ok lets all shit our pants to something old: pre-2006 horror film thread

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I know there are loads of old horror film threads but I wanted a more obvious one for regular discussion of whatever you have seen recently and for recent reissues of older films.

I'll talk again about some of the older films that I mentioned in the other thread. So I'm going to repeat myself a bit.

NIGHT OF THE DEVILS came out on DVD about a year ago and its by the director of Mill Of Stone Women. Early 70s, somewhere between old Bava and more modern gorey stuff. It's about a mostly abandoned forest town with wurdalak style vampires haunting it. I don't think it's a classic but it clearly deserves to emerge out of neglect/obscurity because before it got reissued it seems there was rarely any mention of it and I think it's a lot better than many other 70s Italian horror films. It has some really great images but on the downside it has two vampires dying a screaming death in a laughably unlikely fashion.

Last summer I watched on YouTube two of the 50s versions of GHOST OF YOTSUYA. The late 50s colour version was easily the better version and probably the most glaringly absent film of all the western DVD releases of classic Japanese horror films (such as Kwaidan, Onibaba, Kuroneko, Blind Beast, 60s version of Jigoku, Horrors Of Malformed Men, Lake Of Dracula, Matango, Hausu and Ugetsu). I'd say this was better than most of them actually. Great soundtrack, great ending scenes.
This really needs a proper release, I've heard that Miike's upcoming Over Your Dead Body is a variation on this story that has been filmed roughly ten times. Maybe that'll help this version come out but I wouldn't bet on it. Do you think emailing DVD labels would be worthwhile?

BOXER'S OMEN was another impressive recent viewing mostly for the sheer weirdness and colourful grotesque elements.

MORGIANA is kind of a basic murder mystery plot but it's made worthwhile by the visual styling, great dresses of the mostly female cast and good setting. I'd like to see more of Juraj Herz's horror films but there seems to be nothing available aside from Cremator.

MUMSY NANNY SONNY AND GIRLY was really funny in a way that might annoy a lot of people; it's kind of unique. I love how in America they called it GIRLY and advertised it like a sexploitation film.

Other things I saw not long ago was SISTERS and NIGHTMARE ALLEY, both very good but probably don't need as much introduction.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 13:36 (four years ago) Permalink

Saw BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW on tv last night and I'm glad I didn't buy it, I find most British horror films of that era immensely overrated even though I love those gothic and rural visual styles more than anything. Redeeming features are the settings, the odd soundtrack and the lovely dancing naked girl at the end. I think this is a textbook example of conservative horror.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 13:52 (four years ago) Permalink

I sort of felt the same way about Witchfinder General, but eventually warmed up to the thing.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Monday, 21 April 2014 13:56 (four years ago) Permalink

Isn't Witchfinder General more anti-conservative? I've never seen the whole thing.

I think IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS deserves way more chat than it gets. It has some really major flaws but I think it's a lot more ambitious, effective and special in places than it ever gets credit for; probably same for Prince Of Darkness but to a lesser extent. Something that strikes me is how Carpenter has always been very pro-showthemonster but you only get a brief glimpse at what was clearly a bunch of monsters that had loads of work put into them. I've never been able to find out about the DVD extras of the film but I remember as a terrified child seeing on tv the special effects studio proudly showing off the monsters and I wonder if that clip is lost forever.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:05 (four years ago) Permalink

Not about the conservative angle, just the Britishness of it.

Cronk's Not Cronk (Eric H.), Monday, 21 April 2014 14:16 (four years ago) Permalink

Which Sisters are you talking about? It's not obviously bringing anything to mind right now.

Morgiana/Mumsy Nanny/Nightmare Alley all top films. The latter I love a possibly inordinate amount. The former, yeah, it's all about the styling, I see it as high gothic meets Mucha meets late '60s/early '70s surrealism. But then I may be talking crap. I actually went to a costume party as Viktorie recently, though I'm not sure how well I pulled it off (or indeed if anyone knew who I was supposed to be).

Looked up Boxer's Omen - that has gone straight on my 'to watch' list.

emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:24 (four years ago) Permalink

I think this is a textbook example of conservative horror.

Not entirely sure what you mean - horror kind of revolves around attraction/repulsion towards what's on screen, but I don't think Brit rural folk horror is noticeably more repulsed by its pagan practices than it is attracted...

emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 14:27 (four years ago) Permalink

DePalma's Sisters. A much better film than Scarface or Carrie I'd say.

I think the whole "conservative" horror and fantasy thing is not as easy to decide as some might say but it has been used repeatedly as a critique. Like Tolkien's orcs; pagans and vampires in films being defeated by puritans. Kim Newman talks about this a lot in his book NIGHTMARE MOVIES.

I think the conservative depiction of vampires accusation is harder to justify because it seems sensible to kill vampires who are destroying your families and are killing lots of people in the process. A vampires bloodlust overpowering their their empathy is a good enough explanation for me. The actions of those in Blood On Satan's Claw make sense inside the film, but there is a feeling among lots of critics that this comes from a unfair worldview, particularly when old Christian dudes are getting the violent victory at the end (but in BOSC the guy who kills the demon seems secular).

The depictions of pagans in particular. Like when Moorcock said that you can't really trust Tolkien to tell you that all orcs are pure evil.
I like Christopher Lee but I recall him in a recent interview talking about pagans as if they were a real threat in the modern world.

Ever since Clive Barkers era I think it's been frowned upon in some circles to depict humanoid monsters as unquestionably evil. Some people have accused Machen's "Great God Pan" being misogynist but I don't see that myself.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:03 (four years ago) Permalink

hey just fyi this exists too:

sometimes I like to shit my pants oldschool: 1990-1999 horror film thread

Corpsepaint Counterpaint (jjjusten), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:13 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but the pagans in The Wicker Man are unquestionably the bad guys, but you still side with them over Edward Woodward every time. They're obviously bad, but they're much much cooler and more interesting. So does that make it a conservative film or not?


emil.y, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:15 (four years ago) Permalink

I'll never forget how as a child, having "good guys" win against monsters made no sense to me, I was horrified when I saw Dracula clumsily falling through cracking ice into freezing water. I think that was Dracula Prince Of Darkness.
Many years later even though my expectations were lower, I was still horrified by a Dracula who was supposed to be "powerful beyond your wildest imaginings" even more clumsily kills himself by getting tricked into walking into too many thorny bushes. That might have been Dracula AD1972.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:17 (four years ago) Permalink

I've never been huge on Wicker Man, Woodward doesn't deserve his fate but he is annoying enough that his downfall is funny and satisfying rather than difficult to swallow.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

In the Mouth of Madness is really really great. Miles better than Prince of Darkness.

Sisters was one of Herrmann's last great film scores and it drives me crazy that it is only available on CD in a shitty sounding noise-reduced edition. Someday I'll buy the LP and make a rip of it.

I managed to download Michael (Witchfinder General) Reeves' The Sorcerers off the internet this weekend and am v v psyched to watch it.

Disappearing doorways department: I bookmarked a bunch of 70s british ITV horror items on Youtube a few weeks ago (particularly the Beasts series of short films) but when I went back to watch them the dude's account had been shut down.

hundreds-swarm-dinkytown (Jon Lewis), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:22 (four years ago) Permalink

looooool @ the new DVD of "The Visitor" what an entertainingly bad movie

How dare you tarnish the reputation of Turturro's yodel (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:26 (four years ago) Permalink

Damn I maybe should have called this thread "pre-2005" because "post-2005" probably includes everything in 2005? I'm sure it doesn't matter too much which thread includes 2005 films.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 15:49 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm a huge fan of Nosferatu and the very beautiful Faust (aside from the prolonged romantic comedy section) but I've never tried another Murnau film despite years of opportunity and more complete versions of his other films which has risen their critical standing.
Any recommendations for Phantom or Haunted Castle?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 18:09 (four years ago) Permalink

COFFIN JOE COLLECTION is a bargain even if most of the 9 films are very poor...

AT MIDNIGHT I WILL TAKE YOUR SOUL is okay, it has mainly short bursts of gusto and a freshness of approach about it.

The sequel THIS NIGHT I WILL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE is the only one I'd actually recommend and if you bought the collection for only this, it would be a fair price. There is some overly long boring scenes but it is totally unique and has lots of energy; a few good hysterical scenes with strange imagery, really crazy intro credits too. Sadly the film still has censored dialogue at the end to make it appear as if Coffin Joe repented for his sins.

These first two films also have a strange philosophy that adds a lot to their appeal; but sometimes I wonder if Marins has it all figured out or if he just makes it up to be whatever sounds cool at any given moment. Coffin Joe is supposed to be crazily sexist but the way his female victims fall in love with him so easily make the film's look sexist as a whole. The director and his character are a fascinating phenomenon sometimes (worth reading about how he was regarded in Brazil) but I don't know why the later films have such an imaginative decline.

Aside from the documentary all the other films are really challeningly dull slogs with brief moments of interest and oddity.
Awakening Of The Beast has funny little four legged monster with a tree sprouting from its back, some weird hallucinatory scenes similar to the second film and people with faces painted on their shaking buttocks. A later film has a man discreetly fingering a woman to help her look like she is crying at a funeral.
After sitting through them all, I understand why so few people bothered writing about the later films.

I'm curious about his newer film Embodiment Of Evil. Marins has a reputation for making risky scenes of women being terrorized by creepy crawlies and some people have said the women in this film look genuinely hysterical in a deeply worrying way. He had to take his wife to the hospital to get an insect out her ear as she was screaming that she thought it was inside her brain.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 19:05 (four years ago) Permalink

There needs to be a proper Corman box set of his horror films. I'm reluctant to get a lot of them because a lot of them are underwhelming but they often have just enough going for them for me to crave more and I think they are better than the similar British films of that era.

THE UNDEAD (not seen it but the trailer has a stunning beauty in it)
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (should offend dwarves)
PIT AND THE PENDULUM (easily the best of the ones I've seen, good visuals and Barbara Steele)
TOMB OF LIGEIA (a bit dull)
THE TERROR (Karloff and Jack Nicholson, okay)
PREMATURE BURIAL (not seen it)
TALES OF TERROR (not seen it)
THE RAVEN (not seen it)
TOWER OF LONDON (really dull, not to be confused with Karloff film of same name)
HAUNTED PALACE (Lovecraft attempt with some nice visuals and gorgeous lady)

Not sure about comedies like A Bucket Of Blood and Little Shop Of Horrors. I always thought Oblong Box was by Corman but it isn't. Horror Hotel feels like one of them and I'm quite fond of that.

I'm amazed that Corman is still regularly producing films with titles just like he did in the 50s-60s. Anyone seen his newer films?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 19:47 (four years ago) Permalink

Don't get people who are rooting against Sgt Howie in TWM. He may be a bit of a prude but how can you not feel for him? Even on a basic level of empathy for a guy who's clearly trying to do good while all around plot against him.

ewar woowar (or something), Monday, 21 April 2014 20:53 (four years ago) Permalink

I guess I could feel sorry for him but my excuse is that I saw that clip "Oh God!Oh Jesus Christ!" repeatedly (people link to it regularly on forums and blogs for comic effect) on tv horror film documentaries that had obnoxious spoilers. It is very funny in isolation.
I think those shows spoiled a lot of films and I hope future viewers can experience a lot of these films more freshly than I did. Luckily when I watched Spoorloos/Vanishing, I didn't realise I had previously seen the ending on a clip show until the film finished. That would have ruined it.
Those clip show bastards showed the endings to Suspiria, Nosferatu, Exorcist and Don't Look Now.

It is sad that books aren't more widely discussed but the big benefit is you can read most of the classics without knowing what happens in them.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 21 April 2014 22:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Tears of Kali (2004, Andreas Marschall)
German flick about a fictional cult whose meditation methods unleash demons, sounds pretty great. Not great by any means, but intriguing and promising. Unusual ideas, ambitious storytelling and an omnibus structure that keeps things moving. Undercut by distinctly lacklustre cinema. A trial run for something better?

Naked Blood (1996, Hisayasu Sato)
Repeat viewing. An alienated young man invents a serum that causes people to experience pain as pleasure, tragedy ensuses. This film seems known only to hardcore gore & transgression buffs, but I think it's an amazing work of art. A justly notorious (though relatively brief) midfilm auto-cannibalism setpiece drastically limits its potential audience, but I strongly recommend Naked Blood to anyone who thinks they might be able to stomach the gore. Surreal, quietly anguished and strangely haunting. A longtime personal favorite that holds up remarkably well.

Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2001, Naoyuki Tomomatsu)
Repeat viewing. A mysterious disease causes young women between the ages of 15 and 17 to die and then return to life as mindless, bloodthirsty zombies. This cheerfully schlocky, superficially comical splatter movie uses its basic situation to tell a number of related (and in most cases overlapping) stories, with varying tone & emphasis. Beneath the goofy surface, however, lies a cryptic and rather disturbing commentary on Japanese schoolgirl fetishism. Sui generis and strangely heartfelt.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 06:05 (four years ago) Permalink

I've seen a fair amount of talk about Naked Blood On this forum. I'm intrigued, I don't think I've even heard the name before.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:32 (four years ago) Permalink

damn you aren't kidding that tears of kali SOUNDS great! I have to see that despite yr mixed rev.

hundreds-swarm-dinkytown (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:12 (four years ago) Permalink

tears of kali is definitely worth a watch, and yeah, the concept had me sold from the get-go. the director's follow-up, masks, is much more assured & satisfying, if a good deal less original.

re naked blood: i genuinely love the move, but it's very hard to recommend. the worst moments (of which there are few) are REALLY nasty, like "some things you can't unsee" level unpleasantness. my sense is that the yuk factor unbalances and overshadows the rest of the film, to the point where even i have to admit that a threshold has been crossed. with that substantial caveat in mind, an amazing piece of work.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 18:54 (four years ago) Permalink

I never go out of my way to seek or avoid violent sickie films; but I've heard a lot of complaints recently about such things and I rarely hear a coherent argument for what is "too far" or what constitutes a unethical way of depicting a reprehensible act.
There are some things I don't like seeing but I can't think of anything that I thought shouldn't have been shown.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:32 (four years ago) Permalink

i don't mean that naked blood becomes reprehensible as a result of its gore (well it does, but that doesn't bother me in itself). i mean that the nastier moments alter the film's overall tone substantially, perhaps to its artistic detriment. certainly limits the potential audience, which seems a shame.

... I rarely hear a coherent argument for what is "too far" or what constitutes a unethical way of depicting a reprehensible act.

feel you, but i'm not sure that kind of thing should or even can be broken down all logical-like. we all have our limits, and gut-level emotional responses (DO NOT WANT!) are just as valid as more seemingly-coherent intellectual analyses.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:45 (four years ago) Permalink

I just went to amazon and bought it there. 20pounds, a little bit too expensive but I'm very intrigued. I'll have to watch this when everyone else is asleep.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:47 (four years ago) Permalink

A few more things I saw in recent times...

In the music section of this forum I've praised the soundtrack a lot (Libra includes a few Goblin members). When I watched the trailer for this film I decided to not bother with the film because the soundtrack by itself seemed so much more exciting.
But a few years later I got the chance to see it and it was way better than expected. This might even be one of Bava's very best films. A lot of his classic films stand on the strength of their visuals but this is better than most of them as a whole work. This is Bava adjusting to a new era of Italian horror film and he doesn't look remotely out of touch here.
The story is about a dead father who haunts his wife by possessing the body of his son.
Some really strange moments in this film, but really the soundtrack is still my favourite thing about it.

Some people rate this as one of the greatest Japanese horror films ever but it barely made much impression on me. It's made in the form of a documentary, with tv show clips and investigative journalism.

Aside from the appealingly smokey dark visuals and settings, this is yet another incredibly dull Bela Lugosi film with all the willingness and poor comic relief you'd expect.

Sluggish boredom and the expected racism. The lightning massacre at the end was kind of good but I could never recommend the film.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 21:59 (four years ago) Permalink

It is weirdly sedate for a gore film, reminds me in some places of Death Powder. I can see how you might think the goriest parts spoil the sleepily surreal parts. The violence is important to the story, so the gore doesn't feel entirely misplaced; perhaps after being warned it didn't seem too bad to me. The naïve quality of the film was interesting.
Looking at the director's filmography there is so many films that got renamed (the director had a different intended title for them all) to sound like taboo pushing rape fantasies, I wonder if they are all porn films or anything like Naked Blood?
There was an advert on the dvd for a film called Sexy Soccer, which looks like the laziest sexploitation film I've ever seen.

This film makes little attempt at being coherent but it has some good stuff in there. Steamy cyberpunk locations, hallucinatory scenes, a humorous music video, groups of scarred people. The version I saw was only partially subtitled.

This is really stiffly animated but it works well enough, the background art has some nice dreamy darkness about it. The first story is pleasingly monstrous, surprisingly scary with a pretty cool twist.
Umezu got a lot of his comics made into live action tv/film but I've never bothered with them apart from this.

This is from Sogo Ishii's quiet phase after his early punk films. An elegant soft black and white ghost story that is only borderline horror, really nice stuff. Ishii's frequent actor Tadanobu Asano stars.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 April 2014 15:41 (four years ago) Permalink

From the animation thread, but I properly linked this video because this thread isn't in threat of being overloaded with videos...

Nina Shorina's "Room Of Laughter" here. One of the best films I saw last year. A prime example of what animation can do for horror. If you have ten minutes to spare...


Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 April 2014 16:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Looking at the director's filmography there is so many films that got renamed (the director had a different intended title for them all) to sound like taboo pushing rape fantasies, I wonder if they are all porn films or anything like Naked Blood?

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, April 27, 2014 8:41 AM (Yesterday)

nearly all of hisayasu sato's other films are softcore sex pictures (though he did direct a memorable segment in 2005's rampo noir horror omnibus). i've downloaded a few of his pinku based on the recommendation of others, but have yet to watch any: survey map of a paradise lost, an aria on gazes and love - 0 = infinity. tbh, i don't know whether the somewhat artful titles here are original or replacements intended to help sell the films to more sensitive western audiences, and i don't really trust imdb on this. he's said to be a well respected director within his micro-genre, an experimental punk artist working at the furthest fringes of commercial cinema. i wouldn't know, and i'm not sure i want to further explore a filmography full of titles like lolita vibrator torture and horse woman dog. he did make a gay pink film called muscle, which sounds intriguing, but i haven't found a torrent.

personally, i see naked blood as an interesting and convincingly anguised peice of outsider art. the fact that the director apparently spent the bulk of his career making sleazy, violent, low budget pornography only adds to the nihilist resonance.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 28 April 2014 08:13 (four years ago) Permalink

and wow, death powder sounds great! thanks for the tip, will watch.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 28 April 2014 08:18 (four years ago) Permalink

Anyone been seeing these recent BFI disc releases? Stuff like M R James/Ghost Story For Christmas collection, Robin Redbreast, Gaslight, Sleepwalker, Dead Of Night, Supernatural and Schalcken The Painter?

Most of this appears to be old British tv shows, I'm sceptical but I've seen some extremely positive reviews for them. I've seen one or two of the M R James episodes and they were fine. I read Le Fanu's Schalcken The Painter recently and I am curious how they'd pull it off for screen.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:14 (four years ago) Permalink

A word of warning: the complete Karloff's Thriller is packaged and blurbed like a pure horror show but really only something like 10 episodes of the 67 are horror; it was really a noir/crime/mystery show. Quite a few people said it was better than Twilight Zone and Outer Limits but I never saw much of them.
It was decent but I never sustained enough interest to watch the whole thing. A lot of the acting is a bit sloppy. The highlights for me were a haunted house story with Rip Torn; a Bloch story about a mirror or glasses that let you see monstrous "true" forms of people; best was a Derleth story with Karloff as a weird pale lethargic scientist covered in cobwebs. But none of this was really enough to justify getting the boxed set.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:37 (four years ago) Permalink

I super dug the three episodes I watched before it was taken off Netflix. Also: tons of fuckin money ass goldsmith scores on those.

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:39 (four years ago) Permalink

The theme tune was great.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:54 (four years ago) Permalink

100 bloody acres now streaming on us at least netflix

ohhhh lorde 2pac big please mansplain to this sucker (jjjusten), Friday, 2 May 2014 02:11 (four years ago) Permalink

The Watson/Webber version of Fall Of House Of Usher. I'd say it was among the best silent horror films. Only 12 minutes...

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 2 May 2014 23:09 (four years ago) Permalink

Any opinions on the 1974 version of Dracula? I guess it's about to be reissued, and Varese Sarabande just issued the soundtrack by Bob Cobert-- I listened to it on spotify today and it's great stuff in the hammer romantic-menace vein (but better recorded than most of the hammer music).

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 2 May 2014 23:33 (four years ago) Permalink

Who was playing that Dracula, it doesn't sound familiar.

Anyone saw Mimic directors cut? Del Toro said he was pleased because he didn't have to disown the film anymore. But I'm still kind of reluctant because unlike Barker's Nighbreed, I never got the sense that it could have been something special if left alone (admittedly based on the opinions of people who saw it before it was butchered). I guess The Keep is another film that people are still hoping for a directors cut.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 3 May 2014 23:29 (four years ago) Permalink

Just watched my new copy of IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (not a good copy, I think it's Korean, it has way too small a screen size), I hadn't seen it in maybe more than 10 years and it holds up less well than I had imagined.
The light metal music in the intro/outro doesn't set the tone very well. I remembered the film being cheesy with the appearance of the evil writer and the clichéd scary children but I didn't remember the goofy humour at all, with all those wisecracks.
I used to be freaked out by Sam Neill laughing in the cinema but I guess there was nothing wrong with that part, I'm just older. I kept thinking Neill didn't care that much about his performance or maybe he thought this was going to be closer to a horror comedy than it really was. It's unbelievable and funny how he makes a map from the book covers.

What is still quite effective is the disordered reality scenes almost like Jacob's Ladder, a lot of the driving scenes with the tunnels, dark roads and the cyclist; I liked the creatures (especially the main tunnel scene that is very similar to Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness") and the church interior too.

2 taglines: "Lived any good books lately?" and "Reality isn't what it used to be".

I have really strong memories of being very young and even terrified of this films existence, trying to avoid looking at pictures of it. As a young teen finding it pretty scary too.

It isn't great but I don't know why it rarely gets mentioned for quite a long time.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 14:38 (four years ago) Permalink

One of my favourite sites heavily recommended an obscurity called Atrapados that sounded really great...

Now he linked to vimeo where the director has uploaded the film...
I hope I can watch it soon if my internet speed gets fixed.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 14:50 (four years ago) Permalink

I'd watch a Keep director's cut out of curiosity, but the film is perfect as is

lauded at conferences of deluded psychopaths (Sparkle Motion), Sunday, 4 May 2014 22:46 (four years ago) Permalink

I think the reason it has never had a DVD release is possibly the difficulty of finally putting together the directors cut. Not sure what is stopping Nightbreed.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 4 May 2014 22:51 (four years ago) Permalink


I got an unexpected amount of pleasure seeing a musclebound hero who is also a convincing, likable everyman (for lack of a better word). Not a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I don't mind Stallone but I could do with more big muscle guys who seem approachable in films. Don't think I've seen a film with The Rock in it but he seems nice.

I'm very familiar with the majority of Carpenter's films but for some reason I had never heard of They Live until a few years ago.

Great funny long fight scene. The thing I liked least is the very forced sounding wise cracks and cheesy lines.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 11 May 2014 00:26 (four years ago) Permalink

Been looking around for Jean Rollin DVDs and some are prominently labelled for being uncut but I don't think any of his films have been censored for decades have they? He seems way too tame to be censored into the DVD age.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 12 May 2014 00:22 (four years ago) Permalink

Are the Dr Phibes films worthwhile?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 May 2014 18:18 (four years ago) Permalink

I had passed on The Hunger and Paul Schrader's version of Cat People many times because I never bought the hype, they didn't sound interesting to me. I lump them together as very 80s sexy horror films that were very modern and cool for their time, I guess Near Dark might even fit in there. But I finally watched both this weekend and I'm glad I did.

Cat People feels like a radical new interpretation possibly more based on the source short story than the original film (?), I have to agree with the camp that prefers this to the Lewton film (I think there were better Lewton films), there were so many aspects I don't recall in the older film. Kinski was really sweet in this.

The Hunger was a real surprise. I don't have much experience with Tony Scott but I was never remotely attracted to most of his output that I know of (I have heard he has done lesser known great stuff); so I was amazed that this is one of the most visually impressive and stylish films I've ever seen; really beautiful at times. A lot of old makeup jobs look terrible but the makeup for aging Bowie was very impressive. This is the type of surprise that makes me think that sometimes I should listen to hype when I'm reluctant.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 May 2014 01:58 (four years ago) Permalink

first doctor phibes is fun, not great, but a nice period piece, great production design. second is a wash.

dig both the hunger and shrader's cat people remake, moreso the former. other than that and true romance, though, i've never had much use for tony scott.

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Sunday, 18 May 2014 04:16 (four years ago) Permalink

This might be kind of silly but Angel Witch's Dr Phibes tune made me think "wow, maybe if that film inspired such great music maybe the film is great too".

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 May 2014 12:30 (four years ago) Permalink

haha that's life buddy
glad you see the film the same way!
so beautifully shot

surm, Friday, 20 April 2018 15:25 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm glad y'all enjoy it. Keep in mind that I'm that one dude who thinks Halloween is super overrated, so who even knows what my opinion is worth.

Across the You Never Her (Old Lunch), Friday, 20 April 2018 15:33 (six months ago) Permalink

First two have a real shot on film for theatres look, misty and atmospheric. Third and beyond look mostly like shit, brightly lit, like a sitcom, ready for cable and VHS.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 20 April 2018 15:36 (six months ago) Permalink


Is it just the production design and the music that people respond to? I watched the recent upgrade last night and I'll give major props on those elements, and while it's certainly been elevated in my esteem from the muddy VHS copy I watched twenty years ago, that and Jessica Harper are pretty much all the movie has going for it. There are long stretches which, if Goblin weren't going ham on the soundtrack, wouldn't be out of place in some '80s direct-to-video schlockfest.

I dunno, it was gorgeous and mildly unnerving but mostly just fine. I think it might just suffer from overhype as one of the greatest horror films ever when I can't even say for sure that it cracks my top five for 1977.

Across the You Never Her (Old Lunch), Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:14 (six months ago) Permalink

Is it just the production design and the music that people respond to?

Ha, like that's not enough in this case! In fact, that's really all there is. I don't remember much about the plot or acting or anything. It's just an almost oppressively lurid mood piece.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:48 (six months ago) Permalink

yeah for me suspiria (and most giallo, i guess) primarily succeeds re: the balance of overwrought set design and dreaminess with overt shlockiness and incompetence

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:50 (six months ago) Permalink

FTR, I have a very high tolerance for schlock and incompetence. On a similar front, I was primed for this somewhat by watching Cozzi's Starcrash last weekend, which is basically a Star Wars porn film with all of the porn cut out but which has similarly gorgeous production design and lighting, and Suspiria def delivered on that front. I'm very keen on seeing anything with a similar visual style right now (also watched Flash Gordon recently for I guess the first time ever, surprisingly, and it's so dumb but I'm just in love with all the color).

Across the You Never Her (Old Lunch), Sunday, 22 April 2018 14:00 (six months ago) Permalink

I think Suspriria has quite a lot of good scenes and the pin eyed girl and the invisible witch used to really scare me. Maybe it was just too much hype for you, but I really do think it's one of the best.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 22 April 2018 17:17 (six months ago) Permalink

Cozzi did the special effects for Phenomena so that might have to be my next Argento. I know they worked together in other capacities but a visual collaboration between the two seems like it could really be something.

Across the You Never Her (Old Lunch), Sunday, 22 April 2018 17:49 (six months ago) Permalink

I don't recall that one being visually that impressive. That's Jennifer Connelly controlling bugs with her brain right?

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 22 April 2018 18:20 (six months ago) Permalink

Phenomena is amazing!!
I just saw it (see above) and LOVED the insects, the monkey, JC, everything
she is a modern girl who can communicate with insects, sign me up please
wish i had seen it when i was a kid

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 22 April 2018 18:50 (six months ago) Permalink

Donald Pleasance said the script was so daft he had to go for the role.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 22 April 2018 20:26 (six months ago) Permalink

y'all there's a post-2006 thread isn't there? i really need to like say something about a recent movie

surm, Tuesday, 1 May 2018 20:27 (five months ago) Permalink

Post-2005. Scroll down a little in SNA. It's been updated today.

Love Theme From Oh God! You Devil (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 1 May 2018 21:48 (five months ago) Permalink

RIGHT thank you :)

surm, Tuesday, 1 May 2018 22:04 (five months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Anyone seen De dødes tjern/Lake Of The Dead (1958)? Once voted the 4th best Norwegian film. Used to be a subtitled dvd but it's hard to find now.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 May 2018 14:14 (four months ago) Permalink

Yes! It's quite good (although revealed to be more psychological thriller than the supernatural horror it appeared to be). I discovered this and a pair of 1952 Finnish horror films (The White Reindeer and The Witch/Noita palaa elämään) around the same time. Dunno why '50s Nordic horror is so sparse but it turned out some good stuff. Arrow should put out a box of these three.

I really like the acting, dialogue and especially the scenes (Old Lunch), Sunday, 27 May 2018 15:46 (four months ago) Permalink

Lake of the Dead is on YouTube, btw.

I really like the acting, dialogue and especially the scenes (Old Lunch), Sunday, 27 May 2018 15:47 (four months ago) Permalink

I think it's only Spanish subtitles and a fraud version. I found Witch though.

Luckily White Reindeer has good disc options. There's a restored bluray.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 27 May 2018 18:37 (four months ago) Permalink

One of Abel Ferrara's best movies, The Addiction, is coming to Blu-Ray via Arrow Video on 6/26.

New restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and director of photography Ken Kelsch
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Restored 5.1 audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary by Abel Ferrara, moderated by critic and biographer Brad Stevens
Talking with the Vampires (2018) A new documentary about the film made by Ferrara especially for this release, featuring actors Christopher Walken and Lili Taylor, composer Joe Delia, Ken Kelsch, and Ferrara himself
New interview with Abel Ferrara
New interview with Brad Stevens
Abel Ferrara Edits The Addiction, an archival piece from the time of production
Original trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by critic Michael Ewins

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 29 May 2018 16:24 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Six Japanese films.

Ghost Of Oiwa (1961) - It doesn't really stand out among the Oiwa & Lemon/Yotsuya films, apart from Oiwa's sister playing a bigger part and even taking up a sword. I had heard this is a bad version but it isn't, it just doesn't have enough to stand out.

Peony Lantern/The Bride Of Hades (1968) - This actually might be based on the same story as Hong Kong's The Ghost Lovers (if I remember correctly, a lot of these films blur together in my head). It certainly has a lot of the same elements. It's not bad, the sentimentality gets a little annoying but I liked Ko Nishimura in it. Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura is in it too.

Cruel Ghost Legend (1968) - Like a lot of the other samurai ghost films but cruder, more sex and violence, everyone is horrible. So it stands out in the genre and it's a bit more fun. Two of the women look like bbw models.

Village Of Eight Gravestones (1977) - A quiet mountain village murder mystery. Beautiful landscape shots. Samurai warriors from centuries ago cast a curse on a large family, there's a spooky demon woman and a memorable chase scene in the caves under the mountains.
This was a huge hit when it came out and I'm surprised it isn't better known because I think it could have a much larger following. Based on a popular novel and remade in the 90s.

I watched parts of the 1981 and 2003 versions of Makai Tensho (there are many more). Supposed to be a historical epic with resurrections and demonically powered Christians (later anti-Christians?) but neither looked like they had a big enough budget and I just couldn't be bothered. The earlier version is a bit more noteworthy for the set design, Sonny Chiba, the Lone Wolf & Cub guy and the fight in the burning building looks pretty dangerous to film.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 16 June 2018 15:23 (four months ago) Permalink

Village Of Eight Gravestones has cool posters too.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 16 June 2018 15:32 (four months ago) Permalink

As I probably wont find Shinoda's Demon Pond, Kumashiro's Jigoku and Living Skeleton any time soon, I think I'm pretty much done for now with 50s-80s Japanese horror films until more emerge. Snake Woman's Curse is supposed to be a bit weak so I think I'm okay with avoiding it. Goke and Matango are supposed to be good but I was never interested enough (even with the latter being a William Hope Hodgson adaptation).

Here's my top 15 from 50s-80s from best to least best (I love Tetsuo but I'm going to avoid it here)

Haunted Castle/Secret Chronicles Of The Ghost Cat
Curse Of The Snow Witch
Under The Blossoming Cherry Trees
Ghost Of Yotsuya (Nakagawa)
Ghost Cat Of Otama Pond
Portrait Of Hell
Lake Of Dracula
Village Of Eight Gravestones
Snake Girl & The Silver Haired Witch
Mansion Of The Ghost Cat/Black Cat Mansion
The Woman Vampire

The sixties version of Jigoku has some cool scenes but I'm reluctant to include it.

Hard to find decent trailers of many of these sadly. I hope Arrow listens to my pleas to release some of these because the upper ones deserve to be standard viewing.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 17 June 2018 00:34 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Haunted Palace - Just watched features and the commentary, I didn't expect David Del Valle to be as knowledgeable about horror books as he was (although I'm sure he mixes up Saki and Sarban at one point) and he talks about meeting August Derleth.

Vampyros Lesbos and She Killed in Ecstasy - I wasn't previously aware of Soledad Miranda but I'm glad I know her now, have to say I enjoyed the documentary about her (really just an interview with her biographer with lots of glorious clips and photos) more than these two films.
Vampyros Lesbos has a good soundtrack, some of the more surreal parts are good and She Killed In Ecstasy has some scenes of Soledad killing men that look quite cathartic for her and it's a more expressive performance than in Lesbos. But without her I wouldn't have got much out of either film.
Enjoyed the interviews with Franco in which he talks about not being that excited by awards and acclaim, he doesn't think highly of his own films and he says Yoda's face was based on his because he knew the Stuart Freeborn (based on some quick searching he's also claimed Borgnine, Einstein and himself for inspiration).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 1 July 2018 10:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Got a Blu-Ray of Witchfinder General in the mail the other day.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:07 (three months ago) Permalink

oh i watched vampyros lesbos yesterday! i looooooooooved it. hypnotic, amateurish, beautiful shot composition, unbelievable soundtrack

flamenco blorf (BradNelson), Sunday, 1 July 2018 16:12 (three months ago) Permalink

i really love that one too. i gotta see Ecstasy

Nhex, Sunday, 1 July 2018 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink

Seen 4 Francos recently (Virgin Among Living Dead, Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein, Vampyros Lesbos and She Kills In Ecstasy), only ones I still particularly want to see is Succubus (which strangely hasn't had a fancy new edition) and Female Vampire (which I think I may have found in Fopp if the current Screenbound version wasn't called Bare Breasted Countess, of all the daft names).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 1 July 2018 19:15 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey - This is sometimes called Vincent Ward's best film but it's really miles beneath his amazing earlier film The Vigil (which looks wonderful in the recent bluray release). I generally don't mind inaccurate accents too much, but here they're a constant problem. There is a few striking images (especially the distanced view of the travelers tunneling early on) but I think this just isn't that great a film overall.

Spider (Vasili Mass, 1991, Latvia) - Evil painter repeatedly sexually assaults his new model, sometimes in the form of a giant spider. Looks quite lush at times but other times like a glum television soap. Uneven special effects but the giant spider looks pretty great for a relatively low budget film.

It gets disappointingly conventional towards the end but this is well worth seeing for the stronger images and the quite unique feeling of the film. Awesome large painting of hell featured, I wish I could find the name of the painter.

This is an all region Mondo Macabro bluray (great cover art too). Director says in featured interview that Spider was a straight faced parody of American horror films but he didn't seem to mind whether audiences taken it as a parody or as a straight horror film.


Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 17 August 2018 20:56 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh Italy, you so crazy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Casa_(film_series)

Films in the series
1.La Casa (a.k.a. The Evil Dead)
2.La Casa 2 (a.k.a. Evil Dead II)
3.La Casa 3 (a.k.a. Ghosthouse)
4.La Casa 4 (a.k.a. Witchery)
5.La Casa 5 (a.k.a. Beyond Darkness)
6.La Casa 6 (a.k.a. House II: The Second Story)
7.La Casa 7 (a.k.a. The Horror Show, a.k.a. House III)

...but no Army of Darkness or House 1 or 4.

These Sticks Were Made For Dipping (Old Lunch), Friday, 24 August 2018 13:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Although I prefer Haunted Castle/Secret Chronicles Of The Ghost Cat and Curse Of The Snow Witch to Under The Blossoming Cherry Trees, I think the latter is probably the best film of them all. It works on more levels and while it isn't as supernaturally focused as the others, the spooky bits are quite memorable.

The lightning scene in Haunted Castle reminded me a little bit of the lightning moment in Emperor's "I Am The Black Wizards". I'm wanting to rewatch it to see if it was really that impressive.

Rewatched Black Sabbath and I think it's probably Bava's best by quite some distance. Maybe the best film of its kind (depends how specific we're being).

Now I think Shock might be in his top 5, despite not looking as lovely and the soundtrack by Libra doing a lot of the work. I often think of the strange slow motion closeup of Daria Nicolodi, maybe one of my favorite horror scenes ever.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 2 September 2018 10:59 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Spookies - Wanted to see this because I knew there was a lot of monsters in it. Wondered why it wasn't on bluray and after seeing it I can see why even the lower quality labels wouldn't want to put it out.
I seldom complain about acting but there's a few actors who are terrible here, like the man pretending to be an old german and the incredibly unfunny comedic character. But all the comedy is unfunny here.
I wouldn't recommend this but whoever was doing the creature effects was pretty good and with a bigger budget they might have been able to have done great things.
I actually quite liked the idea of this creepy old guy preserving his unwilling wife by having his small monster army (including two of his children) kill people, but the delivery is mostly dud.

Ammoru - Been meaning to see this after some Adam Groves recommendations and now it's easy to see on youtube. But after seeing half of it I couldn't finish it, I just watched highlight clips. There's a scene near the start I quite liked with the goddess breathing heavily and fire blowing behind her but the end fight is the best part (that I've seen), take a look...


Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 24 September 2018 17:23 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Dario Argento: Cars & rain!

Tenebrae (1982)
Suspiria (1977)
Inferno (1980)
Opera (1987)@NicolodiDaria #cars pic.twitter.com/aHmupWMumD

— GIALLO_GIALLO (@GIALLO_GIALLO) September 7, 2017

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 6 October 2018 17:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

hey we all got our fetishes

Nhex, Sunday, 7 October 2018 04:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Secret Chronicles Of The Ghost Cat/Haunted Castle/Hiroku Kaibyo-Den

My second viewing (first was over a year ago) and I'm pleased to say that it's still spooky and quite thrilling when it gets going. It takes a good 20 minutes to get interesting and I still had trouble gleaning exactly what was going on in that portion, the music is foreboding and even when not much is happening, there's still a mood. I'd be surprised if there exists a better ghost cat woman or a more ferocious film monster prior to this (1969).

I may have missed something but why didn't the cat spirit keep possessing other women? The biggest disappointment is that her rampage is over too soon. Her screaming lightning resurrection is great and I wish she just kept doing that until she killed everyone. One of the best monster films ever and I might try pestering everyone until it gets a long overdue release.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 13 October 2018 17:45 (one week ago) Permalink

I want to give a shout out to Dark Night Of The Scarecrow (1981), one of the best of all the made-for-TV horror movies. I'd really put that near the top of the list of recommendations for those looking for rural horrors upthread. There's several good hi-def posts of it online.

Real Compton City G, Monday, 15 October 2018 00:40 (one week ago) Permalink

Just caught a screening of the The Bloodthirsty Trilogy - fun early '70s Japanese b-movie horror influenced by Bava and Hammer.

Nhex, Monday, 15 October 2018 04:32 (one week ago) Permalink

What did you think of them individually? I think the first is decent-ish, the second is the best by far and the third is pretty bad apart from the face removal scene.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 19 October 2018 17:28 (four days ago) Permalink

He's a cool vampire.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 19 October 2018 17:28 (four days ago) Permalink

Ha, totally different reaction. Loved the first, the third was almost as good, the second bored me to tears with that woman lead.

Nhex, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:21 (four days ago) Permalink

He's definitely a great Dracula! So nuts

Nhex, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:21 (four days ago) Permalink

Also appreciated how much sleazier they got in succession

Nhex, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:21 (four days ago) Permalink

Maybe one of us saw them in a different order? Lake Of Dracula is what I meant by second. Evil Of Dracula just seemed like typical 70s low end horror, don't remember any good sleaze in it. Lake Of Dracula is way prettier and used the golden eyes to good effect.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:26 (four days ago) Permalink

Evil of Dracula had all the topless schoolgirls getting tit-munched, didn't it?

Nhex, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:37 (four days ago) Permalink

Don't remember that somehow!

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 19 October 2018 19:41 (four days ago) Permalink

Probably the single most ridiculously misogynistic dialogue in cinema history.

Probably. pic.twitter.com/Jnf8bNkeJp

— Sad Squiggly Ghost Strangled Nicely on a Sunny Day (@MsHappyDieHappy) October 12, 2018

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 20 October 2018 20:22 (three days ago) Permalink

The Abominable Snowman - one of the early black and white Hammer films. Nigel Kneale script and Peter Cushing. It's quite good, being more interested in the science fiction concept of the story than trying to be scary.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 21 October 2018 18:18 (two days ago) Permalink

Distinguished by a Humphrey Searle score as well (see also The Haunting)

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 21 October 2018 21:32 (two days ago) Permalink

What Dreams May Come - One of those extremely sentimental Robin Williams films that everyone hates. Based on a Richard Matheson novel. Very beautifully shot, special effects mostly hold up very well, lots of panoramas of heaven and hell based on classic paintings (all credited at the end too). Herzog makes a brief amusing appearance in hell . Quite a few characters swap skin colour in heaven.
It doesn't modulate the sentimentality quite the right way to totally work for me but I think this is really underrated. The ending is very cute (there is an alternate ending with a questionable concept of atoning for suicide, which I gather is from the novel) and this is a better Vincent Ward film than Navigator.

Mystics In Bali - Indonesian film which is sort of an underground classic now; the best known flying headed witch film. Special effects are creaky, actors are of an extremely uneven ability (one of the supporting actors is an old pro and the lead actress was just an ordinary German tourist who had no acting experience) but it works well enough because it's got an unreal, oddly sedate tone to it (nobody seems overly impressed by all the crazy shit happening) and everyone is dubbed with cartoonish voice actors. The old witch is fun and there's little novelties like the fireball fight.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 22 October 2018 18:55 (yesterday) Permalink

I love Mystics In Bali, yes the effects are almost Bollywood standard at times but it rattles along splendidly and everyone's performance is at least enjoyable.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Monday, 22 October 2018 21:41 (yesterday) Permalink

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