1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Agua Verde
    Real Name:
    Pike Bishop
    So, I have been getting in my horror films this month, certainly not at the pace of others as I only shoot for one a day, but have not been listing...so here we go...

    The Wind Demons of the Prairie - First time seeing this and I was looking forward to it. We don't get a lot of horror set in the Old West and so being a lover of both westerns and horror films, this certainly looked to scratch an itch. Nice low budget horror film that utilizes the setting to maximum effect. This film takes place, as it says in the title, out in the middle of nowhere on the prairie. I am not going to give anything away here because this is a new film and probably most people have not seen it. Suffice to say the prairie is haunted by ghosts and "demons" that will wreak havoc on those that pass through or choose to homestead there. There is very nice atmosphere in this slow build yarn and also some evocative sound design. A small cast (the prairie not being heavily populated) does solid work in this one. I enjoyed it. Watched on blu-ray.

    Wind Demons.
     
    dpippel, John Stell and Malcolm R like this.
  2. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Agua Verde
    Real Name:
    Pike Bishop
    The Curse of La Llorona - Well, another film set in The Conjuring "universe" which means...um...that this is a solid and well made picture that is apparently mostly attempting to present another ghost character to haunt the universe. The super hero films have their super villains and The Conjuring "universe" has it's super ghosts. Pretty standard fare, this ghost steals children, sound familiar? I will say though Linda Cardellini gives a fine performance in the lead role as the mom trying to protect her children once she begins to believe that there really is a ghost that takes kids. I have not watched the Anna the doll films from this "universe" but have seen both Conjuring entries and The Nun. This one while sporting Ms. Cardellini's excellent work is not as good as any of those films, in my opinion. A bit generic and I am not sure if we'll see La Llorona again unless maybe they do an episode where Anna, the nun, and Llorona all team up for a "super haunting." First time viewing, watched on blu-ray.


    curse of La Llarona.
     
    Jeff Flugel, John Stell and Malcolm R like this.
  3. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Agua Verde
    Real Name:
    Pike Bishop
    The Editor - First time and blu-ray. So, this one is fun and would make a fantastic double feature with Berberian Sound Studio...which is the better of the two films and I highly recommend. This is a tribute to Giallo and is the story of an editor, of course, working on a Giallo which is rapidly losing cast members to gruesome murders. Life imitating art. Funny and twisted and if you are a fan of the genre you will have a blast with this, I think.

    Editor.
     
    Jeff Flugel and John Stell like this.
  4. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Agua Verde
    Real Name:
    Pike Bishop
    We Are What We Are - I am a huge fan of director Jim Mickle's Cold in July, a wonderful atmospheric neo-noir that anybody that enjoys the genre should check out. This is one of his earlier films and, while it did not rise to the level of Cold in July, is a creepy tale about some people you would not want to encounter while out on a walk in the woods. In this one two teen girls learn that some ghastly family traditions die hard. Excellent performances from a top notch cast and a rather high gross out factor. First time, blu-ray.

    We are what we are.
     
    Jeff Flugel and John Stell like this.
  5. Message #285 of 488 Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
    Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    3,222
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Agua Verde
    Real Name:
    Pike Bishop
    I Trapped the Devil - Ah, Christmas and the devil, I don't know why there are not more films that feature this pairing. This is a warm and jolly tale about a guy that takes his wife on Christmas to visit his brother, who lives alone, so he has company for the holiday. Nobody should spend Christmas alone after all. To his and his wife's surprise though, when they arrive he already has holiday company...yup, you've guessed it...the devil is staying in a room in the basement. Holiday merriment ensues as the brothers get reacquainted, talk about old times, the wife tries to keep the holiday spirit rolling, and the devil gets to meet everybody. Booze flows, Christmas lights twinkle, and the devil is...well...devilish. Slow burn atmospheric horror, that plays a bit like an episode of The Twilight Zone. First time watching and on blu-ray.

    I trapped the devil.
     
    Jeff Flugel, John Stell and Malcolm R like this.
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    17,738
    Likes Received:
    4,593
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    Phantasm IV: Oblivion :emoji_scream::emoji_scream:

    This won't hurt a bit ... well, maybe just a bit.

    Picking up again right from the end of the prior film, Mike begins to explore his new "powers" gained from his encounters with the Tall Man who wants to turn Mike into his protoge. Mike begins jumping through the dimensional gates to try and discover a way to stop the seemingly unstoppable Tall Man, while Reggie continues to battle the Tall Man and his minions in the real world as he continues to decimate small towns.

    Back to the extremely low budget style (reportedly $650,000), the film uses quite a lot of unused footage and flashbacks from prior films as both a budget saving measure, and a narrative method. It's not entirely unsuccessful, but the film is probably the least interesting so far as it doesn't really break much new ground, though we do get some insight into the origins of the Tall Man.

    Apparently the producers had a great script they wanted to make, titled Phantasm 1999 A.D., with the Tall Man now in full control of a post-apocalyptic world (discussed in the disc extras). However, it would have been a big-budget film by franchise standards, and they couldn't get anyone to green light the film based on that budget. So they decided to take this smaller approach to continuing the story.

    Definitely has a lower budget look with many scenes filmed in the desert or on the beach rather than built sets, but still interesting and probably some of the best sound of the series (my surround channels were very busy for a good share of the film). The producers also still indulge their love of explosions, even calling attention to this with a cute line at one point (just before an explosion, naturally).
     
  7. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    287
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    John Stell
    That's because this is essentially the plot of "The Howling Man" episode of The Twilight Zone. It's the exact same premise.
     
    Jeff Flugel and Reggie W like this.
  8. Message #288 of 488 Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    287
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    John Stell
    055) 10/18/2019 The Invisible Ray (1936) [​IMG][​IMG]1/2 (out of four)

    Karloff discovers powerful element Radium X, then thinks everyone close to him stole it. So he starts killing them. Melding of Gothic and science fiction is OK vehicle for stars Karloff and Lugosi. Great effects.


    056) 10/18/2019 Black Friday (1940) [​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    To save his friend's life Karloff puts part of gangster's brain into his pal's noggin. Now the kindly English professor has Mr. Hyde moments when he becomes vengeful thug. Stanley Ridges is great as the test subject. Karloff is solid; Bela Lugosi is wasted as gangster. But story is obvious and Karloff's motivations are inconsistent and murky.


    057) 10/19/2019 The Strange Door (1952) [​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    Charles Laughton hams nicely as vengeful aristocrat who forces his niece to marry scoundrel. Karloff lurks in the shadows. Fun if unconvincing thriller.


    058) 10/19/2019 Itsy Bitsy (2019) [​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    Single mother of two, haunted by the death of a third child, takes job caring for elderly collector of artifacts. One of the treasures (maybe) houses spider-goddess that escapes and threatens her family. The first hour is a bit slow but it picks up nicely for nerve wracking finale. Great effects and music score.

    059) 10/19/2019 Sinister 2 (First Time Viewing) (2015) 2.0

    Sequel to the 2012 hit offers nothing new in plot of ancient demon that gets kids to do his dirty work. This time his target is one of a pair of twins whose mother has fled her abusive husband with them in tow. Deputy from the first film tries to save them. There's one really disturbing murder set piece but little else. A nice sense of humor and solid performances help.

    060) 10/20/2019 Mandy (First Time Viewing) (2018) 3.0


    An other-worldly tale of revenge as Nicholas Cage goes after those who killed his significant other. Pretentious, beautiful, outrageous, over-the-top, and extraordinary. It takes a while for Cage to go full Cage but once he does...Yeesh. Not for all tastes. Linus Roache is also impressive as Charles Manson-like nut.
     
  9. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    393
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    The House in Marsh Road (1960) ***

    A woman inherits a house but her writer husband wants her to sell it. They soon find out it's haunted, which the wife doesn't mind but the husband gets a lover and the two plan on killing the wife. I wasn't aware of this British horror film until stumbling upon it and I must say that it was quite good. At 68-minutes the pacing is a bit off to where even this short running time feels long but I still liked the three lead performances and I thought the scenes showing the house being alive with spirits were quite effective.

    The Resurrected (1991) ** 1/2

    Dan O'Bannon's film about a detective trying to figure out what a scientist is doing out in the woods. This Lovecraft adaptation was well-made, featured some very good performance but I think they just dragged the mystery out way too long. The film is a very slow burn, which was fine through the first hour but you just sit there and keep waiting and waiting for something to happen and then you have to wait even longer.

    The Doctor and the Devils (1985) ***

    Another version of the Burke and Hare story with a doctor paying for bodies to expand his medical knowledge but soon the grave robbers are actually killing people. This here is about 95% drama and 5% horror, which probably explains why this was a big disaster at the box office. I thought Freddie Francis did a very good job directing it, the film looked wonderful and the performances were great. It's amazing to see how many of the actors here went on to much bigger projects.

    Blood Feast (2016) **

    Remake of the Herschell Gordon Lewis film has a father being possessed so he begins serving up human food. The original movie (and the various remakes/sequel) was at least entertaining in a silly way but this remake takes a dark turn and delivers a rather boring film. I was actually shocked at how boring this film was and especially since it had been hyped by so many. The gore scenes were good and bloody but there really weren't too many of them. The character drama that is thrown into the film was just bland and especially a rather long sequence where the daughter goes out with some friends and then it turns into a soap opera.
     
    Jeff Flugel, John Stell and Malcolm R like this.
  10. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    11,978
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Deadmonton
    Real Name:
    Russell
    Got in three yesterday, all sequels to better films.


    035 10/19 Child’s Play 2 (1990) 3.5/5 A step down from the first film with some overly silly bits, but overall it works. They rebuild Chucky and Chucky is obsessed with getting Andy’s body. Doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it’s still a fun time.


    036 10/19 The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 (1984) 1.5/5 Craven’s film before “A Nightmare On Elm Street” is the dribbling shits. It sounds fun, with dirt bikes and dog flashbacks but it’s a dull film that’s a drag to watch. Revisiting this one via the Arrow Blu, it’s a polished turd. The original film is a classic, this one is a skip. I’ve not seen all of Craven’s discography, but I can’t imagine any at this level.


    037 10/19 Critters 2 (1988) 3/5 The Critter invasion from the last film left some eggs so the bounty hunters have to come back. This one plays for laughs more than the first, but it manages to be inventive and not annoying. Which is odd praise but appropriate for a horror franchise based around Trebles with teeth.
     
    Jeff Flugel, Malcolm R and sleroi like this.
  11. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    2,343
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Neil Middlemiss
    October 20: The Sentinel (1977) - 2.5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

    A beautiful model moves into a strange Brooklyn apartment building where she meets some of the eclectic inhabitants who may not actually be real. Even stranger is the blind priest who lives on the top floor. Seeing strange things and nobody really believing her, she's in more danger than she knows.

    A supernatural horror film, The Sentinel is largely a hodgepodge of snippets from better films. There are echoes of The Shining, Rosemary's Baby and a bunch of other stories to be found in scenes, moments, or ideas sprinkled throughout. Christina Raines stars as the model, Alison Parker, and is quite good (though a bit airy in some of the more dramatic moments). She's joined by a number of notable actors, like Chris Sarandon (as her sort of boyfriend), Martin Balsam, John Carradine, and Burgess Meredith, who steals every scene as the kooky neighbor, Charles Chazan.

    Demons, Devils, Hell, and a church secret protecting humanity slip and slide around the plot, carried forward by performances that range from hokey to okay, and some sloppy direction from Michael Winner who aims for cheap thrills and occasionally succeeds. Still, the film did hold my interest and there the lovely Christina Raines (who reportedly did not get along well with the director), gets better as the film progresses. Hard to recommend this, though.
     
    Jeff Flugel likes this.
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,785
    Likes Received:
    1,711
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    I saw that a few years ago and recall it totally reeking. Maybe I should try it again.
     
    Neil Middlemiss likes this.
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    17,738
    Likes Received:
    4,593
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    Phantasm V: Ravager :emoji_scream::emoji_scream::emoji_scream:

    Make your choice. My generosity will not continue past this moment.

    As usual, the film begins right from the end of the prior film, with Reggie wandering through the desert. He regains possession of his beloved Hemicuda, and continues to pursue the Tall Man, trying to also find Mike. He crosses paths with an attractive woman and again tries turning on the charm, but is shot down. Going to sleep he wakes up at an institution where he's apparently a patient and is visited regularly by Mike who is entertained by his "stories" about the Tall Man. Later, Reggie awakes in another reality where the Tall Man has overtaken the entire world with small pockets of humanity continuing to fight back as a rag-tag band of resistance. Which reality is real? Or are they still in 1979? In true Phantasm fashion, that is up for debate and interpretation.

    The film hasn't received great reviews, but I thought it was a satisfactory ending to the franchise. (I assume it's the end, save for any potential reboot. Angus Scrimm passed away shortly after the film was finished, and the rest of the cast is pretty long in the tooth.) This is the first film in the franchise not directed by Don Coscarelli, though he was still a writer and producer.

    Advances in CGI allowed them do be more inventive with some scenes featuring the spheres and the Tall Man's alien dimension. Still low budget, but it looks and sounds pretty good. They also seem to have rescued a couple of scenes from the written but not filmed Phantasm 1999 A.D., discussed in the bonus featurette on the Phantasm IV blu-ray, where the Tall Man had taken over the entire world.

    Scrimm must have been pretty frail during filming (he would have been around 85-86 at the time of filming), as there appear to be a couple scenes where they used a stand-in. But he still casts an imposing presence throughout his few scenes.

    A note to those sensitive to animal violence:

    There is a scene where a sphere kills a horse, for reasons unknown and never explained. I'm not sure why they included this in the film. It seemed unnecessary, as within the scene we're already aware that the spheres have arrived at the location.
     
    Neil Middlemiss likes this.
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    393
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    Hi-8 (2014) ***

    Eight low-budget directors turn in shorts for this anthology film that pays homage to the SOV films of the 1980s. Tim Ritter, Donald Farmer, Brad Sykes and Marcus Koch are among the directors. I actually liked the majority of the eight stories here and I thought several were very good with nice little twists. Ritter's segment was my favorite as it had a nice twist, some nudity and strong violence. I doubt this will turn those who hate SOV into fans but I thought it was good overall.

    Trick (2019) ***

    A student named Trick kills various classmates at a Halloween party. A detective (Omar Epps) shoots and kills him but the body is never found. The next several years more students are murdered on Halloween and the detective thinks Trick is still alive. My wife and I watched this and we rarely disagree too much on films but she hated this and I really enjoyed it. After reading various reviews it seems that I'm the only person who enjoyed this. Yes the twist at the end doesn't work. Yes the film runs on too long. Yes there are some logical issues with it. However this is a slasher movie and even as a "mindless slasher" this thing works because of how many kills there were. I mean, this thing gets off to a bloody start and it continues throughout the running time. There are a crazy amount of deaths in this movie and the gore is rather insane and over-the-top but in a realistic way. I also thought it perfectly captured the spirit of Halloween.
     
    John Stell likes this.
  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    8,400
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
    Real Name:
    Doug
    OCTOBER 20:

    22) Night of the Demon* (1957) 4/5 stars
    - I've seen small snippets of this before, but not the entire movie, so I'm including it as a "never seen." What a great film! Highly atmospheric, wonderful cinematography, an interesting script, and good performances from the cast make this a real classic in my mind. Indicator's recent Blu-ray release is remarkably good, and if you're a fan you should pick it up. Highly recommended!

    23) Them! (1954) 5/5 stars - My favorite 1950's giant bug movie, Them! is the standard that every other film of this genre aspires to IMO. I watch it every year, and since I was away this weekend camping in the Arizona desert I thought it was an appropriate selection for last night. Played completely straight and with a stellar cast, Them! is fantastic entertainment.
     
    Jeff Flugel and John Stell like this.
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,785
    Likes Received:
    1,711
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    On a whim, I ordered this Hammer Collection, but I'm not familiar with any of the movies in it. Does anyone have a suggestion of which one(s) to watch first?
     
    Jeff Flugel and dpippel like this.
  17. Message #297 of 488 Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    6,705
    Likes Received:
    3,532
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I think 'Brides of Dracula' is the best of the bunch. Very atmospheric, and good part with Peter Cushing. Hammer's 'Phantom of the Opera' is better than the Universal film in my opinion. And finally "The Evil of Frankenstein' is fun in a Saturday "Creature Feature" type way. Great set, well worth the $18.

    IMG_0327.JPG
    Both films have fantastic video quality. Audio is fine too.
    There's Nothing Out There --FTV
    At the beginning of the film I was like give me more monster less sex. Toward the end of the film I was begging for less monster. Very goofy (the mirrored sun glasses /monster eye beam scene:lol:) Troma pic with lots of nudity. The monster is bargain basement, but an attractive cast for sure.
    Grade-C

    Lust for a Vampire--FTV

    The Final Hammer Horror film I never watched until now, and honestly I haven't missed anything. The cast mainly consists of drop dead gorgeous model types like a stunning blonde Swedish actress
    stensgaard_17.
    , to just flat out great looking women at a Victorian era finishing school. And that is where the charm ends. Tons of nudity, a dumb plot that moves at a snails pace, no dread, fear or wonderful location sets that defined the Hammer horror films. It truly feels like a "phoned in" film that most likely solidified the demise of the studio. What a turkey.

    Grade-D-
     
    Jeff Flugel, JohnRice and dpippel like this.
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,785
    Likes Received:
    1,711
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    Jeff Flugel likes this.
  19. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    8,400
    Likes Received:
    5,152
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Yeah, it's one of their "Deal of the Day" items today.
     
    Jeff Flugel likes this.
  20. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
    11,978
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Deadmonton
    Real Name:
    Russell
    My suggestion for watching multi-film sets where you have not seen any of the films before is to watch them in chronological order.

    My viewing yesterday:

    038 10/20 Ringu (1998) 4/5 I first saw this back in the day via a bootleg VHS, and found it dull compared to the American remake. Revisiting the Arrow Blu, it actually freaked me out. Opening third is simply great, it kind of settles into a bit of a weird procedural, but the last act payoff is worth it. I think after all these years my brain is finally understanding the pacing of Japanese horror and I’m digging it.


    039 10/20 Child’s Play 3 (1991) 3/5 Another step-down for the franchise. This one finds Andy being sent to a military academy and newly rejuvenated Chucky is still trying to soul swap him. This one feels a bit by the numbers, not really adding anything to the series. It’s also weird watching this in 2019 where more graphic throat cuttings are found on Emmy winning TV series “Breaking Bad” than is found in an early 90’s R-Rated slasher. Horror really has gotten a raw deal.


    040 10/20 The Prey (1983) 2.5/5 Watched the composite cut of this one, which is probably not the best version. This one is basically a Friday the 13th knock off, with some young campers getting attacked by a fiend in the woods. In this version, there’s a long sequence explaining the Gypsy origins of a curse and whatnot, and it’s kind of fun since it’s cast with hardcore legends. The problem is it goes on too long so between that and a ton of nature shots, it has some pacing problems. It is a fun movie though, and delivers some bargain basement gore, I’m betting the original cut plays better.


    041 10/20 Critters 3 (1991) 2.5/5 Further down the spiral the Critters go, this time they infiltrate an apartment building and hi-jinks ensue. The critters look great, but the film is mostly a plod. It’s mostly remembered at this point for featuring Leonardo DeCaprio as a little boy. What’s not acknowledged is he’s actually pretty great in this! Even Lil’ Leo could act his ass off! Other than that, not much to see but a fun time waster.
     

Share This Page