Showing posts with label October Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label October Challenge. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Don't Go to Sleep (1982)

Rhoda and McCloud have a murderous daughter in this 1982 made for TV Aaron Spelling movie that surprisingly holds up well.

The late 70s and early 80s were a great time for some really spooky made for TV movies. At least that is my memory of things.  Well if you grew up in the 80s and had brothers or sisters then this movie most certainly freaked you out.

Phillip and Laura just lost their daughter Jennifer and have moved to LA (because that is where Spelling is) with their remaining children Mary and Kevin.  Mary keeps hearing her dead sister but no one believes her.  That is till the killings start.

Now I watched this back in the day and at the time I loved the fact that the mystery could go one of two ways.  Either really a ghost or everything was a product of Mary's psychosis.  As a teen just discovering psychology I thought that was great.

Of course, now, the punch is a little less. Not just due to seeing it before but also time.  Though I was surprised by how well the movie holds up to now.  Re-film this in modern LA and not change a bit of dialog...ok there are some changes that would have to be done...but otherwise it would still work.


Watched: 10
New: 5


Sunday, October 14, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Burned at the Stake (1982)

If there were as many witches in "real" Salem as the Salem in movies and TV, the trials would STILL be going on.

Salem really was an important moment in American History Not the trial itself but as a test of this new country.  Personally, I think we would have ended up exactly where we are today, but we would lack some great stories.

Burned at the Stake, also known as "The Comming", covers the Salem trials in the same way a lot of movies do; as background with a lot of mistakes.  First off, no one was burned at the stake in Salem. They were either hung or in one case pressed to death and another died in prison.

Ok. That all aside. People died and we can get ghosts that way. Ghosts are what gives us this flick.

The plot is simple. Witch dies in the Salem trials then comes back in the 1980s to take revenge of the descendants of the ones that accused her.

I gotta admit despite the subject matter, I found the movie a bit dull.

Watched: 9
New: 5


Thursday, October 11, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Incubus (1982)

Rapey demon goes on a rampage in TorontoGalen, MA.  This movie has ties to both Deadly Blessing (incubus as our monster) and Watcher in the Woods (directed by John Hough).  This movie was on my list a couple of years ago when I did "Movies I thought I had watched, but never did" for the challenge.

The acting is not bad. Not great mind you, but better than expected in many cases.

There is a twist in the end, and one that should have been expected to be honest, but still fun.  Though that is about all that is fun about the movie.  Though the movie is true the nature of the Incubus, so I can't fault them there.

Keep your eyes open, near the end Bruce Dickinson shows up (on film) with his then band Samson.  So that is fun.

Interestingly enough, both Incubi are depicted here as mostly incorporeal begins that can possess people. Typically succubi have a more physical manifestation.  I wonder why? (of course, we all know).


Watched: 8
New: 4


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Forbidden World (1982)

Ah...not Forbidden Planet...but well you get the idea.
I was not going to do an 80's themed October Challenge without getting in a Roger Corman film.
Corman is up to his usual tricks here too, cheap sets, recycled footage, and beautiful women in various stages of undress.

The plot is one so old that even in 82 it felt old. Alien monster created by science gets loose in a lab and kills everyone.  But to Corman's credit, he still manages to make this old chestnut entertaining.
Our hero, Mike Colby, is a Federation Marshall sent to deal with the problem.  He manages to have sex with every woman on the base and still finds a way to allow everyone to get killed on the base.
Priorities I guess.

Still, if I ever get my Star Trek/White Star/Black Star game going again there will be a shape-shifting alien in the Jefferies Tubes killing people.

Forbidden World also features a Pre-V June Chadwick as Dr. Barbara Glaser, but she might be remembered best as David St. Hubbins' girlfriend Jeanine in "This is Spın̈al Tap".  Of course given that this a Corman flick the only way the two women on board can figure out how to communicate with the creature is during a scene where they shower together.

This movie has also been known as "Mutant".  The actual creature, as to be expected, looks nothing like the cover art.

Watched: 7
New: 3


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Deadly Blessing (1981)

Ah,  Deadly Blessing. As kids my brothers and sisters LOVED this movie.  No kidding. The ads were so damn creepy.



A young Sharon Stone forced to eat a spider by an Incubus? Hell yeah! That's nightmare fuel for decades.   And a real spider was dropped into her mouth for this scene.  How's that for dedication?

Ok, where to start on this movie?  Well, it features a young Sharon Stone in one of her very first roles.  It also features Battlestar Galactica's Mara Jensen in her very last role before disappearing from public life.  Also appearing is 80s horror mainstay Michael Berryman, TV star Lisa Hartman, and the last film for Susan Buckner before she left public life as well.

The movie features a group of people called the "Hittites" (no relation to the ancient Mesopotamians) who are supposed to be some sort of ultra-Amish.
Our demon-de-hour is an Incubus, but one that decides to possess women.  I guess "incubus" sounds cooler than "succubus" in this case.

Anyway. Lots of creepy stuff. Murders happen. Mara Jensen takes a famous bath with a snake. And it a fashion that predicts A Nightmare on Elm Street, we think we have the murderer and everyone goes back home.  Except for Martha (Mara Jensen), who pulled into hell by the Incubus in his full demon form.

Ok. Let's be honest. The movie doesn't hold up.  In truth, it wasn't that good to start with, but my memories of it are tied up in watching it with my family.

Sharon Stone is great really.  You get a feeling for the sort of actress she will become later.  Maren Jensen is fine, but I think had she not be diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Syndrome she would have naturally left acting.  She was good, but didn't have a lot of range.


Maybe one of the most iconic horror movie posters of all time.  Well, at least in the top 10.

Watched: 6
New: 2



Monday, October 8, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Sons of Satan (1981)

A bit under the weather here today and all weekend, but I watched to old favorites.
Working my way to 1981.

Fear No Evil (1981).  Loved this stupid little movie as a kid and even more on VHS when I got a copy.  Let's be honest, high school IS Hell.


I had that poster on my wall for years.

The Final Conflict (1981). Damien is back and this time he has his devilish eyes on nothing less than the office of the President!  Imagine that, a soulless son-of-a-bitch as the President.
Sam Neil was really fun in this movie.  The Omen trilogy itself is pretty bad, but this one was fun.


God might only have one son, but Satan's sons are all real underperformers.

Watched: 5
New: 2



Friday, October 5, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

There was a time in the late 70s and early 80s when Disney was going through a slump. It roughly corresponds to the time when Walt and Roy Disney died and before the coming of Micheal Eisner.  This gave us some very different kinds of movies from the House of Mouse.  The Witch Mountain series on the onset and the Black Hole near the end typify of what I think of when I say Dark Disney.
We also got the thriller with multiple choice endings, The Watcher in the Woods.

Now I'll be honest, at age 10 this movie gave me a scare, but I was fascinated with it too.  It' doesn't quite hold up to today, but it was still a ton of fun to watch again.

I have to say Bette Davis left a mark on my psyche so deep that I think every old witch I have done is a bit of a reflection of her Mrs. Aylwood. Or maybe that and her role in Disney's earlier Return to Witch Mountain (1978).  Both films were directed by John Hough, so that might explain the similar vibe.

The Watcher in the Woods is also part of a string of movies, books, and other media popular at the time (and before) that took the point of view of "it's not supernatural, it's alien!" but never to the extent that Lovecraft took it.

Still, it is interesting to view this movie through the lenses of Lovecraftian cosmic horror.  Especially if you stick to the original ending of the movie the alien creature at the end (The Watcher) could very easily be a Mi-Go.



The ending is still a little too happy to be real Lovecraft.

I watched the less interesting Official version.

But it was still a blast to go back to this!


Watched: 3
New: 2



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Nightmare Never Ends / Cataclysm (1980)

Its Atheist vs Satanist is this 1980 Troma...er...classic.

The movie details the struggle between an atheist (Martin Richard Moll in a very early role), his wife a psychic and surgeon, a police detective and the immortal satanic Nazi they are all hunting.

Personally, I think they tried to cram too much into one movie and none of it fared well.  Plus it is Troma and while they are still a couple years from their Golden Age of Toxic Avenger, they have not yet found their sweet spot.  Though I do recall there were a couple of Troma movies from the early 80s that were fine.

Plus the woman playing Moll's wife, Faith Clift, is not very good.  Though my favorite part in this is she goes to see a psychiatrist friend and he suggests she go to the Disco to get rid of these nightmares she is having.  It comes off as so pandering that he made me laugh. (Psychologists will often suggest a vigorous physical activity to aid with night terrors.)

Maybe if they had split this into two movies, with the detective following the case from both and then had you know a good script.  I like the idea of evil, immortal satanic Nazis as bad guys.

Did I mention though our Nazi sucked too?  No? Wel,l he did.  IF he is the best that the Nazi's and Satan can collectively come up with then the army of evil is nothing.

The movie was released as "The Nightmare Never Ends" but at some point was renamed "Cataclysm". No idea why.  Also, the movie has two release dates; 1980 for the US and 1983 for West Germany.

Watched: 2
New: 2


Monday, October 1, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Beyond Evil (1980)

It's Halloween everyone!  Or October. Same thing.
This year I want to focus on movies made in the 1980s.  I have done a lot 70s and 60s movies, but never a dedicated tour of the horror movies on the 1980s.  I also want to focus on the Occult and things that made people really nervous in the age of the Satanic Panic.

So let's get started.

Up first is John Saxon in Beyond Evil (1980).  It's slightly less Blaxploitation than say Live and Let Die,  but the vide it there.  in fact this movie feels very 70s to be honest. No surprise of course, but it will be interesting to see when the shift happens.

The movie is a "Scooby-Doo" plot where John Saxon and wife Lynda Day George get a house in the Caribean.  Of course, it is haunted by a woman who was murdered by husband.  So we get a lot of Lynda Day George acting all possessed and weird.  A lot of John Saxon not believing in black magic and then of course wackieness ensues.

The movie is not bad it an attempt to update the old haunted house trope by sticking it into someplace really nice. But in the end, the cast is better than their script.

Watched: 1
New: 1


Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Styria (2014)

I wanted to go back and rewatch this one after spending a lot time with Carmilla.  I remember that this one had been pretty good and I wanted to go back and see if it held up.

I am happy to admit it does.

There must have been some sort of cinematic vibe in the air because rewatching this one now reminded me a lot of The Only Lovers Left Alive.  The soundtrack is still awesome and the chemistry I saw between the two actresses, Eleanor Tomlinson (Lara) and Julia Pietrucha (Carmilla), is still there, even if it is not the same as the newer Carmilla movie.  Not sure if I can grok a blonde Carmilla though.  Stephen Rhea is fantastic as usual playing Lara's father only as he can.  He always looks like he is one bad bender away from falling apart.

As my want, I watched this as if it was a sequel to "Daughters of Darkness" and a prequel to the "Carmilla" web series.  It doesn't...but it would fit the backstory well enough with some edits.

It is a very worthy entry into the collective mytho-storytelling of Carmilla.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Carmilla Movie (2017)

Carmilla week continues.  The movie is out tonight or tomorrow (depending on where you are) and I wanted to save this one for today.

A change tonight from ancient, dusty videotapes for this challenge.  Instead, I am reviewing a movie that was only released to the public 2 hours ago.

The Carmilla Movie, based on the hit webseries was just released to backers and I just got done watching it.

Naturally, I don't want to say too much because of spoilers, but I will say this.  It lived up to the hype and the anticipation.

The basic gist is Carmilla is being summoned back to Styria to deal with all the deaths she caused.  We get ghosts, haunted houses, vampires and plenty of chills.

Natasha Negovanlis is an absolute treat as Carmilla and Elise Bauman shines as reporter Laura Hollis.  All the cast is great though.   The newcomer, Dominique Provost-Chalkley though puts on a stellar performance as Elle, Carmilla's first true love and the big bad of the story.  Elle is about as far from Waverly Earp as you can get and really made me appreciate her as an actress even more.

The movie is a solid horror flick despite Laura's own "goodbye Hammer Horror, hello Rom Com!"

You don't need to see the series to enjoy this movie, but if you did then there are plenty of rewards for you.

Very pleased.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Blood Spattered Bride (1972, 1974)

Another loose retelling of Carmilla, this time from Spain. The retelling is a bit loose and set in modern times, well, the 70s anyway.

Our victim this time is Susan.  Carmilla, of course, shows up (buried in the sand no less) and begins in on Susan and her husband.  Eventually, Carmilla, Susan, and some other girl (because fuck it right) are all killed by the husband.

The movie is not bad, but a confusing mess really.  The movie could very easily work as a sequel to the Vampire Lovers or any other Carmilla movie.

Alexandra Bastedo makes for good Carmilla, though a blonde one.  Which is odd of course, but she makes up for it.







Monday, October 23, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Vampire Lovers (1970)

For Carmilla Week I thought I go back to a the very deep well of the Vampire Lovers.  It also is one of my video tapes (along with some other movies this week) so really it works out well.

I did this one all the way back in 2012 and some observations I made then still hold true today.

Carmilla/Mircalla of The Vampire Lovers is a killer.  She is a murderess to be sure but to quote They Might Be Giants she was "the nicest of the damned".

Comparing Ingrid Pitt to Natasha Negovanlis may strike some as blasphemy, but I think it is entirely fair.  After all no one will remember Julia Pietrucha as Carmilla (Syria) or Christen Orr (The Unwanted) but these two will always be remembered.

Each is also perfect for her respective portrayal of the troubled vampire.

The movie is actually fairly close to the book.  Enough that if you read the book and see the movie you will notice more of similarities rather than the differences.

Now here there is no doubt that Carmilla is supposed to be evil.  She casually uses and tosses away Mdme. Perrodot (Kate O'Mara) and she did kill Laura (Pippa Steele) but yet to me there is something underneath all of this.  Carmilla is still a tragic figure.  She was damned, but maybe the least of the damned.  Not as much as in the novella, but it is there.  We see this more and more as the adaptations become more modern. 

Could this movie work as a prequel to the series? Sure.  In the movie just have Carmilla fall in love with Elle at the end and let the events of season 1 unfold.  OR do as I do, enjoy them separately for their own merits.

Connor didn't watch this one with me.  He is burned out on my 70s Hammer films.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lifeforce (1985)

I am so far behind on these.

Up next on a my Vampire tape is Tobe Hooper's 1985 Lifeorce.  Loosely based on on Colin Wilson's "Space Vampires".  The movie has the aforementioned space vampires but they differ from the book.
One thing that struck me while watching this was the fact that 19-year old French Actress Mathlida May pretty much spends the entire movie walking around completely naked.  I am not sure a horror movie outside of the exploitation types could do this anymore (see the "I Spit on Your Grave" remakes).

The movie is still fun.  In addition to May it features a Pre-Star Trek Patrick Stewart and a pre-X-Files Steve Railsback.

Of course I immediately adopted the Space Vampires (the Lovecraftian "Ubbo-Sathla" in the book) to my AD&D games.
The stats I wrote then became the basis for the Space Vampire I did a few years ago.

Connor did not watch this one with me.  I'll admit I avoided telling him about it.  Weird I know. I was 16 when saw it the theaters and he is 14 now.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Sooner or later someone was going to cast Tilda Swinton as a vampire.
Thankfully it was sooner.

The Only Lovers Left Alive is the tale of two vampire lovers, centuries, maybe even millennia old, that periodically spend time apart.  Tilda Swinton's Eve stays in Tangier while Tom Hiddleston's Adam lives in Detroit. 
The movie is arty and actually full of existential dread; what would you do to keep away the crushing sense of thousands and thousands of endless nights?

The cast is fantastic really. We also get Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, and John Hurt. 
Though the best really are Swinton and Hiddleston who were born to play vampires.  I would want more movies with these characters, but I think we have seen everything we can of them; their curse is to remain the same for all time while the world around them burns.

This one had been one of my early picks for the challenge this year even though it was not on any of my old videotapes (naturally). But one I really wanted to see.

This might one of the best vampire movies I have seen in a very long time. 

Note: Backdating this to the night I watched it. I am woefully behind schedule in posting.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Black Swan (2010)

Is Black Swan a Horror flick?

It certainly has elements of it and IMDB and Wikipedia list it as Psychological Horror.  I mean it is no Silence of the Lambs, but it can get to you.
Plus Darren Aronofsky can do some really creepy shit (see "Requiem for a Dream").

There is no "last girl" here and certainly no one is murdered (except for a hallucination) and we can never really be sure of Nina's (Natalie Portman) ultimate fate (though to stick with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake theme she certainly died).

Portman gave a fantastic, Oscar worthy,  performance, as to be expected, and Mila Kunis was also really good as Lily.

This movie was a happenstance for this challenge.  I do not have it on tape but it was on one of the movie channels.

A good movie makes you think afterwards.  Though not all movies that make you think are necessarily good.  This is both.  Sometimes Aronofsky can get on my nerves, but this was a good one.





Monday, October 16, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

I have now seen so many of these movies I am forgetting what is going on.  They are all beginning to bleed into the other.   Kate Beckinsale is back as Selene, hunter of both vampires and lycans.

The vampires are nearly wiped out and the lycans want Celene for her blood.
It is all a World of Darkness game gone WAY out of control.  But it is still fun and the special effects are still cool. 

There is a coven of Nordic pacifist Vampires (not sure how that happened) and plenty of actors filling in their off time from Game of Thrones.

I snark, but the film is fun. I gave up on the plot a few movies back.

To be honest, I really should do a marathon of all these films one year and watch them all with the same dedication I do Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings and see if I can't rediscover some of the excitement I once felt for them.

Note: I am way behind on posting these, so I am backdating to the nights I watched them.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Scanners (1981)

Note: This was supposed to auto-post. So I am posting it now.

Another tape.  This time the 80s classic Scanners.  It has the feel of dawn of the 80s down pat and David Cronenberg is at his best here.  While the cast is forgettable, the never, ever dull Micheal Ironside gives a great turn as the evil Scanner Darryl Revok.  The Prisoner's Patrick McGoohan was almost unrecognizable to me.

The story was fun and had some great moments (the head exploding).

Connor loved the psychic story line, he is a sucker for all that.
He did mention, and this is something I have noticed as well, is that as movies get more modern the psychic power level increases.  Compare the Scanners to Dark City or even the Tomorrow People TV show.   He did not care for the end though and I can't blame him.

Both of us were confused about the whole "Scanning a computer" deal.

I loved this poster. Always freaked me out.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Devil's Wedding Night (1973)

This was supposed to autopost. I am reposting it now.

The Devil's Wedding Night is an Italian horror film that combines Dracula, Satan, Elizabeth Báthory and the Ring of the Nibelungen all in a gothic mess.

Actually, the movie was entertaining. The idea of the Ring of Dracula = Ring of the Nibelungen is bit off, but the concept of Dracula's ring with a bit of his life essence has some merit.  I am sure we saw that in some Hammer film.  It certainly worked for the Master in Doctor Who and Sauron.

Again the poster has events not in the movie, but that is pretty common.

My RPG take-away from this is to give my next master vampire (Dracula, Strahd, Mal Havoc) a phylactery-like ring to bring them back.  My kids already have encountered Strahd so maybe that is a good one to go to.

This movie is also called "Full Moon of the Virgins". These do not appear till then of the movie in an elaborate sacrifice.

Note the trailer below is NSFW. But the worst part is the narration.


Friday, October 13, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Osiris Child (2016)

The Osiris Child is listed as Sci-Fi, but to me, it is more horror.  There are none of the hallmarks of sci-fi outside of the futuristic time, some spaceships and terraforming. It actually has more in common with horror movies.

There is tension, there is the omnipresent threat of death, there are monsters (both human and otherwise) and there is a last girl.  There are also some scary moments.

While the original title was billed as the very ambitious "Science Fiction Vol 1." I am not sure we will see a Vol. 2.

Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable and the acting was good, I don't believe it is sequel-worthy.

Note: I am back dating to this to the time I watched it.
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