Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

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.





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.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Initiation of Sarah (1978, 2006)

Ok. This one didn't post either.

The 70s were weird.  Today I might draw a very distinct line between "witches" and "psychics" and even online they are considered different things depending on who you ask. 
The 70s, not so much. 

Case in point, one of my favorite 70s guilty pleasures, The Initiation of Sarah from 1978.
I think for the longest time I associated sororities with witchcraft. 

The story follows two girls, Sarah and Patty Goodwin, raised as sisters as they go college and pledge in different, competing, sororities. 

Patty, the overtly pretty one, is accepted to Alpha Nu Sigma (ΑΝΣ) and Sarah, the other one, accepted to the weird Phi Epsilon Delta (ΦΕΔ).  Patty has to deal with Alpha bitch Morgan Fairchild played in only the way Morgan Fairchild can while Sarah has to deal with likely drunk (in the story and real life) Shelly Winters.

It seems to me that both houses are in truth witch covens and have been at war with each other since, well, who knows how long.

The film is pure ABC Made for Television cheese really and not a lot to redeem it.  But I love it to this day.  So many untapped ideas here.

The movie was remade in 2006 as a, you guessed it, a made for TV movie.

This time Sarah is played by the far more attractive Mika Boorem and her sister Lindsay, played by Summer Glau (who gets on my nerves).  Morgan Fairchild is back and still look great and playing the alpha bitch. This time she is the girls mother, but you will be forgiven if you think she is playing the same character.  Jennifer Tilly replaces Shelly Winters.

There are differences in the plot, mostly to bring it upto date, and others that actually make sense.  Are you a virgin and about to be sacrificed? Yeah, there is a way to fix that. And they do.

Different people die, different people live.  It is cut from the same block of cheese as the original and despite some better acting (not Summer Glau, she is horrible) it doesn't fare as well.  Must be the nostalgia.

In 10 years I want another remake, this time with Morgan Fairchild in the Shelly Winters role.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Gothic (1986)

Gothic is another one of those films that you either love or hate.  I enjoyed the hell out of it. The story of how Frankenstein and the Vampyre came to be? Ken Russell as the director? Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron, Julian Sands as Percy Bysshe Shelley, and an absolutely lovely Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley (in her film debut)?  Music by Thomas Dolby? What's not to love?
Well plenty it seems.  The movie was a commercial bomb, though it did make good money on the home video market.

Connor hated it. Though he did recognize Timothy Spall who played Dr. John William Polidori here and later Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew.

I watched this a few Challenges back but for the life of me I can't find the write up.  My wife hated it then too. It does feel dated and the music is very much mid-80s synth.  But it is still a lot of fun.





Friday, October 6, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lair of the White Worm (1988)

On to my vampire tapes now.  I am not going to review all of these since I had done so many of these in past Challenges. But there are few that stand out.

Lair of the White Worm (1988) is one of those movies.  Rather infamous at the time and a lot of the same visuals from director Ken Russell that made Tommy (1975) so good.

The star of this is a deliciously sexy-evil Amanda Donohoe as the snake-vampire thing Lady Sylvia Marsh.  I read that the role had been offered to Tilda Swinton. Could you have imagined that? I think it would have been awesome. Of course watching it now it is a very young looking Peter Capaldi with a thick northern accent as archaeology student Angus Flint.

I know this is based on a Bram Stoker novella, but it's not a very good novella really.  I read it, gods, back in my university days.  Connor wanted to know why worms, dragons, snakes, and vampires were all getting blended together in this.  It's a good question really.





Thursday, October 5, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Dark City (1998)

This must be my Alex Proyas tape.  Dark City was one of those movies that came up a lot on the old Kult RPG list I was on.

Connor thought it was cool, but had a lot of his own theories and questions.

As much as I talk about the Occult Revival 70s, there is also the Paranoid 90s.  Everything is a conspiracy and THEY are always out to get you or keep you from the truth.  You can see this in the X-files and movies like The Matrix and They Live.

Games like Kult (1991), Conspiracy X (1996), Beyond the Supernatural (1987), Chill 2nd Edition (1990), even to a degree Alternity's Dark Matter, all captured different aspects of this feeling.

I was involved in many online debates on what system would do Dark City justice.  I had always put my chips in a Conspiracy X/WitchCraft hybrid.








Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Shinning (1980)

This might not be the best Stephen King book made into a film, but it is certainly a great one.  This is a Stanely Kubrick masterpiece of insanity, murder, and supernatural happenings that few movies can compare too.

This is Kubrick at his best, Nicholson at his most manic, and Stephen King at his most...well, Stephen King.

Connor loved this one. He had known about the movie and many of the scenes for a long time, I mean how could you not?  So the movie lived up to the hype in his mind.

Rewatching this now, many years later, I am struck by how much I really enjoyed Kubrick's direction here.  His vision may not have been the same as King's, but it is a good vision, even a great one.

This isn't just one of my favorite horror movies it is one of my favorite movies of all time.  It's not perfect of course, but it is great.









Watched: 3

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Car (1977)

Ah. This little piece of cinematic trash made to it TV sometime in the late 70s. I am sure I recorded it back in the 80s at one point, and then transferred to another tape in the 90s.  I WISH I had kept the commercials in this, but I edited them out to make more room on the tape.   That's a lot of work to spend on this movie.

Rewatching this now, 40 years later, I am again taken with the 70s obsession with the Devil.  Plus I will never get that horn out of my mind.
The movie is lack luster really.  Killer car.  People find some really dumb ways to put themselves in the path of this thing.

I remember thinking at the time it was cool concept, but poorly executed.

Connor, predictably, was bored. So was I to be honest.

My memory of this movie is much better than the movie itself.  The final scene where the car is blown up and "the devil" is released was also much cooler in my memory than on this tape.
I remember my brothers and sisters watching this and then laughing many years later when a still of the explosion was later used in a supermarket gossip rag as the "face of the devil" in a storm.

Maybe it is time to remake this one.  Maybe now with a killer drone.







Watched: 2

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Exorcist (1973)

Let's start this off right with a movie I consider one of the scariest ever made. 1973's The Exorcist.

By today's standard, this movie is slow. In fact my son kept asking for when it was going to get going.  But one it get's going, man does it keep going. It is almost relentless, to be honest.

The cast delivers a top notch performance but obviously, the big nod goes to Linda Blair.  She ended up nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe and People's Choice award for her role as possessed girl Regan.

There is a lot going on this movie and there is now, of course, an entire "expanded universe", but this is the first, this is the where it started.  Directed by William Friedkin and produced and written (book and screenplay) by William Peter Blatty this movie takes everything I remember about the 70s Occult resurgence and boils it down in a crucible over hell fire.

My son, who has grown up on a steady diet of monster hunting shows like Supernatural, did not see the horror.   He had at least a dozen ways in his mind that the demon could have been gotten rid of.

In the end, though he still enjoyed it.

Still, scares the shit out of me.





Watched: 1

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: 2017, Ready, Set, Not so fast....

It might only be September, but there is a chill in the air here in Chicagoland .  My kids were gaming with their own groups this long weekend and I got stuck doing Term Start duties that most of my instructors were supposed to have done 3 weeks ago.

I did get a chance to look over my list of potential movies for next month's October Horror Movie Challenge.

Like I mentioned last year I am going to go through a bunch of old VHS tapes I have laying around before I toss them.   I have discovered that some of the quality of these tapes though are near-unwatchable.

Artifacts of a bygone age.  Some have a cryptic warning on them, "Be Kind, Please Rewind".
Last year I was hoping that the tapes were in good enough shape and my VCR still worked.  It does, but the tapes are not quite up to it.  So I might be watching some on DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming then tossing the tape.

My "first-time views" will go down a bit, but my OCD will be happy.
Though there are some here I have not seen in decades.  My youngest son will be joining me for a few of these.  Most will be his first-time views.

One of the movies I want to watch is not on Netflix, Amazon or OnDemand...so I have some digging to do.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman on the Big Screen

This is just a drive by post.

We saw Wonder Woman last night.  Holy shit is that a FANTASTIC movie. It is very nearly pitch perfect.  I have been waiting so long to see Diana of Themiscyra on the big screen and I was not disappointed.   In fact, we are planning on going again.

I have said that no one could replace Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.  I was wrong.
Gal Gaddot IS Wonder Woman. She is so good in this.
Every scene lights up with her in it. Whether she is kicking Patriarchy ass or tasting ice cream for the first time.  Fighting or cooing over a baby.  THIS IS Wonder Woman!


Go. See this movie now.

Plus if you are a Wonder Woman fan like me there are so many easter eggs.  No post-credits scenes, but that is fine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Movie: The Lure

Mermaids are not something I think about or use very often.  I will admit that after "Splash" came out I wanted to try an underwater campaign, or at least an ocean-based one. But I don't remember actually ever using a mermaid, merman or even a triton in my games.

That all being said I am really looking forward to this new movie "The Lure" described as a Mermaid Horror Musical Comedy.  I mean mermaids have to sing right? That is part and parcel with their myths.  While Hollywood seems content on remakes and sequels, we have to go abroad for something original.



Here is the "Red Band" trailer.



Pretty weird right?
Looks like it could be a lot of fun too.

It is by brand new director Agnieszka Smoczynska.  She has a vision that is certain.


I love hearing about her influences. Glamor amongst poverty. I am looking forward to seeing what else she can do.

Hopefully, I'll be able to add this my October Horror Movie Marathon.

This does give me an idea. What if Kuo-Toa, who were described as living on land once, have a mermaid-like sub-species. Something that is appealing to humans, but used as a lure.  Like something out of the movie Dagon.  I might have to watch this before October!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 A Look Back

It is already 2017 in some parts of the world, but here 2016 is staying around like that last guest that just won't leave.  So let's look back on 2016 on The Other Side.

D&D 5
Without a doubt D&D 5th Edition was the biggest game this year and D&D5 posts here got the most traffic. D&D got a big push in the media this year and D&D 5 benefited from all of that.  Closer to home I played a lot of 5th edition this past year. I ran games for my kids and various cousins and my oldest son ran three different campaigns. Ok, they were all roughly the same adventures, but with three different groups.
Not everything was all 5e all the time. I managed to work in some Basic (B/X) D&D as well and even a little AD&D 1st Ed. Back in October, I reignited a Blue Rose game too and even worked in a little Castles and Crusades.
I have caught some rumors of some very interesting 5e related news I can't share yet.  But 5e is going to have just as much of a good 2017 as it did 2016.

Geek Culture
This is a wonderful time to be alive if you are geek. Really. In 2016 we got more superhero movies than I can recall (ok Civil War was a bit of a let down compared to comic), Star Trek AND Star Wars in the theatres in the same year. Doctor Strange came out, a movie I wanted since the 70s, new Ghostbusters, new Jason Bourne, a new movie in the Harry Potter universe!  And that is just the movies.
On TV we have super heroes, scratch that, DC Super Heroes every night of the week! Luke Cage on Netflix. STRANGER THINGS! So much great content that I can't even keep up.  We have an embarrassment of riches here.
Speaking of DC. The rebooted, reboot of DC's Rebirth in comics is doing fantastic. Not just in sales, but also in terms of story. While the DC movies are hit and miss (I am a fan, but I am also realistic here) and the TV shows are nailing it night after night (still a fan) the comics, especially the "New52" had been iffy. Not anymore.



Bloggin'
My output decreased this year and it is likely to decrease more next year. More on that later, but mostly it is due to me needing more time for work, family and other projects.  I had a lot of fun with my deep dives into Victorian RPGs and Blue Rose. The stats show you liked them as well. I said goodbye to some regular features like Zatannurday and Friday Night Videos.  I have mostly retired Class Struggles and "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading", but I retain the right to post something with them in 2017.
I was nominated again for "Best Blog Ennie" for 2016. I didn't win, but I had a lot of fun going to awards show.



Personal
Things are good here at home. Family is healthy and good. My wife and I launched into a new exercise plan where I run every day and exercise in the evening.  I am healthier now in my later 40s than I was in my 30s. My weight is way down and my blood pressure (something I have had issues with since I was a teen) is also down. In fact, save for a minor respiratory bug last week 2016 has been one of my healthiest years on record.
Work is going fine. In 2017 I have a new graduate program whose curriculum I am redoing, so that will keep me busy for the next couple of years. I got a promotion (of sorts) and a raise (of sorts) and a new boss.

The Other Side Publishing
2016 saw the launch of my personal imprint The Other Side Publishing.  I am not trying to take the RPG world by storm here, I just want to put out a few books of things I want to play.  My biggest success so far has been Sisters of the Aquarian Order (currently a Copper best seller!) for White Star.
I am making enough here to keep going and I can keep myself in other people's books too.  That is a success in my mind. Actually, people buying my stuff and getting enjoyment out of it is much more of a success than the actual money, but the money does buy more art.



And Then There Was That Other Thing...
Yeah 2016 had it's fair share of suck too. More than it's fair share to be honest. The election was shit-show and the outcome was pretty much to worst of all possible outcomes.  I have mentioned before I am less of a "Social Justice Warrior" as I am a "Social Justice Veteran" or, more to the point "Social Justice Terrorist".  I was in the trenches before Facebook, before Twitter and back when letters and phone calls to Congressmen, Senators, and Judges were a common thing for me. I got back on the phone this year to my Representatives and other elected officials. 2017 might be the year that pulls me back into social activism.  In fact, I have already started to put my money where my mouth is, so I am also going to put in my time.



We had a lot of our icons die this past year. Not much I can say about that really. I am going to miss Bowie the most I think. I just liked the idea of being in a world that also had him in it.

So here is to 2016. The good, the bad and the ugly. And there was a lot of bad and ugly!
Here is to a much better 2017! Though it is really 2020 I am looking forward to the most! ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zatannurday: Justice League Dark Animated Movie

How I missed you Zatannurday!

This is exactly the sort of thing I was waiting for in Zatannurday's long run.  A new DC Animated movie of Justice League Dark.

This isn't exactly JLD, it's more Justice League Dark + Batman, but it still looks cool.
It's also rated R, which I guess is not a big surprise given the content.



Looks like it will be out in early 2017.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Witch Thomasin

File under: "You knew this was coming so you really can't act surprised."

Black Philip: Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Witch.

The Witch is a fantastic movie, not just due to it's script and amazing attention to historical deatils but for the breakout performances of it's young cast including, and especially, Ayna Taylor-Joy as the good girl turned witch, Thomasin.

With all the reviews I was doing last month I could not but help think f her in terms of some of the games.



Some reviews claimed that The Witch does not have a "Happily Ever After" I say, of course not! Chapter 1's never do!
Thomasin is by any stretch of the imagination a starting character.  The Witch is her origin story.

This makes things really easy in terms of character creation. Just follow the book.
We only see her indulging in one act of magic so we are going to need to make some assumptions based on what we have seen already.

There are three games in particular that I think are good choices for Thomasin.  WITCH: Fated Souls, C.J. Carrella's WitchCraft, and my own The Witch.



Basic Information
Age: 16
Height: 5'2"
Weight 120#
Hair Blond
Eyes: Blue

I figure this is right after the end of the movie.  I used the character pre-creation information in WITCH: Fated Souls to help guide me as to what Thomasin might be like.  I also decided that the "Devil" made good on his promise and gave Thomasin some resources.  She now lives alone on her family farm now, she has some riches but is still bound to a life of toil.  She is also now part of the local witch coven.  As the youngest, they will likely find a way to get her pregnant so they can sacrifice the baby to the devil.  Yeah, I am going with the stereotypical witches here.

The Witch: A sourcebook for Basic Edition fantasy games
Thomasin is very much a 1st level character.  She might know a cantrip and a 1st level spell, but that is about it.  Since witches in my book gain a familiar at first level we can also cover Black Philip.

Thomasin
1st level Witch, Malefic Tradition

Strength: 9
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 15

Saves
Death Ray or Poison:  13
Magic wand or devices: 14
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 13
Dragon Breath: 16
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 15

Hit Points: 5
Alignment: Chaotic
AC: 9 (none)

Dagger

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Goat/Imp "Black Philip"

Spells
Cantrips: (4) Black Flame, Chill, Clean, Close
First: (1) Cause Fear

WITCH: Fated Souls
+Elizabeth Chaipraditkul's Witch was one of the first games I thought of when I was watching this movie.  Also this movie was what I was thinking of when I working on my review for her game.  It all works out really.  Thomasin really fits this game well.  If you are a fan of the movie, check this game out. If you are a fan of this game then watch the movie.  She is a really good fit.

Character: Thomasin
Fate: Heks
Familiar: Black Philip

Intelligence: 2
Wisdom: 2
Perception: 3
Charisma: 2
Manipulation: 3
Dexterity: 2
Strength: 1
Stamina: 3

Athletics 1, Brawl 2, Craft 2, Deception 2, Dodge 2, Empathy 1, Expression 1, Intimidation 1, Perform 2, Spot 1, Stealth 1, Survival 2, Thievery 1, Wits 1

Hit Points
Hurt: 14, Injured 14, Mauled 8, Unconcious 5
Soak: 0

CD to Hit: 13

Pursuits: Property 3, Contacts 1, Funds 1

Spell Level: 1

Talents: Casting 2, Potions 1, Occult 1

Spells: Telekinesis
Cantrips, Canto I, II
Bonus: Use TK cantrip to fly

Spells: Curse
Cantrips

CJ Carrella's WitchCraft
WitchCraft is such a fantastic game I feel I can use it for anything and everything.  The Witch is no exception.  I did go back and forth on whether or not to make Thomasin a Gifted or Lesser Gifted; arguments can be made for either one.  In the end, I went with Gifted.
I also stuck with the WitchCraft core book for her.

Thomasin
Gifted
Wicce
Concept: Forsaken
Life Points: 26
Essence: 19

Strength: 1
Dexterity: 2
Constitution: 3
Intelligence: 2
Perception: 3
Willpower: 3

Endurance: 26
Speed: 10

Qualities
Attractive 2, Gifted, Essence Channeling, Increased Essence Pool,

Drawbacks
Covetous, Cruel

Skills
Craft 1, First Aid 1, Myth & Legend 1, Occult Knoweldge 2, Riding (horse) 2, Rituals (Wicce) 1, Survival 2

Metaphysics
Affect the Psyche
- Influence Emotions
- Aura of Confidence

Communion
- One with the Land

Warding
- Create Ward

All three work very well in my mind.  Obviously I needed to take some liberties and some guess work. I should try these three with a more powerful character to see how they work with that.

What do you think Thomasin?



Oh in case anyone is annyed by the "VVitch" I give you this.


Could this be about Thomasin or her coven?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: 2016 Wrap-up and Looking to 2017

Another October Horror Movie Challenge is done.

Final tally: 35 movies watched, 26 were first time views.  Not bad, that is about my average.


While I did great in the challenge, I failed in making these "game related".  I have a few things I am going to post this week that might make up for it.

The Movie of the Month was, of course, The Witch.  So good I watched it twice.
The surprise hits, for me, were Eyes of Fire (1983) and Haunter (2013).

I also promised to talk about what my favorite horror movies of all time are.  That is much harder since there are so many.  I am going to give it more thought.

If you are curious I have set up a Pinterest Board with all the posters of the movies I have watched over the last 7 years of doing this. 228 pins total.




For next year I am thinking of doing something very different.
First, yes, I want to make as many game stats for the movies I watch as possible.  I have to stay true to my first and most loyal audience.

Also, I have all the these VHS tapes that I copied in the 80s and early 90s, about 16 total.  Each one is 6 or 8 hours long with anywhere from 3 to 5 movies per tape, but usually 4.  Rough estimates I put it at 45 movies, give or take.  What I want to do is go through all of those and review all those movies before tossing out the tape.  I would also check to see if there are Blu-Ray or DVD options for the movies.  Now I am totally expecting these tapes to be in complete crap condition.  Some I know have not seen the light of day in 20 years. But I think it would be fun.  Since they are all movies I have seen before, game stats will come quicker to me.

The bottom row are horror tapes.  If this works I'll tackle the row above which is all MST3k.

That is also the problem.  45 movies, all of them are ones I have seen before,   So no first-time views. I hold out that there might be one or two on there I have never seen. It is possible. I used to work nights, so I'd go to the library, check out some tapes, take them home and cue them up to copy to watch while I was in college.

While this pleases my OCD and my need to declutter I am hoping that the tapes are still in good enough shape.  The other issue is I have only one working VHS player in the house (i think) so I am locked to watching these in one room.  I am very, very spoiled with all my on-demand streaming options.

We will see how it goes.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Late Night Cable

Been suffering through some migraines this week.  Thankfully a lot of my posts were pre-written and cued up.  Today's post wasn't.
Since I have slept something like 24 hours in the last 48 I was up late last night.  So I decided to cruise the depths of the premium movie channels to see what was on.  Starz and The Movie Channel provided some hits.

First up I Spit on Your Grave (1978) (rewatch).
The older I get I find my tolerance for "torture porn" lessens.  I have seen this movie a number of times and this time I wanted to focus on some the horror I might have missed in the sea of exploitation.  Camille Keaton must have went through a real hell in filming this.
I have now seen the remake and I see there are a host of sequels including one that continues Camille Keaton's Jenifer as an author several decades later.  Morbid curiosity of course calls to me on this, but I doubt I'll go out of my way to watch it.

In a similar vein I also caught Girl House (2015) (FTV).
This is simple slasher flick with a crazy dude obsessed with a cam girl.  Given that this is about an "x-rated" cam show there is surprising very little nudity from our star. That's fine.  The crazy dude, "Loverboy" is more of the focus here. It's an effective mix of both old-school slasher and new-school "the internet is watching" mentality.  Special shout outs go to Camren Bicondova ("Selena Kylie/Cat" on Gotham) as Loverboy's first victim as a child and Wesley MacInnes as the happles voyeur who watches the horror unfold on the cam shows.  He had the best line in the movie, "I am going to so need therapy."  Had to be there for it I think.  The movie needed more Nicole Fox in my opinion.

Watching these back to back I noticed that "I Spit on Your Grave" really set the tone for the modern slasher film.  Not just tone, but how some of the shots were done.



And no. My son did not watch these with me.

2016 Movie tally
Watched: 30
New: 23


Monday, October 24, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Blood on Satan's Claw (1970)

A deformed skull sends a small 18th century English town into a Satanic Panic as children begin to murder each other and others.

The movie, has a lot of style, but not a lot of substance.   While it is cut from the same general cloth as The Devil Rides Out and other folk-horror films it's not as good.  It does pick up a bit, but never enough to really get going.

I like folk horror and pagan horror, but one has to ask why the Devil is wasting his time in tiny little English village full of superstitious villagers.








2016 Movie tally
Watched: 23
New: 18


Saturday, October 8, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Eyes of Fire (1983)

This is one I was sure I had seen back in the day.  In fact, there is a lot I do remember about it. But it wasn't until it wasn't recently covered by House of Self-Indulgence that I remembered it. Or. More to the point I remembered I hadn't seen it.

There are bits I do remember.  I think it is due to seeing it on Showtime or Cinemax late at night.

Leah, the witch from the woods, certainly is a character I would have remembered.  In fact I think I do.  For my 3rd edition game I had a cleric character fall in love with a witch.  Granted this is not something strange for me, but there are a of lot similarities.

I love the idea of the devil-haunted woods/valley.  Keep an eye out for all the faces.   Expert tip: if the local Shawnee tribe is too afraid to go into a place...maybe don't go into that place.  Just saying.

What I like about this film is it mixes bits of witchcraft lore with Irish myths and local Indian legends.  A heady brew for someone that grew up in the mid-west not far from some of the most famous burial mounds in the country.

The final battle was cool, but really dark.  Dark as in a lack of light to see what was going on really.

Naturally, I am going to compare this to The Witch.  This covers the same time period (roughly) and the same area of the country (close enough).  Where the Witch is visually stunning and relies on mood and atmosphere.  Eyes of Fire is more dream-like and tests what we consider reality (in the film).   Comparing them on a visual level though is not fair.  The Witch was filmed in HD and I watched it on a Blu-ray.  Eyes of Fire wasn't and the copy I watched was a poor VHS to DVD transfer.  Both were, and are, stunning for their times.

I fear that Leah and Thomasin would not get along.

2016 Movie tally
Watched: 8
New: 7 (I am counting it as new)




Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Witch (2015)

Here we are.  The October Horror Movie Challenge.  I want to start this with a movie that has been sitting on my "to watch" list since it came out earlier this year.  I bought the Blu-Ray when it came out so really it is the only choice for my first movie.

It was worth the wait.

Set in New England in 1630 the Witch is a tale of fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of child death, fear of the woods, fear of God (big one), fear of sexual awaking, and yes the fear of Witches.

The movie is beautiful.  This is why we have Blu-Rays.  It looks like a nature special. It is also thick with atmosphere, the woods are an ever-present threat.

There is so much to love about this movie really.  The dialog comes from authentic accounts and trial documents. The legends of the witches are right out of the 17th (and prior) centuries.  If you know anything about the witch hunts and myths there are a lot of little things here to really make you happy.

I know. I am going all "fan boy" on what is supposed to be a scary movie.  It had it's scary moments.  But it is more of a slow boil rather than full on pot boiler.

Personally, I can't wait to check out all the special features on the Blu-Ray.

2016 Movie tally
Watched: 1
New: 1




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