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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three years ago) Permalink

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

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

The theme tune was great.

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

Are the Dr Phibes films worthwhile?

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

Circus Of Horrors - Early 60s British horror about a dastardly plastic surgeon who owns a circus, gives makeovers to facially scarred beautiful women and gets them to perform in his circus, but he kills them when they endanger him. It's not bad.
Cast includes Donald Pleasance, Yvonne Romain and Yvonne Monlaur (who died in April, I just discovered).

The Black Castle - 50s gothic adventure film set in 18th century, which I'm not sure would qualify as a swashbuckler because it doesn't really have much swordfighting. It's not bad.
Karloff and Chaney Jr in supporting roles.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 13 November 2017 20:03 (three months ago) Permalink

Behind the Door (Irvin Willat, 1919). Wartime atrocities better not disqualify a movie from the horror genre, because I'm going to discuss it here. Certainly by the time Hobart Bosworth has Wallace Beery in irons on his ship, Bosworth seems suitably unhinged. And the reference to Beery's fate is a perfect illustration of the principle that what you don't see on screen can be all the more powerful.

I saw this in a double bill with Prix de Beaute (Augusto Genina, 1930) and am in desperate need of comedy and happy endings.

Virulent Is the Word for Julia (j.lu), Sunday, 19 November 2017 04:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Ghost Of Frankenstein - Awful script, even for what it is there's a lot of poor logic. I'm quite fond of Lugosi as Igor but it just seems wrong to have him speaking through the monster's body.

Scarecrows - A military slasher film, combining two genres I don't like much. For all the time I've spent on dull and hackneyed gothic films, every time I see a slasher film I'm glad I haven't made a habit of seeing them. The Scarecrows do look very good though.

Whip And The Body - Very pleased with this one. It's a good illustration of why I persevere with mediocre scripted gothic films. It's one of Mario Bava's best looking films. Yes, it's a bit boring but the style and mood is so consistent you can really wallow in it.
Roughly on a level with Black Sunday and Kill Baby Kill but not as good as Black Sabbath.

Soundtrack is annoyingly repetitive and Kill Baby Kill seems to have reused one of the main pieces. I watched the English version because there was no subtitles for the Italian soundtrack, so maybe the music varies a bit more in Italian, I don't know.

I had been wary of getting this because the reviews of the current Odeon/Screenbound and Kino remasters were so negative, but there might not be another remaster for a long time, so gave in. I have no technical knowledge of film so I don't know how much better it could have looked, but it looks plenty great to me.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 20 November 2017 13:23 (two months ago) Permalink

Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman is a big improvement from Ghost Of Frankenstein but Bela Lugosi just doesn't look right as the monster. House Of Frankenstein and House Of Dracula are roughly the same quality too.
I just realised that after Universal, I don't see a lot of gypsies in monster films (I vaguely recall there being gypsy looking characters in the first animated Vampire Hunter D film but I could be wrong).

I thought Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein might make a nice change, but I rarely found it funny and I didn't get much out of it. Do fans of old comedy rate Abbott & Costello very high?

The Universal Spanish version of Dracula does have a more lively leading actress and a few of the scenes are better than Tod Browning's version (like the brides getting Renfield) but I'm hesitant to say it's a better film.
It's half an hour longer, far far too long. Perhaps it's unfair to judge Carlos Villarias by what we've come to expect of Dracula but it's difficult for me to see him as anything other than silly.

Woman In Black: Angel Of Death is probably better than the previous film, more restrained with cgi but it still has annoying jump scares and some other conventions I don't care for.
Unfortunately it seems to be the last Hammer film, I didn't see many of the others but I hoped they could have made something more impressive.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 26 November 2017 21:03 (two months ago) Permalink

Perhaps it's unfair to judge Carlos Villarias by what we've come to expect of Dracula but it's difficult for me to see him as anything other than silly.

I saw the Spanish-language version of Dracula in a double feature with the English-language version. Villarias seemed decidedly insecure to me, as if he was expecting people to break out laughing at him any moment now, and he wanted to be ready to join in. He never owns the role to the degree Lugosi does (although considering Lugosi's career trajectory, that was in its way a curse).

I, Fanbrat (j.lu), Monday, 27 November 2017 00:18 (two months ago) Permalink

3 goodies coming from 88 Films: One Dark Night with Meg Tilly and two Shaw Brothers films Ghost Lovers and The Enchanting Ghost.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 23:45 (two months ago) Permalink

The Fury - One of the most purely enjoyable films I've seen this year. It does so many things. I'm surprised how similar it is to Carrie, but leaning towards Scanners and a whole bunch of other things thrown in. Kirk Douglas is great. I'm a little more eager to read John Farris books now.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 2 December 2017 16:22 (two months ago) Permalink

I also just saw that for the first time this year. Undecided about DePalma on the whole, but it was ludicrous and fun.

Ripped Taylor (Old Lunch), Saturday, 2 December 2017 16:23 (two months ago) Permalink

I never had much interest in him outside of Sisters, Phantom Of Paradise and Fury, but that changed recently because of the documentary (also one of the most enjoyable films I've seen this year). In retrospect, I like Blow Out more now than I did years ago. I bought Body Double recently and would like Black Dahlia and Passion sometime.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 2 December 2017 16:43 (two months ago) Permalink

yeahhhh Body Double! you very well might hate that, but I'm really down with it
De Palma rules, even his failures are watchable

Nhex, Sunday, 3 December 2017 01:03 (two months ago) Permalink

I just watched Body Double and I totally loved it! Great weekend.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 03:38 (two months ago) Permalink

And honestly, there's not a lot of films I properly hate.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 03:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Body Double is surprisingly affecting too, but it's hard to say why. I'm quite saddened to see how Craig Wasson's film roles dwindled away, but he seems to be Stephen King's choice of audiobook reader now. Can't assume an actor doesn't have a satisfying theatre career but I really wish he was still in big films.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 14:26 (two months ago) Permalink

You might be on your own there.

Ripped Taylor (Old Lunch), Sunday, 3 December 2017 14:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Body Double is kind of a mess of a film, but also maybe the purest distillation of De Palma’s weirdo id. All the things He’s About turned to 11, a cartoonish exaggeration, BDP turning his ~meta~ tendencies on himself. I really like it.

circa1916, Sunday, 3 December 2017 15:07 (two months ago) Permalink

Old Lunch- why? Looking around I've seen a lot of people expressing the same things, Wasson was great, the film is totally great. In the sense of setting, De Palma doesn't have a visual style I'm into but the way he moves the camera and composes scenes really compels me. I think The Fury and Body Double are miles ahead of most of the classics I've seen.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:15 (two months ago) Permalink

I meant specifically wrt lamenting Wasson's absence from films.

Ripped Taylor (Old Lunch), Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:17 (two months ago) Permalink

That's what I meant too, when I was reading about him I saw a lot of people who missed him and thought he deserved better.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Don't forget his appearance in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors!

Nhex, Sunday, 3 December 2017 16:47 (two months ago) Permalink

De Palma doesn't have a visual style I'm into but the way he moves the camera and composes scenes really compels me


circa1916, Sunday, 3 December 2017 17:15 (two months ago) Permalink

In terms of setting, clothes, hair etc. Same for Cronenberg and sometimes Lynch.

I wasn't sure how to put that. I tend to gravitate towards certain settings and approaches and De Palma is an exception for me.
The camera movement and composition is a separate style concern.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 3 December 2017 17:23 (two months ago) Permalink


This guy is nuts. In a good way of course.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 4 December 2017 23:22 (two months ago) Permalink

Anyone else frequent Letterboxd? I'm really excited by all the lists for regions and genres, with all this poster art. I don't remember imdb or rateyourmusic ever having this many good film lists.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 20:55 (two months ago) Permalink

I've started a watchlist there (https://letterboxd.com/pollyprecoder/), but haven't yet felt the need to curate any lists.

I, Fanbrat (j.lu), Tuesday, 5 December 2017 21:01 (two months ago) Permalink

It's been so helpful in finding crazy obscure fantasy films from across the world.

And mood lists like this.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 21:27 (two months ago) Permalink

lol RAG I have never seen anyone actually praise Wasson's performance in Body Double. I love the movie but he is far and away the lamest thing in it.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 22:15 (two months ago) Permalink

Sad face...

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 00:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I started doing letterboxd but haven't been on it for months and months, am here if people want to add: https://letterboxd.com/la_duffeldorf/

emil.y, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 01:32 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh no, not another one of these sites! I've already lost countless hours of cataloging on blu-ray.com and comicbookdb.

Ripped Taylor (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 6 December 2017 02:06 (two months ago) Permalink

Please, emil.y, if you haven't seen it already, do yourself the favor of rounding out your Nuclear Winterval list with Testament. It's quietly horrifying enough to earn a mention itt (and I may have put it on my horror ballot back in the day).

Ripped Taylor (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 6 December 2017 02:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Ah yeah, I tried to watch it on netflix recently but my internet kept going down.

emil.y, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 04:32 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm going to have to stop myself from joining for now. So many kaidan and wuxia films I could spend hours adding to my watch list.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 18:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Girl With A Broomstick - 70s Czech supernatural comedy. Since the soundtrack was released by Finders Keepers I was expecting something a little more interesting but it's somewhere along the lines of a Czech version of I Dream Jeannie or Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
But I can't say I regret seeing it because the witch girl Saxana looks so awesome with her hair and costume (people should cosplay as her), the main boy is cute too.
There was a sequel in 2011.

Long Live Ghosts - 70s Czech supernatural musical for kids. I bought this on a whim without knowing anything about it and I wish I hadn't. It features mostly children acting and singing and you might find it cute or annoying. I didn't watch it properly and ended up fast-forwarding through a lot of it. One thing that really impressed me is the green screen techniques (adult actors playing miniature people who work among the children), this is a low budget film and there are big American films in the 80s that didn't have green screen anywhere near this convincing. I was kind of stunned how seamless it was most of the time.

Portrait Of Hell - I postponed buying this for years because I wanted to read the Ryunosuke Akutagawa story first, but I've been shit at reading these years and I really wanted to see this. It's really good and unlike some of my other favourite Japanese period ghost films (which are often about the payoff scenes), it's good throughout.
It's about a morbid artist's struggle with a lord who dictates what he paints, the consequences of mistreating his daughter and Japanese-Korean racism.
I saw it on a slightly rough quality dvd so I'd love to see a remastered bluray of this, it would probably look very fine. Arrow, Criterion or Eureka should get on it.

Ginseng King/Three Headed Monster - fairly violent 80s children's action fantasy from Thailand. Features a warrior princess wearing a sort of jungle girl outfit, giant humanoids, a big ice sword, two ginseng creatures but oddest of all is a vampire fanged Nazi zombie who constantly salutes Hitler and is transfixed by a Buddhist swastika.
It uses/steals Mike Oldfield's Killing Fields soundtrack and I don't know if that's an obstacle to getting this a wider release today. The film is okay, more of an interesting little oddity than anything, should have been a bit shorter. Watch it on youtube but the Wu Tang Collection channel gives it a completely misleading preview image of a woman in a bikini.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 18 December 2017 00:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Magic Of The Universe - Quite similar to Ginseng King but more drawn out and sleepy. Includes a swamp man, a rubbery bunny with a television screen stomach, a flamboyantly dancing demon and a progressively more grotesque evil queen with a large pulsating head and the most prolonged villainous laugh I've ever seen. It's a bit disappointing but if youre in the mood for a sleepy but quite cruel fantasy film for kids(?), you might give this a go.

The Signalman - A fine BBC adaptation of a Dickens story. It was one of the first ghost stories I read, so my memory is hazy but this version seems to add a lot.

House Of Terrors/Ghost Of The Hunchback/Kaidan Semushi Otoko - Has many similarities to The Haunting but outright steals the bending door scene. But also features a pervert father in law who is also a war criminal, a mysterious hunchback and a medium being possessed by an evil ghost. Fairly decent.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 25 December 2017 16:55 (one month ago) Permalink


A very detailed video essay on Mexican vampire films in several parts (you'll also learn a bit about Mexican wrestlers and comics). This essayist has also done videos on Mexican mummy films, examinations of world war 2 propaganda on comic covers and many other things.

I finally know where that German Robles face I've seen on so many cover and poster paintings comes from now.

To watch:
El Vampiro (1957)
Santo Vs Las Mujeres Vampiro
El Vampiro Y El Sexo
El Vampiro Sangriento/The Bloody Vampire
La Invasión De Los Vampiros/The Invasion Of The Vampires
Ángeles Y Querubines/Angels And Cherubs

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 15:04 (one month ago) Permalink

GALAXY OF TERROR (1981) - a wonderfully dreadful Roger Corman production, worth a watch if you love B-flicks. Battlestar Galactica meets Alien set design by James Cameron and supporting roles from Robert Englund and Joanie from Happy Days. Definitely worth it for two unforgettably atrocious scenes in the first third and a bizarre, unearned mystical denouement. Lots of gore, wooden acting, inept direction, best $2 I’ve spent in a while.

bumbling my way toward the light or wahtever (hardcore dilettante), Wednesday, 27 December 2017 18:18 (one month ago) Permalink

saw that last year, good stuff. Robert England double fight was great lol

Nhex, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 19:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I think I've asked before but I really don't get what Corman's been doing since the sixties. He probably has it in him to make better films, so why has he been so dedicated to schlock?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 22:09 (one month ago) Permalink

i got the impression he was always a bottom-line profit producer, but willing to give total freedom with low budgets. wish there was another producer willing to do that now!

Nhex, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 22:25 (one month ago) Permalink

He's still going, he produced two films this year.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 27 December 2017 22:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Black Magic 2 - this is one of the two or three Hong Kong films listed in the Marriott and Newman horror guide I had that was my main reference for a few years. It's odd that they chosen this when it doesn't improve on the original (which they didn't choose) and there's a lot of better films they could have included to represent Hong Kong. I was encouraged by the misleadingly beautiful cover art but the only thing I care to report is how odd it is to see Lo Lieh sucking on a lactating woman. It's just not a very interesting film in the HK black magic genre.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 02:03 (one month ago) Permalink

idk if this is even a horror movie but have any of y'all seen trance aka the fan? it is one of the wildest things i've ever seen

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Monday, 8 January 2018 02:02 (one month ago) Permalink

"lets all shit our pants to something old" / that was a hit before your mother was born...

Hideous Lump, Monday, 8 January 2018 02:44 (one month ago) Permalink

Jump-scares and gore from a long, long time ago...

bumbling my way toward the light or wahtever (hardcore dilettante), Monday, 8 January 2018 02:50 (one month ago) Permalink

xp there are many horror movies named both "Trance" and "The Fan" so you gotta be more specific

Nhex, Monday, 8 January 2018 04:25 (one month ago) Permalink


flamenco drop (BradNelson), Monday, 8 January 2018 06:26 (one month ago) Permalink

ah that one! i've heard interesting things. on my list

Nhex, Monday, 8 January 2018 08:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Had a fairly terrifying nightmare that was more or less about the Species creature, which when I actually look at it is never as scary as I remember. Haven't seen the film in a very long time but I remember there being one good shot in it which was genuinely creepy.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 15 January 2018 14:10 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

This video is on the official channel for the film. There's an interesting introduction by the director.

Black Angel - Short film but probably as good a mainstream 80s medieval fantasy film as you're going to get and a lot more poetic and beautifully shot than similar films. Roger Christian is remaking it longer but his track record is a little concerning, he made Battlefield Earth. Perhaps this short film is the best thing he's ever done?

Daughter Of Horror - Thanks to Old Lunch (?) for this one. I watched the one with the Psychic Teens soundtrack thinking it was the only available version and started to watch the official version but I think the Psychic Teens soundtrack probably improves the film. Very interesting surreal noir horror, I'd like to see more films like this that are essentially modern silent films (although this is from the 50s) with little or no captions.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 3 February 2018 10:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

One Dark Night - An okay teen horror film with above average special effects for the time. Meg Tilly stars so it's a keeper. Just like with Black Angel, the director wants to remake this early film of his. The interview with him on the bluray is pretty good.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 10 February 2018 00:27 (one week ago) Permalink

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