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***Official 19th Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2018***

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John Stell, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    3038413F-D8C4-4EBE-9864-34303FFC93F2. #004: Into The Dark: The Body (first time viewing). Hulu’s new horror anthology has a great premise: each month’s story will be tied to that month’s holiday! First up is Halloween. A murderer trying to dispose of a body ends up going to a Halloween party WITH the body which everyone thinks is a prop for his serial killer costume. It goes down from there. Way down. Produced by Blumhouse Films so I expected more. 1/5 stars
     
  2. Message #102 of 305 Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]

    Demon Wind
    C
    Now you see it. Now you don't. Now you're DEAD!

    Cory and a group of friends travel to the rural home of his grandparents to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding their deaths nearly 60 years before. There, they find evidence that the grandparents were dabbling in witchcraft and black arts, but they have no idea that once they crossed the threshhold of the home, their fate was sealed.

    A rather patchwork film that seems to have cribbed bits from The Evil Dead, Night of the Demons, and other possession/demon/zombie flicks that came before. An interview included with one of the producers in the bonus features admits this was a shoot-from-the-hip/spur-of-the-moment film made while the company was involved in production of two other films, and it has that feel. But some bloody makeup and physical effects make for a mostly fun if not exactly satisfying viewing experience. Too bad the script is rather nonsensical and self-contradictory at times. Bonus points for its value as possible MST3K material. I found myself making sarcastic comments to the screen at several points.

    The blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome looks and sounds pretty good for a 30-year-old low budget B-movie, though the picture quality does vary some from scene to scene, and there's some pronounced hiss in the soundtrack. The visual variations are likely due to the source materials and the mixed bag of film stocks used to make the film. An interview with the DP in the bonus features says they used knock-off cameras and "short ends" of film stock to film the footage. These short ends are various bits and pieces of unused film left over from other productions. Low budget films would buy these to save money, rather than buying new full reels from Kodak. They can be from different manufacturers, have different speeds, and require different developing methods, so that will automatically cause variations in presentation and quality. So given the limitations of the original production, the 2K scan and restoration by VS is quite good.

    Oh, and the cover photo has nothing to do with the film, and I'm still not exactly sure how the "wind" figures into anything.
     
  3. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    Bold - Denotes first ever viewing
    Rating - Out of a possible 4 [​IMG]



    022) 10/06/2018 Murder by the Clock (1931) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Wealthy widow who fears being buried alive has horn installed in the family crypt. Soon after changing her will she’s strangled, presumably by her idiot son. You can guess what happens not long after she’s entombed, although there’s much more to the story. A fine example of old dark house thrillers, with Lilyan Tashman’s portrayal of a conniving, money-grubbing wife something to behold. Irving Pichel does well as the slow-witted prime suspect, although he did better as Sandor in Dracula’s Daughter.


    023) 10/06/2018 Ghoulies (1984) [​IMG]1/2
    The son of a satanic cult leader with lovely green eyes inherits dad’s mansion and starts practicing occult rituals. Soon the title creatures are popping out of his backyard and attacking his friends. This low budget oddity isn’t the Gremlins rip-off it might appear to be, nor does it seem that most of the laughs are intentional. It’s mostly juvenile tedium for the first hour; but the final 20 or so minutes are pretty lively — or deadly rather. The puppet ghoulies aren’t as much fun as they should be.


    024) 10/07/2018 Maniac (1963) [​IMG] [​IMG]1/2
    When he finds out his daughter was sexually assaulted, an angry father takes a blowtorch to the attacker and is then committed to an asylum. Years later, the dad’s wife wants to remarry. But her husband won’t agree to a divorce. However, if the lovers were to free him, they can be together. This was one of Hammer Films’ thrillers meant to cash in on Psycho. So, there are twists and turns, some of them surprising. Cold and clever, but not altogether satisfying.


    025) 10/07/2018 Ghosts That Still Walk (1977) No [​IMG]
    A teenager is suffering from unexplained aches and pains. So, the hospital refers him to a psychiatrist who hypnotizes his grandmother because her husband recently died from a heart attack. It turns out the elderly couple was attacked by flying boulders while driving in their RV in the desert, while Ronald Stein’s theme from Spider Baby played in the background. Then, the doctor reads from the diaries of the lad’s mother, who went insane. See, she tried to connect with an Indian mummy via astral projection. Then…oh, the hell with it. This a film of badly dramatized, disconnected ideas that build to nothing. Another problem is that potentially horrific scenes go on far too long, making the events ridiculous instead of terrifying. Just awful.
     
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  4. whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    11. Terrortory (2016). FTV. Watched on DVR. A bunch of lame short stories makes this some terrortory you want to stay away from. Then again I'll probably explore new terrortory with the 2018 sequel. 2/5.
     
  5. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    FA3385AD-0FEC-4B22-9DA1-5C6D409502D1. #005: Dr. Phibes Rises Again Everything that made the original so good is missing here. Gone are the clever deaths and the reason behind them. This one is way too talky, attempts at British humor fall flat and the murders are lackluster at best. There’s a reason I rewatch the original and not this one! 1/5 stars
     
  6. Message #106 of 305 Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    12. Poltergeist Encounters (2016). FTV. Watched on DVD. 1.5/5. Really bad found footage.

    13. Apocalyptic Horror (2017). FTV. Streamed. 2/5.
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Got in four yesterday. Cooking Turkey for Canadian thanksgiving today so I'll have to see how it goes.

    008 10/06 Dear Dead Delilah (1972) 2.5/5 Starts with a creepy bang and has some effective effects, but the plot brings it down. An old southern family gather to find out their inheritance from the titled matriarch Delilah. There’s not enough intrigue to really keep you interested, and if not for the over the top effects it would have been a wash.

    009 10/06 Body Melt (1993) 3/5 Australian gore film in which a nice suburban area gets vitamin samples with some runny side effects. This one fits somewhere in tone between a Troma film and Peter Jackson’s gleeful gore years, and is a bit of a sleazy gem. The effects are fantastic, the plot ridiculous, it didn't completely work for me since humour is subjective but I’ll be giving it a second spin one day.

    010 10/06 Deep Red (1975) 4/5 I FINALLY got around to the one that many consider to be Argento’s best film, and it really is a great achievement. Stylish, clever, a solid Giallo plot, some nice gore, and a soundtrack to die for. What really struck me was how influential this film was. You can see hints of HALLOWEEN and others in this, and it’s great.

    011 10/06 The Sexorcist (1973) 1.5/5 Years after the heady success of films such as “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies”, director Ray Dennis Steckler hit the skids and went hardcore. This one is designed to capitalize on “The Exorcist” and fails miserably. A lady journalist with a hooker roommate follows the Sexorcist as he tries to, and finds, evidence of a satanic sex cult. As he translates the papers he’s found, the hooker gets possessed by a weedy, hippy creep from the cult. It makes little sense, is dull as dishwater in all ways and at an hour has pacing issues. It does have a good twist ending, but getting there is not a fun time.
     
  8. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    545DD504-BCEB-4202-8B6F-00F6793BCC7F. #006 The Invisible Man The second of the Music Box Theatre’s Universal Horror Matinee series. Of all the Universal classics this is the one I’ve seen the least. What a great experience to rewatch it on the big screen! The story and effects hold up very well and Una O’Connor still gets laughs. Not really scary but the story is pretty captivating. Kudos to Claude Rains’ acting despite never really being on camera. 4/5 stars
     
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  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Cigarette Burns B+
    Masters of Horror: John Carpenter

    Kirby (Norman Reedus), a cinephile deep in debt and still affected by his wife's suicide, has accepted a job from eccentric film collector Bellinger (Udo Kier) to track down the only existing print of a notorious film, Le Fin Absolue du Monde (The Absolute End of the World). The film was thought destroyed after it's only showing triggered homicidal and suicidal reactions within the viewing audience, but Bellinger has compelling evidence that the film still exists. As Kirby gets closer to recovering the film, he begins to learn how powerful and devastating the reactions to the film can be from those who have been affected by it.

    Compelling and disturbing short film from John Carpenter. It doesn't always make a whole lot of sense, but definitely holds your attention with an interesting hook and some very graphic and bloody scenes. I've watched a couple of these MOH short films and am always surprised by the level of blood and gore in what is essentially a TV anthology, albeit on pay cable (Showtime).
     
  10. whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    14. Demon Hole (2017) which is another one of those "Oops we drilled to hell by accident and released demons" films that ends up being not too bad. The ending is up for debate but you can't have your cake ...
     
  11. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    And Now the Screaming Starts (1973) ***

    This Amicus horror film has a bride moving into her husband's family estate and soon she starts seeing creepy things. A doctor (Peter Cushing) is called in to help and soon discovers a family curse. I really thought this was a very good film and one that certainly improved over the last time I watched it. The performances were all extremely good and I thought Roy Ward Baker did a fantastic job directing. This was especially true during the final thirty-minutes where the film takes a rather dark and sinister turn. The flashback rape sequence was very well-handled and managed to be disturbing without being graphic.

    Someone's Watching Me! (1978) ** 1/2

    John Carpenter's first studio picture is about a woman who finds herself being stalked by someone who appears to know everything she is doing. Overall I thought this film offered up some very good performances and I thought Carpenter perfectly handled the suspense scenes. There was some nice tension throughout the picture but there were also some major flaws. I thought the film took way too long for the victim to start fighting back or at least trying to see who was stalking her. I'd also argue that some of the characters weren't written all that great. Still, it's an interesting film and at least shows what talent Carpenter had.

    The Unseen (1980) **

    I really wanted to enjoy this one more than I did. Three women end up staying at a nice man's home. Considering this is a horror movie we know he's really not nice and there's a creature in the basement. I won't ruin the twist in the story but I must say that the screenplay was a complete mess and it just never seemed like the film knew what it wanted to do. It's really too bad because it wastes the performances of Barbara Bach (THE SPY WHO LOVED ME), Syndey Lassick (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST) and Stephen Furst (NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE).

    The Love Butcher (1975) ***

    A crippled gardener is constantly being picked on. Whoever picks on him ends up dying when he turns into his altar ego. This film was actually a lot better than I was expecting and I'd argue that it's actually one of the crazier horror films of the decade. James Lemp's performance is clearly the reason to see the film as he does a terrific job in both roles. The film managed to be extremely creepy at times and especially a couple of the death scenes that were extremely well-shot and edited. There are certainly a lot of flaws here including the second half of the film that goes towards the police investigation and this takes away from the killer.

    Funeral Home (1980) **

    A woman goes to help her grandmother turn their former funeral home into a bed and breakfast. Soon the guests are going missing and the young woman feels it might be connected to the screams she hears in the basement (duh, really?). This film has a nice atmosphere and a few interesting ideas but overall the movie was just too boring to really work. The running time seemed twice as long than it actually was and I just really didn't care for any of the characters.
     
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  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yesterday, I watched:

    9. Son Of Frankenstein

    Years after the original two movies, Wolf Von Frankenstein moves his family moves in to the family castle and, eventually, the Monster is revived. Karloff's last time out as his most famous character and the last time that Universal really spent money on their horror movies.


    10. The Invisible Man Returns

    Vincent Price is now the title character. Decent sequel with Price quite good as the doctor slowly losing his mind thanks to the invisibility formula.

    and today:

    11. The Mummy's Hand

    Two goofy archaeologists have a run-in with a Mummy. More comedic than the other Mummy pictures (too much so in my mind) but I do enjoy a Mummy movie.


    12. The Invisible Woman

    A silly mad scientist invents an invisibility machine and a woman is the first person to have it used on her. Unlike The Mummy's Hand, I enjoy the invisibility premise being used in a comedic fashion because I like this movie.
     
  13. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 7: Thelma (2016) - 5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

    A shy, lonely young girl at college is confused by her feelings toward another girls in her class, and at the same time experiences strange seizures. Her heavily religious upbringing creating internal conflict and the doctors believe that stress may be a cause. But something much deeper is happening here.

    This is absolutely one of my favorite discoveries. A beautiful Norwegian production filmed with precision, favoring a slow-burn unfolding of the story. This is really a character drama infused with the supernatural, with the horror elements coming out through imagery and intimation. Thelma is played here by Eili Harboe and she gives a mesmerizing performance. The girl with whom she is taken, Anja, is played by Kaya Wilkins, and together they bring alive an honest view of attraction and of two people taking steps into the larger world of independence, with themes of discovery, repression, and internalized conflict. The horror here is incredibly subtle, and through the careful construction of scene and mood, tone and character moment, Director Joachim Trier establishes a potent character drama with an intriguing undercurrent of dark mystery and quite the ending!

    Just brilliant!
     
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  14. whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    15. Bigfoot Horror Camp (2017). This is a chopped up version of another film that shows people watching other chopped up films! There is a little nudity squeezed in this 50 minute epic but not much horror camp as Bigfoot terrorizes a nudist colony. Try another camp.

    16. Nails (2017). FTV. Watched on DVD. 2/5.
     
  15. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    Bold - Denotes first ever viewing
    Rating - Out of a possible 4 [​IMG]



    026) 10/07/2018 Day of the Animals (1977) [​IMG][​IMG]
    The ozone layer’s deterioration has somehow affected animals in high altitude areas. That’s bad news for Christopher George’s camping party that’s just been dumped in such a location for two weeks. There are assaults by vicious birds, a grizzly, cougars, rattlesnakes, etc. Back home flying rats attack the sheriff. The cast is good and the locations attractive in this “when nature attacks” offering. But the pacing is a bit too leisurely to sustain tension and Leslie Nielsen’s advertising executive going psycho feels contrived.


    027) 10/07/2018 Hands of the Ripper (1971) [​IMG] [​IMG]1/2
    Psychiatrist unknowingly takes on Jack the Ripper’s daughter as a patient. She witnessed her father kill her mother, and now she too murders when certain events take place. Sympathetic characters are the main selling point of this Hammer thriller, which plays out with few surprises. There are some gory murders, and a lovely main theme by Christopher Gunning.


    028) 10/08/2018 The Hands of Orlac (1960) [​IMG][​IMG]
    A plane crash leaves pianist Stephen Orlac’s hands “burned to the bone.” So, he receives the hands of an executed strangler as replacements. Fearing he’ll kill his fiancée, he tries hiding in a hotel. But all that does is make him a target of blackmailer Christopher Lee. Mostly dull and uneventful version of the classic tale, with Lee’s villainous turn being the sole saving grace.


    029) 10/08/2018 Thirteen Women (1932) [​IMG] [​IMG]1/2
    Myrna Loy stars as mixed raced woman who plots revenge, using her hypnotic powers, against the sorority sisters who shunned her 15 years earlier. Cut down from 73 to 59 minutes, the surviving shorter print still manages to build tension in several scenes despite the brief running time. Campy fun, but hardly convincing.
     
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  16. whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    17. Bloody Murder (2017). FTV. Streamed. 2/5.
     
  17. whacky blacky

    whacky blacky Second Unit

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    18. Grave Halloween (2013). FTV. Watched on DVD. A group of friends get lost in the Suicide Forest and fail to entertain us. PG type violence and scares. 2/5.
     
  18. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    October 5:

    ghost stories.

     
  19. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    October 6:

    SEIZURE.

     
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  20. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    October 7:

    aka Dead of Night


    Deathdream.

     
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