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

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

  1. Message #381 of 488 Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Eight Legged Freaks :emoji_scream::emoji_scream::emoji_scream: 1/2

    What exactly is that?!
    Spider, Man.


    In the small town of Prosperity, a dying mining town in rural Arizona, spiders suddenly grow to enormous size after ingesting insects tainted with toxic waste. Reports of missing pets and livestock soon lead to the realization that spiders are overrunning the town and attacking the citizens.

    I love this film, kind of a throwback to the "big bug" films of the 50's and 60's. Supremely silly and cheesy in spots, but it's great fun. Think Arachnophobia if the spiders were the size of automobiles. There are references in the film to many other classic horror and sci-fi films, and a distinct Gremlins vibe from the humor, some of the set pieces (especially when the spiders run amok on Main Street), and the vocalizations of the spiders which are hilarious, IMO, and give the spiders some personality. Lots of giggles and squeals, gasps and growls, and my particular favorite when a motorbike spins dirt and dust into the "face" of one spider, a hacking cough. :lol:

    Plus, as @Mike Frezon can attest, a film featuring an early performance from a young Scarlett Johannsen is surely worth a watch. :D

    I would appeal to Warner to issue a blu-ray of this fun film. Never yet available in the format. (DVD)
     
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  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    It's true. Malcolm speaks the truth.
     
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  3. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    #13 The Cat And The Canary (1927) I was SUPPOSED to see this at the UIC campus with live organ accompaniment last night. CRAPPY weather, some major adult (drinking) Halloween activities between my place and the campus made staying home a better option. One of the first "old dark house" movies, the look of the movie (heavy German Expressionism at work here thanks to Paul Leni) is excellent. Some great shots and close-ups throughout. But the story is a more comedic one than scary. The family gathers for the reading of the will of Carl Weston who died twenty years ago. The inheritor must prove they are sane to keep their inheritance. Not a great film but historically speaking it's worth seeing. 5/10 IMG_0259.JPG
     
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  4. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    082) 10/26/2019 The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) [​IMG][​IMG] (out of four)

    In 1904 Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) in China when he's asked to assist in hunting down pack of vampires. What Van Helsing doesn't realize is that it's Dracula who's in charge. Lots of Kung Fu action help keep this rather silly Hammer exercise moving. Even Christopher Lee wouldn't touch this one.

    083) 10/26/2019 Sisters (1973) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    Top notch Brian DePalma thriller. Reporter thinks she's witnessed a murder, but with no body the police are skeptical. So she decides to investigate on he own. Lots of style and Hitchcock elements, along with Bernard Herrmann's chilling score, combine for a compelling film. The final shot is dark comedy at its finest.

    084) 10/27/2019 Incubus (1981) [​IMG][​IMG]

    In small Wisconsin town some monster is brutally raping and killing. The recently-arrived police doctor thinks the killer may be his daughter's boyfriend, who seems to be dreaming about the murders. Brutal, ferocious horror which loses its footing before getting to the twist ending. Godfather of independent film John Cassavetes did this for the paycheck so he could finance one of his productions. He's convincing here for the most part and keeps the viewer interested.

    085) 10/27/2019 The Last Warning (1929) [​IMG][​IMG]1/2

    Universal silent horror that's more style than substance. Five years after Broadway actor drops dead during performance of The Snare, detective decides to restage the play hoping to catch a killer. But the actor's ghost wants none of it. Visually dazzling but dramatically unconvincing. Sadly, director Paul Leni died after completing this film. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared in the sound era.
     
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  5. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    30) Monsters - S1E10 Pillow Talk - ***

    One of the so bad its good episodes. A famous horror novelist seduces women to feed the alien living in his bed. Mary Woronov is great in this one.

    31) The Mummy (1932) - ****

    I really liked the Brendan Fraser remake, (hated the sequels), but I still find the original superior.

    We only see the Mummy for a few minutes, but what makeup! Phenomenal.
    And the muted version of the makeup, as Imhotep in human form, is equally genius. His skin looks like weathered sandstone and looks great in black and white.

    The cinematography stands out, too. Such great use of dark and shadows really adds to the ominous, brooding tone of the film.

    And the acting is superb also. The old British men are seriously afraid of what has been unleashed, but it never resorts to melodrama to make its point. Karloff is both droll and menacing. And Zita Johann is quite alluring, eapecially in her Ank Su Namun outfit.

    Im looking forward to discovering the sequels.
     
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  6. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    So I've been going through the Ringu boxset, and watching them before bed was keeping me up at night. I had one more to watch , so I watched it in the afternoon so as to get a good sleep. So what film do I watch before bed? "Hereditary", and it scared the shit out of me! I don't know if it's a "I'm getting old." thing or what, but I'm getting much more freaked out this horror challenge than I have on past ones. I love it!


    058 10/26 Anthropophagus (1980) 3.5/5 Revisited this Video Nasty via the Severin blu-ray, and it’s a big improvement over the hacked together uncut version I previously saw. This is an odd one in that it’s not really all that good. It’s got pacing issues and kind of drags. But it so over delivers in the promised gore, which is both well done and terrible depending on the scene, that I kinda find it irresistible.


    059 10/26 Crawl (2019) 3.5/5 I’ve not seen every single thing Aja has directed, but everything I have seen I’ve liked and this one is no different. A killer croc movie played straight, it maybe could have used some of the giddy-ness of “Piranha”, but as it is it’s a fun time. It’s a small film, basically a 2 person/one location show, but all the budget went to the effects and it largely pays off since it doesn’t mess around and gets right to the crocs.


    060 10/26 Ringu O: Birthday (2000) 2.5/5 Found this one to be a let down compared to the previous official films. This one kind of has the same problem that SPIRAL had. By trying to explain and give context to the story, it loses its enigma. We know Sadako as a rage spirit, so to see her as a meek young woman in a theater group, is weird? It has a fine third act, but it all seems unnecessary.


    061 10/26 Hereditary (2018) 4/5 Typically I write a very vague synopsis of the film here, all I’m going to say is this is a ghost story. I loved it. It manages to be both subtle and a bit too on the nose, but it makes sense and the film drives forward despite a very careful pacing. Never dull, always engaging. The performances are across the board fantastic and it’s a genuinely freaky exploration into loss and the effect it has on family dynamics. I watched it before bed and it really put the spook in me. Highly recommended.
     
  7. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    #14 Tales From The Crypt Still one of the best anthologies out there despite the weak wraparound story. Five classic EC tales of varying quality, but most work very well. "Reflection of Death" is better as a comic. "Blind Alleys" is the last and STILL one of my favorite EC stories and adaptations! The fake blood though...red tempera paint? 8/10

    tales-from-the-crypt-movie-poster-1972-1020149497.
     
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  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Stranger in Our House (1978) **

    Wes Craven's made-for-TV film has Linda Blair playing a teen who notices something isn't quite right with her cousin. This is yet another television movie that deals with a nut job coming to stay with someone but no one believes the good girl. I thought Blair and the other actors were really good here but Craven just can't build any suspense because the story itself is just routine and bland. This thing certainly needed twenty minutes cut.

    Damien: Omen II (1978) **

    Damien is now living with his rich aunt and uncle and soon he has helpers getting him ready to take over the world. I've always found this film to be deadly dull and rather lifeless. It's really as if they didn't want to try anything new so they gave us more of the same, which was all done much better in the original film. The death scenes are a lot more "grand" so to speak here and that includes the under ice sequence, which is certainly the highlight of the picture.

    Unmasked Part 25 (1989) ** 1/2

    A masked serial killer is slaughtering people at a party when he runs into a blind girl. The two start dating and soon he's asking himself if he really needs to kill people. This British spoof of the slasher genre is cute. I never thought I'd call a film cute but that's exactly what this is. There's a lot of winks towards the FRIDAY THE 13TH series including the hockey mask that the killer wears. The death scenes are rather bloody and creative and there's some nudity as well. There's really nothing I had against the film but at times it did struggle to hold my attention.

    Toxic Zombies (1980) * 1/2

    Some sort of chemical is spread on some weed and soon the growers are turning into zombies. This ultra low-budget film had way too many slow spots for it to fully work but this is just something that happens with these type of movies because they can't afford to do anything else. There was some nice gore along the way though. The film's director would later die in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) ****
    The Thing (1982) ****
    An American Werewolf in London (1981) *** 1/2

    After watching THE WIZARD OF OZ yesterday in the theater I decided to drive around all day catching other classics on the big screen. A&CMF is without a doubt my favorite horror/comedy and it honestly makes me laugh as loud today as when I first saw it. Plus the monsters are terrific in it and it works perfectly as a horror film as well.

    I had to pick between a screening of THE FOG or THE THING and decided to go with the 1982 science fiction film since it was the better of the two. It was really amazing seeing this movie on a giant screen. I've always bragged about Carpenter's perfect use of the 2.35:1 ratio in his films but damn was it even more impressive on the big screen!

    AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, I believe this was my fourth time seeing this on the big screen. I really think this film is uneven at times due to its structure but at the same time the horror defiantly works as does the comedy but I've always thought the central love story worked as well. This is a rather mean-spirited film but it works well.
     
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  9. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 27: You Might Be The Killer (2018) - 3.5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

    The leader of a group of Camp counselors, covered in blood, suffering a loss of memory, and surrounded by a growing count of dead counselors, unable to reach the sleepy small town sheriff, calls his good friend and horror movie aficionado for advice and learns a few things he probably wishes he hadn't.

    You Might Be The Killer is a fun little horror film that shows an appreciation for the legacy of horror films it's director and co-writer, Brett Simmons, clearly loves. There are fun tips of the hat to horror movie tropes, notably Friday the 13th with the summer camp setting, but the film takes a page from the Scream (movie) playbook and deconstructs the horror movies it is paying homage to. The scared and bloodied camp counselor trying to figure out if he's the killer is played by Fran Kranz (of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse), and the good friend he calls is played by Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Alyson Hannigan. The make for a fun pair with playful conversation and while the script could have used some tightening and focus for a smart effect, it keeps things interesting.

    The structure of the film is also fun. Told in part through flashbacks that give you a sense of timeline based on the dead counselor count, it's a fun device that helps switch things up and around to good effect. This was a fun find.
     
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  10. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    086) 10/27/2018 A Bucket of Blood (1959) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] (out of four)

    "Walter Paisley is born!" Dick Miller shines as beatnik cafe busboy who accidentally stabs a cat and decides to cover it up with clay, presenting it as a sculpture. He's declared an artist by those he admires. Things get complicated when an undercover detective tries to arrest him for possession, and Walter freaks out. Absolutely charming dark comedy with great dialogue by Charles B. Griffith. Miller would reuse the character name many times in his career.

    087) 10/27/2019 Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Frankenstein transfers the soul of wrongly-executed man into body of beautiful woman. But the soul wants revenge! Sympathetic performances and a variation on the theme combine to make this an enjoyable entry in Hammer's Frankenstein series. Peter Cushing has great scene as witness in a courtroom.

    088) 10/27/2019 When A Stranger Calls (1979) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Classic chiller about psycho who terrorizes a babysitter and what happens after he's caught. Never less than interesting, the best parts are the opening and closing sequences. But director Fred Walton keeps the suspense up with midsection where Charles Durning pursues the escaped villain.

    089) 10/28/2019 When A Stranger Calls Back (1993) [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    High school student survives trauma during a babysitting gig, only to be terrorized five years later when she's in college. She seeks help from counselor who happens to be former babysitter from the first film. In many ways this is even better than the first film, with a diabolical killer and a whopper of a finale. But even though the first act is very good, it doesn't have as powerful a punchline as the first film did. Aired as a Showtime original movie. I remember shouting some expletive when the killer opens his eyes for the first time during the showdown.
     
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  11. Message #391 of 488 Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    OCTOBER 27:

    34) Ghidorah the Three-headed Monster (1964) 3/5 stars
    - Another classic Godzilla film from the Criterion Showa-era set. The effects in this movie are a marked improvement over Mothra vs. Godzilla, and the titular monster is just great. It's amazing to think that this was all done with rubber suits, wires, and miniatures!
     
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  12. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Pre-gamed some movies in anticipation of the latest Vinegar Syndrome monthly pack arriving. Also watched MIDSOMMAR, That Astor dude is legit.


    062 10/27 Absurd (1981) 3/5 Another Video Nasty revisit. This one is about a maniac with a Wolverine-like healing factor murdering people on a rampage. Like most of the video nasties list, it’s not really very good, but it delivers the promised gore mostly successfully and that’s really what it’s all about. The Severin blu looks great, and packed with Antropophagus it makes a good pair. Bumped up half a star from the first viewing.


    063 10/27 Beyond The Door (1974) 3.5/5 I’m guessing this was designed to be an Exorcist cash in, but I had fun with it. A guy gets a second chance at life from the devil, provided he can provide a substitute. This one goes over the top pretty quick, with a possessed a pregnant woman and her two kids getting the brunt of things. I bumped it up half a star due to the english dubbing being absolutely priceless with a smart mouthed young girl that has to be heard to be believed. Anyway, this one isn’t scary, but it is bonkers and well made and kept me entertained.


    064 10/27 Beyond The Door 2 (AKA Schock) (1977) 2.5/5 Rewatched this one, Bava’s final theatrical film and didn’t enjoy it as much the second time. A woman returns to her old house with her new husband and some haunted stuff starts happening. There’s a spooky kid, but there’s little style and I found it a bit slow this time around. Has nothing to do with the first BEYOND THE DOOR. Dropped it half a star.


    065 10/27 Midsommar (2019) 4/5 A group of Americans go to Sweden with their Swedish friend to partake in his villages solstice celebration. It’s insane how good Ari Aster is, two feature films, both feeling fresh and original while exploring genre beats. I didn’t find this one as disturbing as HEREDITARY, but it’s still a hell of a film and finally the original THE WICKER MAN has a film to sit next to it. Highly recommended.
     
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  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    She was in several good movies back in the olden days. The Man Who Wasn't There, Ghost World, Lost In Translation, The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I'm gonna dig out Love Song for Bobby Long, which was a couple years later, and I haven't seen since it came out.
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Don't forget The Horse Whisperer.
     
  15. Message #395 of 488 Oct 28, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    ...and The Horse Whisperer.


    :thumbs-up-smiley:
     
  16. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    October 28: Zombieland (2009) - 4 out of 5

    It's the end of the world (or at least the end of America as we know it) and a small band of survivors have found each other and are navigating the carnage of America battling the undead.

    Zombieland is fun romp, with a great cast and a playful irreverence, taking the frights and gore of tales of the living dead, and upending them with comedy and sharpened wit. The film, short at 88 minutes with credits, is anchored by Jesse Eisenberg's disciplined and rule-following character, Columbus (each character is know for the place their trying to get to,) and by Woody Harrelson's wild, scene chewing tough guy with a soft heart (Tallahassee.) Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin fill out the main cast of four (and they are both terrific), and the brief appearance by Bill Murray is absolutely a highlight of the film.

    All of the characters are likeable, the action brisk, the laughs well-earned, and the desire to see more of this world very, very high - thank goodness for the sequel :)

    That wraps up my A-Z of horror movies. I will now wrap up the month with three Thing related movies that are all awesome! :)
     
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  17. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    :laugh:
     
  18. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    Freebie! The Wizard of Oz AMC is showing this classic (my favorite movie next to Psycho) for a week to celebrate its 80th anniversary. IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO GO I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! 10/10

    IMG_0260.JPG
     
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  19. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Berserker (1987) ** 1/2

    Six people go camping when they are stalked and murdered by a viking warrior. I had never heard of this film until Vinegar Syndrome announced it and after reading the plot I was excited. Then the movie started and I really, really hated it. That was until the twenty-minute mark when something happened. I'm not exactly sure what happened but I started to enjoy the movie. George 'Buck' Flowers and John F. Goff certainly kept the film entertaining and the incredibly annoying teenagers got more tolerant as the film went on. The gore and special effects were decent but the "killer" outfit was actually good, although the film rarely makes too much sense.

    VHS Nasty (2019) ***


    This is yet another documentary that takes a look at the Video Nasties. There's really nothing new done here as we get the same type of stories but this time being told by people who weren't involved in the previous documentaries. We hear about the banning, the cutting, the bootlegs and then we hear about how censorship is wrong. As a horror fan I enjoy seeing other "fans" talk about the genre I love so on that level alone this here kept me entertained. I just wish they had done something new with the subject like interview someone who thinks it's wise to cut these films or at least someone to challenge the idea that these films are okay. I think they are okay but it would still be nice to hear from someone who doesn't share the same opinion.
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sorry to be off-topic...but I used to use a photo of ScarJo from this film as one of my placeholders in my Weekly RoundUp template and it's been a long time since I've had a chance to share it. I hope y'all don't mind bearing with me:

    [​IMG]

    And then there's that shot from the title sequence of Lost in Translation....
     
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