag Me to Hell is a typical modern horror flick understands nothing about the film.

Whilst the film surpasses most modern contributions of the genre (which is not saying much), it is still not as good as you may think the return of the classic horror film may be. And it is inspired by a good number of old fashioned scare flicks, most notably Night of the Demon or The Omen.

The film kicks off when Christine Brown, a loan officer, desperate to impress her superiors, evicts an old gypsy woman by refusing an extension of a bank loan. The gypsy woman makes a scene and afterword accuses Christine of “shaming” her. The woman attacks Christine later on in a parking lot and places the curse of the “Lamia” on Christine. The rest of the film focuses on Christine realizing the dire situation she has been placed in and her trying to find a way to lift the curse.

From a technical standpoint, the film is everything you’d expect it to be; decent acting, over the top special effects, and a poor plot. But, Drag Me to Hell does what it sets out to do, which is entertain. The films score by Christopher Young (Hellraiser, Species) is a fantastic classic horror throwback and fits the film perfectly.

Drag Me to Hell is destined to be hailed as one of the best horror comedies since Shaun of the Dead, and Mr. Raimi’s return to the genre is everything an Evil Dead fan would want. But, for those that are less appealed to the Evil Dead films, Drag Me to Hell may look naive, and the film is certainly not for everyone. I can hardly remember five minutes going by without something aided by Young’s unsettling horror music popping out in front of the camera lens, or something gooey getting splashed in the main characters face, or a giant gust of wind blowing crap all over the place, and it may be those places where the film will work extremely well for some, and may seem ridiculous to others.

Overall, Drag Me to Hell is completely self-aware, it knows where it’s coming from, and it contains loads of fun if you’re in the right mindset for it. The film carries a dark, morbid, yet silly aura, and should be the perfect scare flick to watch on Halloween this year. As a big horror film fan myself, I enjoyed this quite a bit.
+



Gangs of New York (2002)


Gangs of New York
is a fantastic film, fueled by terrific performances from an impressive cast, top-notch direction, and no-holds-barred violence. Epic as they come, Gangs of New York held me in its uncompromising grip from the get-go, and didn’t budge until the credits flashed across the screen.

The film is as entertaining as it is visually impressive. And something about the visuals, though running with the filthy, gritty streets of old New York, carries a significant amount of beauty. The cinematography provides an unrelenting darkness that the film thrives on.

The film may fall flat with many due to its endless bouts of violence. The opening war scene is one of the most battering, brutal, and bloody fights one may experience on film. And the unrelenting violence plays a big part for the rest of the film.

As one who is not bothered easily by violence on film, the fight scene at the beginning was one of most impressive film openings I’ve come across. The camera following the characters preparing for battle is amazing to watch, and with the unique yet fitting score playing on top of it, the scene was made all the more impressive. When every sound abruptly ends, the viewer is sucked in to the confrontation of the two rival gangs. The ending plays the same way, building tension with ease.

What makes up for what some may consider to be seemingly senseless violence is a remarkable and powerful story about Amsterdam Vallon (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), an Irish immigrant hardly out of his youth, seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher (played fantastically by Daniel Day-Lewis), the leader of a rival gang, and the man who killed Amsterdam’s father years ago.

The film was undeniably one of the best pictures of the year upon its initial release, and should now be looked upon as one of the best pictures of the decade as well as a massive success for the film’s director, the always reliable Martin Scorsese.

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Death Wish (1974)


Death Wish is a film that receives the infamous “shoot ‘em up” label in bad judgment. Much like Dirty Harry and The Planet of the Apes, the film’s reputation was built from a mass of inferior sequels. What many don’t know is that Death Wish carries frightening social commentary as well as a high powered punch delivered by the story of a man reaching his breaking point.

When Paul Kersey’s family is attacked by a group of muggers that end up killing his wife and mentally scarring his daughter, Kersey reaches his breaking point. Seeking out muggers on the street and executing any who dare challenge him, Paul Kersey then becomes the killer infamously labeled as “The Vigilante.”

What makes the film special is Kersey’s descent into violence. Hell-bent on revenge after his wife and daughter were attacked he prowls the streets waiting, almost anticipating, muggers holding him up at knife point; and when the blade is put forth by another being, it’s payback time.

The film gives the impression that Kersey feels good about taking the lives of those that insist on running amuck; a sense of relief and satisfaction is bestowed upon him once he begins committing the dreadful crimes. He feels he is doing the city a justice by wiping out the trash. Once Kersey receives that sleek looking revolver gently shipped to him via mail, he gazes upon it as if he is coming in contact with an old enemy; he looks aware that the gun will become his vice, or his “tool” specified for cleaning the streets. Kersey’s intelligence leads him to be seemingly always one step ahead of the police.

The film carries a strong message suggesting that vigilantism could be an urban crime prevention tool. The crime rates in the city drastically decrease after Kersey goes on his killing spree. Charles Bronson leads the cast as Paul Kersey in a remarkable performance that heightened his career. His performance suggests an arguable question about his character: Hero or Villain? The film perceives Kersey as a hero.

Death Wish is an interesting take on urban crime and has spawned numerous sequels also containing the social commentary that made the first unique in its own way, but are normally served to the audience as a showing of a one man army tearing through street gangs with ease bringing the quality of the original down in the process. Death Wish is a film that should be looked upon as a gritty and riveting thriller to be reckoned with.



Instead of posting 1 review like I normally do, I've decided to post 3 since all three of the following films carry the same basis:

For those that are not aware, there was said to be a serial killing barber in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s that is infamously known now as Sweeney Todd. The urban legend has been portrayed in media for decades and continues to bring fright and intrigue to audiences around the world.

Sweeney Todd, as the legend has it, would have a revolving trap door built onto a chair that would activate with the pull of a lever. Mr. Todd is said to have sat unsuspecting customers down in the chair, and pull the lever after having slit their throats. His accomplice in crime, Ms. Lovett, is said to have baked the human remains of Todd’s victims into meat pies… charming, eh?

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936)

If anyone's interested, here is a link to legally watch the film for free.

Early horror film star, Tod Slaughter (a great name to sport while playing Sweeney Todd) takes on the performance of Todd, and portrays him more as a raving maniac than anything else, but his performance is good, and carries much of the qualities that you’d see someone like Boris Karloff pulling off.

In the film Sweeney doesn’t slit the customer’s throats right away. He pulls his little lever thus activating a trap chair that throws the customer into the basement before he kills. He then proceeds to go down into the basement where he “polishes them off” and take any of the customer’s belongings that are worth anything. It is done this way to give the audience a little hope. Hope that one of the customers may escape Mr. Todd before getting polished off, and it is blatantly obvious that that’s what was going to happen all along. Which is the biggest problem with the film; it is exceedingly predictable and lacks anything close to being intelligence. If one can let their mind go, sit back, and watch it, it can be a pretty entertaining flick.

Todd’s inducement for crime is greed, and the customers that he kills are often the wealthy. Ms. Lovett isn’t much of a character in this one, and is, for the most part, portrayed solely as Todd’s associate in crime. Ms. Lovett’s character is disappointing, though she poses the same vitality in this version that she does in most other versions (Meat Pies!), her relationship with Todd simply isn’t there, and her character is much less explored than it should be.

The story starts off very well, but becomes more preposterous as it goes along. About twenty minutes into it, it begins to carry on with a completely different image than it started off with, and fails in an effort to return. But, on a positive note, it is everything you’d expect a 1936 Sweeney Todd film to be, and it carries that darkly humorous undertone that many early horror flicks have (to try and brighten up the imposingly dark content of the film).

This version of Sweeney Todd hardly ever gets any attention anymore, and has since become a nice little forgotten gem. Slaughter’s portrayal of Todd is not very credible, but still works fine as what it tries to be; a crazed horror villain. This picture manages to entertain enough, and also manages to set its focus equally on the horror and crime qualities of the tale.


Sweeney Todd (2006)


First exposed to audiences with a television debut on the BBC channel, the 2006 version of Sweeney Todd provides a new look on the tale of Sweeney Todd without being extremely over the top, but tries to bring the tale to the screen credibly. This version brings visceral drama to the myth unlike the ’36 and ’07 versions that concentrate almost solely on ghoulish horror and crime.

Sweeney Todd is played by Ray Winstone, and is portrayed remarkably. The film portrays Todd as a psychopath with no motive for killing, whereas other versions of the story normally include greed in Todd’s incentive to kill, or revenge as it is in the musical adaption.

What Todd’s characterization has in this that is normally put off in other versions is authenticity. Sweeney Todd acts how a crazed murderer would most likely act, with severe mental instability, which, in return, disturbs the viewer much more than any of the other versions even thought of doing.
A turn off for audiences would likely be the gruesome nature of the film. Blood is frequently shown, as it very well should be in a film about throats getting sliced, and there are no dark amusing anecdotes to cheer the viewer up.

What most modern horror flicks that take place in this time period ordinarily thrive on is atmosphere, and this one’s got plenty of that. Without looking too artificial, the foggy streets of London contain a ghastly aura. The aura even becomes aberrant at times, and it packs a visual structure that should please most viewers. But, this is not your typical horror flick; it carries equal parting of drama and predominantly fits numerous categories.

It’s not the best film it could be, and could even be a great film if given the proper treatment, but it is entertaining and likely to succeed in disturbing those with weak stomachs. Much like the 1936 film, this one receives hardly any attention anymore (even having only been out since ’06), but it is worth a look.


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)


The best cinematic version of the myth to date, and Sweeney’s got an axe to grind in this one. This version adds a bunch to the tale (for the better) including revenge as an incentive for Mr. Todd’s grotesque crimes, and is based on the famous Broadway musical.

This version is as self aware a film as you’ll ever find. The film realizes how over the top the story is, and how ridiculous it could look if not made with the right attitude. So, in a film with seemingly endless bouts of blood, and people getting baked into meat pies, the attitude is shown with a whole new perspective; with the perspective of an extremely rare breed: the musical horror film.

The screen is often filled with the classic looking bright red blood, but this should not alienate people away from it. Among the intentionally fake looking blood is a story unlike that of any other Sweeney Todd film, which also brings this version up and above its predecessors. Burton’s involvement is apparent and the visual structure is one of the best Tim Burton has ever been involved with. Throw in Stephen Sondheim’s fabulous score and the film looks and sounds as technically impressive as it could ever be.

The acting is almost entirely fantastic, and Johnny Depp plays the best Sweeney Todd you’ll most likely ever see in a role that earned him an OSCAR nomination. Helena Bonham Carter (as Ms. Lovett) is one of the closest things that the film ever comes to a flaw. She often mumbles through songs which is (and this goes without saying) inexcusable in a musical film. Much of the time, the visuals are so enchanting that the mumbling is easily avoided and aided with the beauty of the picture. Singing aside, Carter’s acting ability in the film doesn’t stand out among the other terrific performances, but was satisfactory. Her character (Ms. Lovett) is given the right amount of attention, and is the most interesting characterization of Ms. Lovett film goers will most likely ever see. The supporting cast includes dignified performances from Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen.

The films atmosphere is the trait that stands out more than any other, it thrives on it; oozes with it. Sweeney Todd is gloriously dark, and is a visual masterwork. It packs similarities to Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and numerous Roger Corman/ Vincent Price classics. Everything accomplished with the setting adds abundantly to the story, which adds a ton more to the movie itself.

As the minutes add up, this tale of Sweeney Todd becomes not only a tale of vengeance, but a tale of hysteria, unlike the other versions of Sweeney Todd that are exclusively tales of greed, murder and hysteria. I shall choose my words carefully in caution of spoiling anything. Sweeney looks for revenge on Judge Turpin (the man who separated him from his wife).

Much of the film is built up to the segment in which Sweeney reveals his identity to Judge Turpin, but somewhere down the line originality kicks in and Sweeney loses a bit of sanity, going on a murder spree, which is where hysteria becomes a big part of the film.

Upon initial release, Sweeney Todd was mainly praised by critics and movie-goers alike. Though, the film seems to receive some criticism for being a musical. The music adds a bit of madness to an already diabolical picture. The film wouldn’t work nearly as well if it weren’t an adaption of the Sondheim musical. Not that it would not have worked at all, I personally would always carry a little intrigue by any shape or form of a Sweeney Todd story, and the story behind Sweeney Todd itself is incredible, but the musical bits show Todd’s sentiment and consciousness in ways that any other form of a Sweeney Todd film would have failed to do so thoroughly, and makes Sweeney Todd one hell of an intriguing character in this one.

The excessive blood seems to be another among a few complaints of the film. The blood is intentionally thrown in the film so messily, and perhaps tries to seem over the top to lighten the mood a bit. The gory parts seem to always be imminent in the second half of the film, where the film evolves from a simple revenge story to a tale of absolute madness. Or the false look of the blood could just be thrown in as a mere homage to classic horror films. This version of Sweeney Todd is indeed as much of a horror flick as it is a musical, and a great one at that.
+



+ rep just for including the Tod Slaughter version, which is my favourite BTW. Actually, were it not for Drew, my avatar would've been from that film. It's the one I'm going to use tomorrow.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Wow! Tod Slaughter made a crapload o B-slasher flicks, but OK, I'm not even sure that The Demon Barber(the first one) was the best one.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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I liked Burton's version best (as you can see), and I think the '07 version was the only Todd film given enough talent and effort to be great, but I did like Slaughter's version quite a bit. I wish Slaughter would have done a bit more (and better) work in horror pictures. He could have been one of the early luminaries of the genre.



Slaughter didn't do too many films, but most of it's unavailable or really difficult to get hold of. After his film work finished, he used to do his act on the theatre circuit and died in his dressing room after a show.

No, I wouldn't say Demon Barbar was the best one either, there's a few that are better than that, IMO, but it's my favourite version of the three re93 posted.

My favourite Slaughter film is, probably, Murder In The Red Barn or The Greed of William Hart, but I've not seen either of those for quite a while.



Mad Love (1935)


Directed by Karl Freund who served as cinematographer for horror classics such as The Golem, Dracula, and Murders in the Rue Morgue, Mad Love is the epitome of the classic horror film. Freund had already made his mark in American Horror serving as the director of the legendary Universal production of The Mummy starring horror luminary Boris Karloff, but Mad Love did heighten the career of its star Peter Lorre quite a bit. Lorre was no stranger to foreign cinema, but Mad Love distinguished Lorre as an actor worth Universal acclaim. Lorre’s performance brought a new ideal antagonist for the big screen, and is still one of the creepiest damn performances I’ve ever seen. His wide eyed stare, soft voice, and strange look make his character, Dr. Gogol, menacing in a way that only Lorre could pull off.

Mad Love is the type of stuff that Halloween was built off of. It contains the macabre, the monstrous, and the direful, and tells a tale of obsession and passion with a horrific twist. For almost the entire runtime, the film builds up to a man’s breaking point. It tells the story of Dr. Gogol, who is desperate for love, yet cannot find it anywhere he turns. The story takes a disturbing turn once the audience is shown the man’s interest in death and horror. The story begins to build in horror as the man is shown becoming less and less emotionally stable. The fright kicks in when the man tries to obtain his love… by any means necessary.

Midway through, the movie borrows from numerous genres to achieve a more empathetic look, and not a very pretty one. When a pianist named Stephen Orlac loses his hands in a train wreck, his wife brings him to Dr. Gogol, who was the only doctor she knew and trusted at the time with her husband’s hands. Little does she know that she herself is the obsessive interest of Gogol, and Gogol may not be the most trustworthy guy with the job after all?

Prior to the train incident in the film, Gogol obtains a headless corpse that was recently decapitated by guillotine. The decapitated man was once a knife thrower at the circus who had murderous instincts which led to his death sentence. The film brings a bit of science fiction into the story when Gogol decides to replace the pianist’s hands with those of the knife thrower. When the pianist is able to use his hands once again, his talent for the piano is relieved, thus replaced with a murderous urge of knife throwing.

Gogol tries to put the pianist in jail at all costs. When Gogol performs the surgery on the pianist where he replaces the man’s hands for the knife throwers, he ends up keeping the pianists hands. He then goes out and commits a violent crime against the pianist’s father leaving Orlac’s fingerprints at the scene of the crime. On top of that, Gogol convinces Orlac that he killed his father by making him believe that he’s losing touch with sanity. He does this by putting on a neck harness and pretending to be the guillotined knife thrower whose head Gogol replaced. Every element of the film adds up at the end forming a horrifying climax in which Orlac’s wife ends up trapped by Gogol in Gogol’s own home.

Though it may look like Child's Play by today’s standards; the film was considered fairly disturbing in its day and was banned from numerous countries, while many other countries cut scenes of death out of the film. If looked at the right way, Mad Love can be one of the most emotionally horrifying films ever made, and the story carries much more emotional depth than a typical horror film.

Mad Love was regretfully the last directorial effort of Karl Freund, who if given a chance, could have sealed his spot as one of the most capable horror filmmakers of his day. Mad Love is often referred to as one of the greatest horror films of the 1930’s; I’ll take it a step further and say that Mad Love is one of the greatest horror films of all time.



The Omega Man (1971)

I Am Legend is a science fiction horror novel written by Richard Matheson. The novel has spawned four notable films to date; among those films is 1964’s The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price (which has since become a classic forgotten horror gem), 1971’s The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston, 2007’s I Am Legend starring Will Smith (which is the most famous version of the bunch), and a direct to video flick entitled I Am Omega that was released around the same time as the 2007 film, obviously put out to garner money and build off the success of the ’07 version . This review is going to focus on what is perhaps the second most famous of those films, The Omega Man.

The film opens with a shot of Robert Neville (played by Charlton Heston) cruising down the street in his car. But, everything is so plain, and a sense of something wrong is quickly established once Neville fires at a shadow lurking in a building window. It is revealed that Neville is the last man on earth, but we quickly find out that he is not alone in the quiet world that he inhabits. Following him, and coming out only in the dark, are beings infected with the virus that wiped out the rest of humanity. These beings want to punish Neville for living while they are slowly dying.

Neville seems like a normal guy when the lights are turned on, but when the sun goes down we find out how dangerous a threat he poses to the infected, which is a strong point in the film. In any typical horror film working with this sort of scenario, the protagonist would be the hunted and the primary danger would be whatever is hunting him. But, Neville poses just as much danger to the hunters as they pose to him. Neville has killed many of them in the past, and unless they can get rid of him, they know that he will kill more.

As the film progresses, the infected group manages to capture Neville. They don’t want anything from him other than to kill him. But, of course they don’t kill him right away; they decide to sacrifice him where every one of them can gather to witness Neville’s death. The sacrifice is set with a ceremony, and of course, Neville escapes. Neville then finds out that he is not the only human left on Earth after all. This happens when a man comes out of the blue and frees him from his sacrificial restraints, fighting off infected beings in the process. Soon after, a woman pulls up in a motorcycle and drives Neville to freedom.

The two humans bring Neville to their home, where there are more people all living amongst each other. Among them is a sick boy, which is slowly becoming infected with the lethal virus. After some research, Neville finds out that his blood is a cure for the disease and manages to save the boy by injecting him with his blood.

A question of morality is brought up when the cured boy asks him to save the rest of the infected. Neville refuses, claiming that they are homicidal maniacs; that an attempt to save them would be a risk far too great. The boy persists and proceeds to go and tell the infected about the cure that consists of Neville’s blood.

The ending tries to spark some emotion, but due to the aggressive tone of the rest of the film, it fails. Neville is built up to be a very likable main character and a hero at the end, but in an obvious attempt to throw action into the picture, he is shown killing villains with ease throughout the rest of the film. All of this builds up to an ending that could have worked much better. The ending would have even had a chance of being great if the rest of the film had focused on Neville’s character instead of unnecessary action.

A few illogical mistakes tone the film’s quality down a few notches. Much of the film doesn’t focus on logical situations, but attempts to make Heston look like a supreme badass. This all happens within a film completely drenched with bad dialogue and laughable one-liners.

The Omega Man is a classic sci-fi thriller that would fit very well in a list of notable science fiction films. Unfortunately, it packs just enough hammy acting, cheesy one-liners, and gratuitous gunfire to fit in a list of cheesy 70’s flicks as well. Even with everything that does work with the film, there is too much wrong to call it a great or even a good movie. What it does do is entertain, and with that strong point, it can be a very, very fun movie to watch.



Dead of Night (1945)

Dead of Night is a series of short horror stories told back to back from the perspective of a room full of strangers that are in a horror story themselves. Sounds boring and perhaps even a bit incoherent, but it is anything but. The film captivates, chills, and above all, entertains.

Before any of the stories are told, the film follows Walter Craig, an architect looking for work at a farmhouse located in the country. Upon his arrival at the hope of a job, he meets up with a group of strangers, the same strangers that have been haunting his recurring nightmares.

When everyone at the home attempts to greet him, he gets the distinct feeling that he’s been there before. Not until he sees everyone sitting quaintly in a room does he trace his memories back to his dreams. The whole film builds tension with a simple little feeling, the feeling that something is going to go terribly wrong. Craig tells the strangers of his nightmare’s and everyone tries to comfort him as he seems a bit shaken up, but after Craig predicts an unexpected event from his dream, the strangers begin to believe him and tell horror stories of their own.

The film is predominantly set in a single room, but it explores the stranger’s memories of terror through their eyes of time. Of course the film reenacts the stories on the screen to capture the full effect, and the stories that are told are every bit as haunting, original and at times even amusing as an audience would hope for.

All the events in the film lead up to a truly chilling climactic twist well ahead of its time. The viewer is left with a few unanswered questions at the end. This works for the better and helps the viewer capture the films effect to the fullest. Films that tell horror anthologies are rare. Hell, films that that tell regular anthologies are rare, and Dead of Night is certainly up there with the best. Not only that, Dead of Night is a recurring horror story that carries enough chills to be ranked among the greatest British thrillers ever made.




F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
This is the first time I've noticed this thread. Those are some amazing reviews. Great work! Two thumbs up for watching my man Charles Bronson. I love him so. I like that you're checking out a lot of older films. Again, great work, and keep them coming.



Hangover Square (1945)


Hangover Square opens with the murder of an unknown man, predominantly shown in first person view from the eyes of the killer. Quickly after the victim’s lifeless body is shown on the floor, the building containing the victim and the killer begins to catch fire. At this point, the interior of the building is still shown from the killer’s point of view and we are able to witness his escape from the fire, but not his face. The killer gets out of the building unharmed while the murdered man’s body burns.

The next scene reveals a man walking down the street carrying a look that would make you think he’s just seen a ghost. The man walks home in a daze making him unaware of his surroundings, and he runs into numerous people in the middle of the street bringing out a question of the man’s well-being. The man finally makes it home sporting a battered, bloody head wound, a knife in his coat pocket, and blood stains on his coat. The film soon reveals that the man has blacked out and cannot remember anything from earlier that night apart from his location, which turns out to be the same location of the aforementioned murder and burned down building.

With this chilling opening the audience is introduced to George Harvey Bone. Bone is a nice, innocent looking man, and a promising musician that suffers from black outs whenever he hears cacophony. Of course Bone himself is unaware that he turns mentally unstable when he has these black outs, and everyone he confronts about them are quick to dismiss them as no big deal. As time progresses, the audience is made fully aware that the black outs surely do become a big deal.

A little later down the line, Bone meets Netta Longdon, a music hall dancer that attempts to use George for his talents in music. As Netta’s intent with George begins to show, George’s black outs become darker than ever, and George is still unaware of what they might mean.

George falls in love with Netta, and later in her home, asks her to marry him. Netta admits that she is scheduled to marry someone else. Netta’s fiancé then shows up to greet George. In a fit of rage George attacks him and leaves Netta’s home. Later that night, George experiences the most tenebrous, disquieting, and darkest black out that he’s ever had. The next day it is exposed that Netta has disappeared. All of the above leads to an unforgettable climax that rivals anything on display in some of the most bone chilling endings ever put on film.

George Harvey Bone is played by Laird Cregar. Sadly, Cregar passed away before the film’s release and Hangover Square contains his final performance. Cregar does deliver one helluva performance that shows that if he had lived, he could have given guys like Vincent Price a run for their money.

The film also features fantastic camera work and an awesome score put forth by Bernard Hermann. Hermann’s main tune for Hangover Square is one of the creepiest themes you’ll ever hear, and the music score was credited by Stephen Sondheim as an inspiration for his famous musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In many parts of the Sweeney Todd score, the inspiration from Hangover Square is apparent.

Hangover Square is a very rare flick to come by these days. There are plenty of nice little forgotten gems from the horror genre that were released in the 30’s and 40’s, but Hangover Square isn’t one of them. No, Hangover Square isn’t merely a gem, it’s a forgotten masterpiece.
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Mean Streets (1973)

Mean Streets is one of most aptly titled films you’ll ever come across. It follows more than one character, yet focuses principally on Charlie (played by Harvey Keitel), the small time wiseguy who is gradually becoming a more esteemed associate of the local mob as the days go by.

Most of the film, particularly the first half, doesn’t concentrate on any specific storyline other than how tough it is living in the streets of “Little Italy” located in New York. Throughout most of the picture, Charlie is shown dealing with minor problems around the city. That is until the real focus of the film comes into full view primarily during the final half hour.

In one of the opening scenes, we are introduced to three of Charlie’s friends; Tony, Michael, and Johnny Boy. Tony and Michael are faithful members of the mob community, but Johnny Boy is a naive and irresponsible gambler that continues to get in bigger and bigger with his debt owed to some loan sharks.

Charlie tries his hardest to stick up for Johnny Boy, and makes an effort to protect him from the sharks, but Jonny’s capricious ways lead him into bigger trouble than either character could have imagined. As the minutes start to add up, the danger that Johnny gets himself in proliferates.

One thing that the film is not lacking is grit, and the profuse amount of it feels terribly real. Something that the film’s director, Martin Scorsese, does like no other is bring grimy streets to life, and he does it just as well as ever with Mean Streets.

By the end of the film, the viewer is sure to remember the aftermath of Johnny Boy and Charlie’s attempted escape from the loan sharks. Mean Streets leaves a very memorable impact. It is a taut, rigid, and tense crime drama that is not to be missed.
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French Connection II (1975)

Rarely are there sequels (especially those of action films or crime thrillers) that actually turn out to be good. French Connection II, the one I’m going to discuss here, is one of the best.

The film most likely wouldn’t be as enjoyable to those who haven’t seen the first. It takes place where the original “French Connection” left off, and it follows the famous hard-nosed cop “Popeye” Doyle as he arrives in France. It is brought to the viewer’s attention that Doyle has come to France in pursuit of Alain Charnier, the infamous drug smuggler that evaded capture in the first film.

Upon arrival, Doyle is looked down upon by Barthélémy, the man he has to take orders from. In one of the opening sequences, Doyle and Barthélémy run to run into some action. With guns blazing from every direction, Doyle sees one of the culprits fleeing the scene and proceeds to chase after him. After a satisfyingly intense chase scene, Doyle catches up and gives the culprit a severe beating.

The culprit is soon revealed to be an undercover police officer. Barthélémy becomes extremely strict with Doyle from this point on, and their animosity for one another plays a big part in the rest of the film.

But, for the first 30 minutes or so, the acrimony between Doyle and Barthélémy is just meant to be looked at as a side story. The real storyline revolves around Doyle attempting to take down Charnier. A good ways into the story, Charnier finds out about Doyle and gets some men to capture him. He then interrogates him in an attempt to gain information about what the police know about him and his drug smuggling.

After two weeks of drugging and interrogating Doyle, Charnier’s men dump him on the street right in front of the police and quickly drive off. Doyle is nurtured back to health, but after two weeks of being drugged, he develops an addiction. The police force him to go “cold turkey.” In the sequence that Doyle does go cold turkey, he is marvelously portrayed by Gene Hackman with a performance that should have earned him another OSCAR nomination for his reprisal of the character.

But, the best part of the film doesn’t come from the shoot-outs, the cold turkey scene, or the chase scenes; to this viewer, the film’s climax is without a doubt the ending. The final few seconds of the picture are some of the most satisfying you’ll ever see, and they are sure to leave a memorable impact.

French Connection II isn’t an action movie or a drama. It’s a blend of both and it works extremely well at building intensity, conjuring humor, and sparking emotion. The inclusions of numerous genres make it one hell of a powerful film, and one of the most underrated of the 70’s.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Awesomely honest review. You didn't mention it but I would have hoped that somehow I was the one to get you to watch it. The only thing I would "ding" you for is that the brilliant ending should raise it to a full-on
. Your photo even shows the scene five seconds before the ending.