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***Official 20th Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2019***

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John Stell, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Bloody Murder (2000) * 1/2

    This low-budget horror film is about a group of councilors trying to get a summer camp ready to open when they are attacked by a man in a hockey mask. This film was obviously meant as a homage to FRIDAY THE 13TH and there are a lot of winks to that film. The only problem is that this thing is rather bland and boring with a lot of characters that you don't really like. The film also suffers from the fact that there's really no violence, sex, gore or anything else that would remind you of a F13 movie.

    Satanic Panic (2019) ** 1/2

    A pizza delivery girl goes to a rich neighborhood and when she's stiffed on the tip she enters a house only to learn they are Satanist and now they want her because she's a virgin. This here was a really strange movie and I must say that it's been a very long time since I've had such a strong love/hate relationship with the film. The comic nature of the first thirty-minutes was downright awful and it just never really worked for me. It wasn't that it was bad as I'm sure many will like it but it just didn't sit well with me. I loved the second half of the film once the blood, sex, gore and exploitation started. The film got better as it went on but the comic tone just didn't work for me. Rebecca Rominjn is exceptionally good as the main Satanist. Jerry O'Connell has a small role as well.

    Annabelle Comes Home (2019) ***

    I didn't care for the first two Annabelle movies but I certainly enjoyed this one. I thought all of the performances were great and I also thought the director did a wonderful job with the story. Some of the CGI monsters (like the werewolf) were poor but this was my only issue with the film. I thought the director did a good job with the suspense and I loved his use of the 2.35:1 ratio. This ratio is so overused these days and especially by director's who don't know what they're doing but that certainly wasn't the case here.

    Trespassers (2018) ** 1/2

    Two couples arrive at a luxury house for a getaway but their good times quickly turn to terror when they make the mistake of letting a stranger come in to use the phone. There are several twists and turns in this film so obviously I'm not going to spoil them. I thought the film was going to be better than it actually was and the biggest issue was a sequence in the middle where one of the characters is junked up on cocaine and does something really stupid. This sequence pretty much threw the entire film out of whack but it's best to just turn your brain off and soak up the rather violent and gory final act. Again, I'm not going to spoil what happens but there are a lot of twists in the film and not all of them work but as a home invasion film I've seen worse.

    Death at Love House (1976) ** 1/2

    Made-for-TV film has Robert Wagner and Kate Jackson playing a couple doing research on an old Hollywood legend who just happened to date Wagner's father. Even for a television movie this thing is pretty tame, laid back and it doesn't try to do anything new. It's really too bad more wasn't done with the material because we get a terrific supporting cast that includes Sylvia Sidney in a small role as well as cameo appearances by John Carradine, Dorothy Lamour and Joan Blondell. The film is entertaining but it should have been better.

    The Willies (1990) **

    Sean Astin is camping with two young boys and tells some scary stories. I understand what the director was going for with this film. He basically wanted to flashback when you were young, heard stories and then you told the stories to your friends even if you didn't know if they were really true or not. The film has that aspect down good but the problem is that the stories told really aren't all that good. The best is the first that has James Karen playing a janitor who just happens to also be a demon. The second story involves a bully with a fascination with flies and this here was quite poor. What's worse is that this story takes up the majority of the running time and it's just way too flat.

    Terror in the Tropics (2006) *


    This here tries the DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID approach to filmmaking. It turns out that KING KONG was a true story and the map to Skull Island has been stolen from RKO. A detective sets out to find out what's going on. This here uses clips from movies like THE APE, the Mr. Wong series, THE DEVIL BAT, THE LOST WORLD and THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME and mixes it up with new footage to try and make a new movie but the results were just bad. Even at just 57-minutes this film was rather boring and the footage just doesn't mix well together.
     
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  2. Message #202 of 488 Oct 12, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 11:

    12) The Mummy (1999) 4/5 stars
    - Steven Sommers' riff on The Mummy is big and ridiculous in all the right ways as far as I'm concerned. Fast-paced, full of good humor and boasting a primary cast with great chemistry, this film pleases. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz are just perfect together. Some of the CGI hasn't aged all that well, but it's a fun film that really works more often than it doesn't.

    13) Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974) 4/5 stars - One of my favorite Hammer films, this tale of a former military man galavanting around the European countryside on horseback, dispatching vampires wherever he finds them, is quite enjoyable. Horst Janson plays the titular role with conviction and humor, and his banter with his hunchback partner (Grost) is great. Carolyn Munroe does a fine job in this movie as well. Time well spent!
     
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  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    (14) Antichrist (2009):

    Holy Crap!

    I need a drink.

    Where's the scotch?

    There the hell is the damn scotch?

    That Lars dude has ***ISSUES***!

    This is the type of movie that people question my motivation (or sanity) for watching.

    And sometimes I do as well.

    So, why would I watch it, then buy the Criterion BR, then watch it two more times?

    Spread out over ten years, but still...

    Time for a drink.

    And a long, hot shower.
     
  4. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 12: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) – 3.5 out of 5

    A quite Californian town is turned upside down when what appears to be a comet lands in the woods. But it’s no comet, it’s a circus tent with killer clowns that soon start turning the town’s inhabitants into cotton-candy-like food for themselves. Only a young couple who narrowly escaped an encounter with the circus tent (which is actually there spacecraft), a brave sheriff, and two ice-cream truck drivers who are no good with the ladies are able to stand up to the killer clown menace.

    Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a wonderfully inventive throwback feature. Filmed on a tight budget, with impressive special and make-up effects for the harrowing looking clowns, and bright and bizarre sets for the ‘Klowns’ space craft/circus tent, it is easy to see why this film has become a cult classic. The acting is over the top, the plot absurd, and the level of cheese enormously high – but all these things combine to make a silly and very entertaining horror comedy film. Klowns is the kind of offbeat 80s film that if you are at the right age, or the right frame of mind when you first see it, you can’t help but become an instant fan. I was fortunate enough to be of the right age, and it seems like I am always of the right frame of mind, to love a goofy movie like this. Thumbs up.
     
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  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Killer Klowns is totally awesome. I haven't seen it in a while. For some reason, one thing that sticks in my mind is an outtake during the closing credits, where the main blonde hits her head as she's trying to get out a window. I don't know why it's so funny, but it is.
     
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  6. Message #206 of 488 Oct 12, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    :emoji_jack_o_lantern: Son of Godzilla (1967) :emoji_scream::emoji_scream:

    A group of scientists on an island studying weather find themselves under attack by giant insects and trying to survive battles between the insects and two Godzillas, senior and junior.

    Not a while lot of plot here, but the effects are pretty decent with the giant insects. The weak spot is the newborn Godzilla baby that's kind of like a giant slug. Fortunately he grows quickly into the usual (small) guy in a suit just like his daddy.

    Played more for comedy than any kind of horror or drama, I guess it was intended as more of a "Godzilla for kids." It's not a great film but it was better than I'd hoped when I decided to give it a try. (TCM)

    :emoji_jack_o_lantern: D-Railed :emoji_scream:

    A group of people board a murder mystery train for a dinner and performance and end up with much more adventure than they bargained for when events lead to the train becoming derailed near a body of water where something even more horrific awaits.

    Genre-jumping film starts out promising with a very neat setup and some stylish direction for a low-budget film (except for the scenes on a supposedly moving train where the set is completely still right down to the wine in the glasses), but as the film progresses it seems like they ran out of money, ideas, and interest. By the midpoint, we're left with the usual group of stupid people, doing stupid things, and spouting stupid dialogue as it limps to a weak cop-out of an ending.. Pay no attention to the disc cover that touts 5 wins at the International Independent Film Awards. It must have been a bad year if this took five of the prizes. (DVD)
     
  7. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    OCT 12

    19) The Town That Dreaded Sundown. (1976) - TCM ***

    The "incredibly" true story of Texarkana's phantom killer scare back in 1946.

    This film is equal parts police procedural, pseudo documentary, and slasher. The documentary style narration is effective, the police work interesting, and the phantom attacks effectively disturbing.
    And Ben Johnson is great as the Texas ranger brought in to try and solve the case.

    The only thing that didnt work for me was the inept police officer known as sparkplug. He was the comic relief, always showing up after one of the brutal attacks. While initially amusing, he soon wears out his welcome.

    Overall, a very enjoyable, slightly disturbing pre cursor to the slasher genre that Carpenter would unleash 2 years later.
     
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  8. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    OCT 12

    20) Phantasm 3 - Amazon Prime - *1/2

    Ugh, so disappointed.

    The first was an eerie atmospheric low budget horror film. The second upped the ante with more action, more spheres, more creative kills, great make up effects, and a consistent story all the way through.

    Part 3 starts right where 2 left off. And it cleverly explains how the Tall Man has returned. Unfortunately, there is a new actor playing Mike, and hes not very good. And much like Newt in Alien 3, the girl from 2 is immediately dispensed with.

    Then the weird starts. Mikes brother, who died in part 1, returns as a good sphere who tries to help his brother, but instead gets him killed.

    Then were introduced to more bad actors. A group of looters, a young boy who, like Mike, his family was killed and he wants revenge on the Tall Man, and a couple of ladies trying to figure out what happened to everyone in their town.

    Unfortunately the atmosphere that made the first two films great is gone. The kills are just stupid. The new kid is annoying. The story and pacing is horrid.

    Very disappointing to me.
     
  9. dana martin

    dana martin Producer

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    work this past week really got in the way, finally was able to get back into the fray with the wife in tow, who is not the biggest fan of "scary" i had to opt for something else
    upload_2019-10-13_8-28-3. upload_2019-10-13_8-28-29. upload_2019-10-13_8-28-50.
     
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  10. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Ha, yes, this is not a film I could recommend to anyone. Two words, genital mutilation, and pass. Why would you want that living in your head.

    Lars basically is hit or miss with me and I generally think he tries too hard to manipulate his audience. That said, the one Lars film I would recommend for this October challenge is The House that Jack Built, where Matt Dillon gives one of his great performances as a serial killer. Lars actually deploys some humor here that actually works, dark of course, but I never laughed so much watching one of his whacked out pictures.

    It's really, as far as I'm concerned, one of his best.
     
  11. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    With horror or comedy I can understand this because with those two types of films if you don't find the picture frightening or funny...well...it becomes a real slog and I can see how a person might "hate" that experience.

    Generally, what I try to do is avoid films it is likely I won't enjoy. With horror I don't find dolls or clowns "creepy" in any way so typically I will just skip those films to avoid "hating" them. However, with something like the recent versions of It, I watched the first one and thought it was OK, so I will probably watch the second one. I did not find anything about the clown to be creepy and so that did impact watching the film in that when the clown was onscreen I just kept thinking they could have created a far better story without the clown. However, lots of people do find clowns very creepy so for those folks It or "clown horror" really works for them.
     
  12. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I endorse bot ANTICHRIST and THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT! :)

    Yesterday I finished up those Hemisphere films boxsets that Severin put out. Goofy fun. I'd recommend them both.


    019 10/12 Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1969) 3.5/5 Producer/Star/ Poor-Mans-Elvis John Astly is back on Blood Island, this time dealing with a monster made from mutated Chlorophyll. It’s corny stuff, but they amp up the sex and gore which makes it an amped up 50’s monster movie throwback that I loved. I’m really digging this Blood Island series!


    020 10/12 Beast of Blood (1970) 2.5/5 The Blood Island series ends here, pretty much out of steam. There’s still gore and what not, but there is a lack of enthusiasm to this one so it feels more like a plod than a bonkers ride. Which doesn’t help it at since none of them really make sense plot wise. So despite neat ideas, it doesn’t really work.


    021 10/12 Brain of Blood (1971) 2.5/5 This one could be rated by me to be 3.5 and have the same review. A scientist does a brain transplant for some ruler of a middle east country, only to turn them into a monster! It’s Al Adamson, so if you’re familiar you know what you’re getting into. The positive and negative is the brain swap surgery goes on forever and fully delivers a Herschel Gordon Lewis tribute of blood. The main problem is that everything else is the crappy kind of low budget, with a monster makeup that has the actors hair sticking out of the bottom of the head piece. Which depending on the day is either awesome or terrible. I found it too plodding to enter the so bad it’s good territory, but I have to admit, it was a fun watch.
     
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  13. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 12:

    14) Us* (2019) 2.5/5 stars
    - Jordan Peele's follow-up to his excellent Get Out is so well executed and acted that it was easy for me to overlook the silly plot, but it eventually came home to roost. The story just really didn't work at all for me, but I can certainly appreciate the sincerity and craft that went into making this film.
     
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  14. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Oops! Missed posting the first film I watched yesterday. From the recent AGFA bluray.


    018 10/12 Scary Movie (1991) 2.5/5 A timid young man meets his dream gal at a haunted house opening, but sadly an escaped madman is hiding out in it. Pretty typical stuff, it has a regional charm and it’s fun to see a young John Hawkes starring as the scaredy cat but at the end of the day there’s nothing that really stands out in this compared to others like Tobe Hooper’s FUNHOUSE.
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I've wondered about The House That Jack Built, but for some reason it's difficult to get on these shores. I do see Prime has it for sale for $7. You can't rent it from them, for some reason, and the rental price on iTunes is nearly the same price as buying it on Prime. It does sound a little like American Psycho.
     
  16. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    039) 10/11/2019 The Tingler (1959) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The science is rubbish but the film is a blast. Vincent Price plays coroner who discovers an organism is created when we experience extreme fear. Only our screams can destroy it. Price tries LSD and freaks out. A silent movie house and its mute owner figure into the plot. One of director William Castle's most enjoyable films.

    040) 10/11/2019 The Reptile (1966) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Cornish village is plagued by mysterious deaths attributable to title creature. Another winner from Hammer Films thanks to complex characterizations and atmospheric direction. Michael Ripper as the friendly barkeep has never been better.

    041) 10/11/2019 Superstition (1982) [​IMG][​IMG]

    New minister and his family move into house haunted by witch. Pretty wild combo of slasher and vengeful ghost pictures where anything can happen and anyone can die. But at a certain point the story has nowhere else to go and repetition sets in. Pretty dark too considering how this thing ends.


     
  17. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Wolfhound (2002) **

    A writer moves his family back to the Irish town he grew up in and before long he's having strange visions of naked ladies with big boobs as well as wolves. The promotional material makes this look like a werewolf movie but the "hound" is more like a dog. I watched the unrated version, which featured six-minutes of extra nudity and this here was done by Jim Wynorski so you should know what to expect. The story was stupid and there were more erotic moments than horror but it wasn't too bad.

    Alligator (1980) ***

    I decided to watch this one for Robert Forster's passing. He takes on a giant alligator living in the Chicago sewers. I really enjoy this film for a number of reasons. The monster looks real and terrific. The attack scenes are a lot of fun. The movie doesn't take itself way too serious. Forster's character is a real "macho" type of a man that keeps the blue collar appeal. This here is certainly one of the better JAWS rips.

    Magic (1978) *** 1/2

    I'll never understand why this film doesn't get more attention. Is it the slower pace? Is it because the horror elements aren't strong enough? Anthony Hopkins performance here is downright terrific and watching him work these two characters is just chilling and it's honestly one of the best performances I've seen in a film like this. The location is terrific, the supporting cast is wonderful and we've got some really messed up psychological horror here.

    Haxan (1922) ****

    Silent classic that shows us witchcraft throughout the ages. I really love this movie and it's a damn shame that more horror fans aren't aware of it. Some of the images are downright chilling and they're certainly much better than some of the more famous pictures from this era. I loved how we start off with a history lesson and looking at various drawings before getting into the story, which is full of torture, demons, possessions and various other forms of horror. Visually this is a very striking film with some great images.

    Quatermass II (1957) ***
    Quatermass and the Pit (1967) ** 1/2

    The first film in the series is certainly the best but QUARTERMASS II is a worth follow up. The B&W cinematography is terrific and I really loved the creature here. The slow build-up actually works well here and overall it's just a fun mix of sci-fi and horror. QUATERMASS AND THE PIT on the other hand isn't nearly as good. I know some consider it the best of the trilogy but for my money it's the least entertaining. It just really drags at times and I think they waited way too long to get the action going.
     
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  18. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    SPOILERS.....

    My main issue with the film is that it lacked any guts. I knew right from the start that none of the family members were going to be killed and it pretty much took away any suspense. Had the film killed one of them early on then that would have thrown me into believing that the film was willing to go anywhere but that just didn't happen.
     
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  19. Message #219 of 488 Oct 13, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 13:

    15) Cry of the Banshee* (1970) 1.5/5 stars
    - As much as I like Vincent Price, he sure did make some stinkers! Cry of the Banshee certainly falls into that category for me. Basically a riff on Witchfinder General, once again Mr. Price plays a holier-than-thou magistrate sadistically persecuting "witches" in Elizabethan England. The titular banshee looks like a werewolf, and this utterly humorless movie features plenty of uncomfortable, cringe-worthy scenes depicting violence towards women, rape, and gratuitous female nudity. In fact, it seems to go out of its way to find any excuse for a man to rip off the blouse of a female character and expose her breasts. Most definitely a lower-tier Vincent Price film.Interesting bit of trivia: the film's titles were done by none other than Terry Gilliam.

    16) The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot* (2019) 4/5 stars - Despite it's outrageous title, this is actually a character drama with Sam Elliot's "assassin", Calvin Barr, front and center. I guess it technically qualifies for inclusion here because it DOES have Bigfoot in it, but it's a bit of a stretch. My wife and I went into this not knowing what to expect, and we both loved the film! Elliot is magnificent, and despite some unevenness this movie is my favorite previously unseen title watched during this years challenge so far. Highly recommended!

    17) The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 5/5 stars - Gort! Deglet ovrosco! Robert Wise's excellent film about an alien coming to Earth with a dire warning to its inhabitants is 100% a classic in every sense of the word. Michael Rennie's portrayal of the alien Klaatu is outstanding, and his performance gives the proceedings an earnest gravitas that is key to making it work, and work it does! Patricia Neal is a standout as well. The story and the effects are wonderful, and the message is just as relevant today as it was in 1951, unfortunately.
     
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  20. HawksFord

    HawksFord Agent

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    8) M (1931) - I'm embarrassed to say I've never seen this before. We watched in on the Criterion Blu-ray, and both my wife and I were stunned by the power of this film. There's no graphic horror, but the terrors that are suggested in this story of the a serial child murderer are more than enough. A masterpiece.
     

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