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THE MONSTER
(1925, West)
A film with Lon Chaney



"You must be mad!"
"Don't you dare call ME mad!"

That's the offended response from Dr, Ziska (Lon Chaney) after being called "mad". But then again, that's what you get when you perform mad experiments on unsuspecting people. He is "the monster" in the title. The film, however, focuses primarily on Johnny Goodlittle (Johnny Arthur), a meek but determined amateur detective, who sets out to investigate the numerous kidnappings happening in the countryside.

Johnny's investigation takes him right into the abandoned sanitorium where Ziska performs his experiments. Considered as one of the first films within the "old dark house" sub-genre, the film does make good use of the setting with our hero trapped in the house, along with his love interest Betty (Gertrude Olmstead) and his rival (Amos Rugg). There are some pretty cool setpieces and well shot sequences, especially in the last act, that I'm sure were probably really scary back in the day.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Murder in a Teacup (2024)

A documentary film about a serial killer that used his self-taught skills on pharmacology and toxicology to attack friends and family. Then after serving time in a mental hospital, his colleagues at his new place of employment. It's jaw-dropping how, even in the latter case it was put down to water faults or even a localised virus in the workplace. Fortunately this Nazi worshipping headbanger left a full diary under his bed where the only code was using his victims initials instead of their full name. Hardly the Enigma code huh? Truly shocking in suburban Bovingdon in the 70s.



Oooof, I was way below you on this one Gideon, didn't get on with it at all, maybe a rewatch.



HOST
(2020, Savage)





Host follows a group of friends that, for some reason, decide to perform an online sťance. However, most of them are taking things lightly, not "respecting the spirits", until things start to go awry and weird stuff starts happening around them. Since each of them is in separate locations, it makes it harder both to know what's happening on the other side, but also harder to help.

Those gimmicks might lend themselves for some cheap execution, but here it works. There were a couple of times where I literally jumped off my seat, which is what we want from a horror film. Host has a lot of things on its favor. The premise is uniquely executed, the performances are solid, the sense of dread is genuine, the jump scares feel earned and organic, but most importantly, with a runtime of just an hour, it doesn't overstay its welcome.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot



I love that movie! It was a great decision to leave the film at a sleek 60 minutes rather than try to pad it out to 90. It's also one of the first movies to reference covid.







I'm upset that this movie isn't connecting with the zeitgeist as well as it should. It's a perfect blend of action, comedy, and romance. They probably didn't need to go so over the top with the special effects, as it's best features are the dialog and performances. It works as a straight action flick and a story about love getting a second chance.





I forgot the opening line.

By The poster art can or could be obtained from the distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32932235

The Purple Plain - (1954)

A very British war/survival/love film featuring the very American Gregory Peck as Canadian Squadron Leader Bill Forrester, one of the most unpleasant, uncaring people you could ever care to meet - but that's only because his wife died in the Blitz. Forrester goes into missions with an almost suicidal lack of care for dying (and that actually makes him a dangerous enemy), but when he meets Anna (Win Min Than), a beautiful Burmese woman who manages to reach him with her soft humility and simplicity, he mellows (a bit.) When Forrester's plane crashes in the middle of nowhere during a mission, Forrester, Flying Officer Carrington (Lyndon Brook) and Flight Lieutenant Blore (Maurice Denham) must work out how to survive and make it back to civilization with limited water, steaming hot weather and no food - a task made more difficult because of the fact that Carrington was badly burned and injured in the crash. So, you get a bit of everything with this (along with M himself, Bernard Lee as a doctor on the base.) I think it strikes a good balance between character-building, adventure and romance, but Peck is left to really carry the film by himself. Nice cinematography.

7/10


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23479156

The House on Telegraph Hill - (1951)

Holocaust survivor Viktoria Kowalska (Valentina Cortese) steals the identity of the departed Karin Dernakova (Natasha Lytess), but complications arise when she takes up her place at that house on Telegraph Hill in this moody dark thriller which blends mystery with suspense. I didn't think it was brilliant, but it'll stick around a while in my mind. Full review here, in my watchlist thread.

7/10


By Source: http://posters.motechnet.com/title/tt0037469/ - Derived from a digital capture (photo/scan) of the Film Poster, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1613868

The Woman in the Window - (1944)

The woman in the window, Alice Reed (Joan Bennett) lures Professor Richard Wanley where he's forced to kill her jealous boyfriend in self defense in this very taut, tense and thrilling film noir classic that kept me on the edge of my seat. A real shame about that ending though. Full review here, in my watchlist thread.

7/10
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Latest Review : Aftersun (2022)






Both good movies. Loads of full frontal female nudity in the first movie. Shades of Lena Dunham.
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Inside Man - (Spike Lee, 2006)

First rewatch in ages, still very good.
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Trancers -


To say that The Terminator is influential is the kind of general statement about movies few will disagree with. However, if you still need hard evidence, consider how many B-movies cribbed from it, some of which even came out in the same year. One such movie - and one of the better ones - is Trancers, which has enough things guaranteeing it as such right off the bat that are just as valuable, if not more, as Rotten Tomatoes' "Certified Fresh" seal. Charles Band is at the helm, it's a Full Moon, ahem...Empire production, and not only is Tim Thomerson in the lead, but he also does what he does best: play a futuristic "Dirty Harry" type. While the plot isn't that different from The Terminator's in abstract, it does enough clever things to distinguish itself. One is its time travel method, which is sort of a combination of the ones in La Jetee/Twelve Monkeys and Quantum Leap. On top of that, the notion of using the technology to wipe out entire generations is pretty darn scary. This combined with Michael Stefani's sly, snakelike villain gives Thomerson's Jack Deth and Helen Hunt's punk-rocking companion Leena, who also hope to protect the future council's ancestors, please on both action and mystery fronts. It's also a joy to get a grand tour of '80s L.A. from its shopping malls to its tanning salons as well as to see how Helen Hunt kicked off her career.

While I had a good time with this, it's more of a supplement to The Terminator than a substitute. There are a lot of bells and whistles in the story and concept, but compared to Cameron's movie, there's not nearly as much elegance or cohesion. We're also given little explanation as to why Leela is so willing to be Jack's companion other than him being such a tough, manly dude, especially since he's not the kindest person to her at first. Granted, the ancestor who Jack supplanted when he went back in time and Leena have a history, but it doesn't seem to be a long or pleasant one. Despite these flaws, when it comes to an easy recommendation for someone who is hungry for more of something like The Terminator, but with extra cheese, it's an easy go-to. I mean, it even has zombies for some reason!



A 1927 double feature
The Jazz Singer -- 3/5, i get why people may not like this, but it wasn't a very good film, very important technically though.
The Unknown -- 4/5 -- great performance by Lon Chaney, his character here like Laugh Clown Laugh have questionable methods on courtship.
Michael -- 1924 -- 5/5 -- wonderful
Marketa Lazarova -- 1967 -- during the act of watching this i had to call 911 for my dad, but this film is a masterpiece, a great re-watch despite the circumstances.




By Source: http://posters.motechnet.com/title/tt0037469/ - Derived from a digital capture (photo/scan) of the Film Poster, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1613868

The Woman in the Window - (1944)

The woman in the window, Alice Reed (Joan Bennett) lures Professor Richard Wanley where he's forced to kill her jealous boyfriend in self defense in this very taut, tense and thrilling film noir classic that kept me on the edge of my seat. A real shame about that ending though. Full review here, in my watchlist thread.

7/10
Both thumbs up for this one! Personally I loved the ending, which IMO made it a superior picture to Scarlett Street (1945). The acting was much more controlled, and Lang didn't allow the actors to go over the top as they did in SS.



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
Ennio
Ennio Morrico. This was just on TCM so it's probably still On-Demand. It's almost 3 hours long, and I wish I didn't have to split it up in many viewings over the last couple days, but life's been crazy, but it was still good.






I forgot the opening line.

By It is believed that the cover art can or could be obtained from the publisher or studio., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42952655

All Hallow's Eve - (2013)

Okay, so now I find out 2/3rds of Damien Leone's feature debut, an anthology film, is simply made up of 2 of his previous short films. Way to make a cheap feature bro. I guess that explains why Art the Clown looks so different in the first and last segments, as well as the wrap-around story. This is cheap Halloween stuff - a woman kidnapped by Art at a train station finds herself in a basement being tortured by deformed demons, another woman finds herself being chased around her own house by an alien (major shades of No One Will Save You in this original segment - nice alien), and Art the Clown terrorizes a woman on the road while wreaking havoc everywhere. Bargain basement movie-making which has it's moments, but for the most part lacks polish. It improves after the first segment (Leone's first filmmaking effort) - but you'll get that unevenness if you're going to tack early film projects to your full-length movie.

5/10


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The Taking of Deborah Logan - (2014)

Pretty good found footage movie about a film crew making a documentary based on Deborah Logan's (Jill Logan) battle with Alzheimerís, which suddenly transforms when it becomes evident that Deborah has been possessed by some kind of evil entity. I've seen a lot worse. Full review here, in my watchlist thread.

6.5/10