***Official 21st Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2020***

BobO'Link

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A triple feature last night:

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A direct sequel to The Ghost of Frankenstein with Bela Lugosi playing the monster (poorly I might add - but not entirely his fault as the nature of the role was changed between filming and editing - and the reason for him having his eyes closed - he's supposedly blind - and walking stiff armed are never fully explained but are the results of the brain damage suffered in the previous film - if you've not seen it you won't know). The negative reaction by a test audience, who found the Hungarian accented monster funny, resulted in major changes to the script with most of Lugosi's performance excised and it becoming mostly a Wolf Man film. This plays like 2 shorter films grafted together with Talbot's resurrection in the first half and the goings on with Frankenstein's Monster in the 2nd. We begin when the grave of Larry Talbot (aka The Wolf Man) is desecrated and the thieves remove the wolfsbane which had kept him at bay. Now free (depending on what you call free) he seeks out Maleva, the gypsy who's son originally turned him into a werewolf, whose group happens to be camping around Visaria (where we last saw the monster). While running from the villagers he goes to the castle and falls through an opening where he finds the monster. Talbot breaks him free of the ice hoping he'll lead him to Frankenstein's notes which may hold a cure for Talbot. In the final act the two have a fight while villagers attempt to kill them...

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A direct sequel to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man finds Dr. Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff) escaping prison with his hunchback assistant who he promises to put in a better body. They murder a travelling showman (George Zucco) and steal his travelling horror show. They revive Dracula (John Carradine) so as to have him exact revenge on the Burgermaester who'd put the Niemann in jail.

This film, like the previous one, plays like a mash up of 2 separate films with the Dracula story encompassing the first 1/3 or so and the Wolf Man/Monster one in the last part. In that portion the pair travel to Visaria and find the wolf man and the monster (now played by Glenn Strange, who was coached by Karloff on how to play the role) in the ice, resurrect them, and, well, things get out of hand. More monster fighting and mayhem ensues with all of the monsters, again, dead. Like its predecessor, it's mostly a Wolf Man film in spite of the title.

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Dracula (Carradine again) arrives in Visaria hoping Dr. Franz Edelmann can cure him of vampirism. The Dr. has developed a blood transfusion method he thinks will work so has the Count's coffin installed in the basement. That same night, Talbot arrives demanding to see the Dr. to cure *him* of lycanthropy. He's arrested and taken to the local jail. The Dr. and his assistant arrive just in time to see him change (it *is* the first night of the full moon after all) and the Dr. agrees to help. Talbot runs and makes his way to a cave where the Dr. finds him and they stumble upon the skeleton of Dr. Niemann (see previous film's ending) and... the monster (who's in great shape due to being "eternal" or something - the guy's survived for years, apparently dead or comatose, and the body stays in good condition every time). They take the monster to the Dr.'s lab. Will the Dr. cure Dracula and Talbot? Will the monster escape? Will there be another sequel? Again, in spite of the film's title, this is mostly a Wolf Man movie.

All three of these, like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man have a satisfying ending. One that provides closure of sorts. All three have incredible coincidences which cause the various monsters to survive to the next film, although it's never explained how Dracula and Talbot survive the events of House of Frankenstein.

All three are fun films although they'll never make a "best of" list. Lots of monster action and fan pandering material is present. Considering my favorite monster in the Universal cannon is the Wolf Man I'm not at all disappointed that he's the main character in these 3 films.
 
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John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4


086) 10/17/2020 The Undying Monster (1942)
1/2

The Hammond family is cursed by mysterious monster that attacks family member and kills doctor's assistant. Scotland Yard sends their duo of very American-sounding crime scene investigators to get to the truth. This melding of The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Wolf Man starts out great, with terrific opening and sumptuous visuals. But James Ellison is miscast as the chief detective, reading each line like he's a radio announcer selling mouthwash. It's a shame, because it has some strong female characters which is unusual for horror films of this period.

087) 10/17/2020 Cat People (1942)
1/2

The first of producer Val Lewton's horror films is excellent, adult thriller of woman who believes intimacy with a man will turn her into fabled cat creature. No one believes her until it's too late. I watched this with my son and boy did that "bus" scene make him jump.

088) 10/18/2020 Dead Men Walk (1943)


George Zucco plays twin brothers, one of whom is a vampire. Dwight Frye is his hunchbacked assistant. Relatively creepy low budget horror is watchable but hardly memorable.

089) 10/18/2020 The Mysterious Doctor (1943)
1/2

A headless specter haunts the mines in English village. But as war has broken out certain parties are determined to learn the truth. I swear the creators of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? saw this when they were kids and used it as a template for their series. It's silly fun, with a surprise or two. Matt Willis, who plays the town idiot, pretty much reprised his role for The Return of the Vampire released the same year.
 
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Pete Battista

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billy-the-kid-poster.jpg

Title: Billy the Kid vs. Dracula

Plot:
THE WEST’S DEADLIEST GUN-FIGHTER! THE WORLD’S MOST DIABOLICAL KILLER!

Dracula travels to the American West, intent on making a beautiful ranch owner his next victim. Her fiance, outlaw Billy the Kid, finds out about it and rushes to save her.

My Thoughts:
About 6 of us got together to watch this masterpiece of a low budget film.This was a real piece of work here. If nothing else it provided plenty of laughs. This film has what has to be the ugliest version of Dracula and older then what you would expect. Oh and the way he transforms from bat to human had the whole group of us laughing. If you are looking at something to sit and laugh at look no futher. If you are looking for even just a good film this one is not for you.

My Rating:
Out of a Possible 5
:emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2

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U- 4k UHD
B - Blu Ray Viewing
D - DVD Viewing
S - Streaming

Bold/Red = Denotes first ever viewing

Rating - Out of a possible 5 :emoji_skull_crossbones:

Night of the Demon - D - : :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Nightmare Cinema - D -:emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
Invisible Man - U - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:
Lighthouse - S - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
Vampires vs The Bronx - S - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
The Lost Boys - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:
The Amityville Horror - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:

Fantasy Island - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
Jeepers Creepers 2 - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:
Don't Knock Twice - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2
The Dead Don't Die - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
Damned By Dawn - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2
Christine - U - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Good Boy - S - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2
Resicent Evil: Damnation - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
Hocus Pocus - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_skull_crossbones:1/2
It - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
It: Chapter 2 - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Pet Sematary (1989) - U - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Pet Sematary (2019) - U - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2
Pet Sematary 2 - D - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2
Walled In - B - :emoji_skull_crossbones: :emoji_skull_crossbones:
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula - S - :emoji_skull_crossbones: 1/2

Total Watched: 24
 

whacky blacky

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44. Do Not Reply (2020). FTV. Streamed. 2/5. A man kidnaps young girls then slaps cheerleading outfits on them. He then uses them for a virtual reality snuff project. An annoying protagonist and lame everything else makes me think it should have been called Do Not Watch! It felt like a Hallmark movie with swearing.
 

HawksFord

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12. King Kong (1933) – We stepped away from the Universal horror films we’ve been watching for another viewing of a familiar classic. I see the problems with this film more clearly than I did years ago, and I can’t excuse the racism that underlies the entire premise of the movie. At the same time, I can’t deny that there is a magic here that few films manage to capture. I struggle with this one. I love it and I hate it.
 

dana martin

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First Time Viewing for all 3

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23. It's Alive :emoji_star: :emoji_star: :emoji_star:
24. It's Alive 2 (It Lives Again):emoji_star::emoji_star::emoji_star:
25. It's Alive 3 ( Island of the Alive):emoji_star::emoji_star::emoji_star:

Bought this when it first came out and it has just been sitting on the shelf since 2018, had to knock a little dust off of the top, long story short, pollution, pharmaceuticals, additives in you public drinking water, all combined cause babies to mutate prior to birth. I can't believe that I hadn't seen this before, and all three films follow a natural progression. Pretty solid death count from the "kids" throughout all three pictures, but you wouldn't want to
keep them around because they mature in 5 years time, and are quite ok with killing off the human race.

Solid creature make up from Rick Baker, and original score from Bernard Herrmann


next.....
 

Neil Middlemiss

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October 18: Doctor Sleep – Directors Cut (2019) – 5 out of 5 – First Time Viewing

Danny Torrance survived the murderous rampage of his father, Jack Torrance, at the Overlook Hotel. He and his mother took refuge in the sunny state of Florida, and he learned how to master his gift, the Shining, and then put it away. Now grown up, a wreck of alcohol and bad decisions, he escapes to rebuild his life. Danny makes a connection with young Abra somewhere many states away. Abra has the gift like Danny, and through the years they will ‘talk’ to one another. Meanwhile, across the country, a band of travelers-The True Knot-prey on people like Danny and Abra, killing those with the gift of the Shine to eat their essence. When they notice the power of Abra, Danny must face his dark past.

Doctor Sleep in its theatrical form is a near-perfectly constructed story; a tale of horror and reluctant heroism filled with extraordinary detail and world building that manages to follow on faithfully from Kubrick’s The Shining while expanding and deepening the universe of this story. Marrying the story of Kubrick’s film, which strayed from Stephen King’s original story, with the sequel King wrote was no small wonder. I saw the theatrical cut of Doctor Sleep earlier this year, holding off watching the longer Director’s Cut until this year’s Halloween challenge. You might wonder if the extended version could get any better than the already terrific original version. The answer is, yes, it sure can. The director’s cut, which runs a full three hours, is sold perfection of performance and horror and character and tone. Director Mike Flanagan’s masterful, inventive direction, along with his grasp of this story and of King’s style, is beyond brilliant.

Ewan McGregor delivers a strong, truly exceptional performance as Danny. He’s perfectly cast and is fascinating in the role. And he’s not alone. Kyliegh Curran as young Abra Stone is magnificent and scene stealing. Rebecca Ferguson as the leader of The True Knot gang, Rose the Hat, is terrifying, and her crew, with the likes of Zahn McClarnon, Carel Struckyen, and Emily Alyn Lind are superb. Chameleonic actor Cliff Curtis also delivers a fine performance as Danny’s good friend.

Film’s like Doctor Sleep deserve to become staples of horror fan viewings. Filmmaking craftsmanship like this deserves to be lauded. Crafting a worthy expansion of The Shining and spreading out and clarifying the root ideas while being faithful to divergent sources required screenwriting and directing excellence, of which Doctor Sleep has in abundance. As a lifelong fan and admirer of The Shining, Doctor Sleep has become a favorite of mine is no time at all. This director’s cut is the way to go, fleshing out and adding clever depth of already great moments. I really hope they find a way to continue stories in this world.

Now streaming on HBO Max.
 

Malcolm R

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:emoji_jack_o_lantern: Devil's Gate :emoji_scream: :emoji_scream: 1/2

An FBI agent arrives in Devil's Gate, North Dakota, to investigate the disappearance of a mother and son. Prime suspect is the husband/father, Jackson Pritchard, but the local sheriff has already interviewed and cleared him. Undaunted, the agent proceeds to the Pritchard farm with the local deputy to conduct her own interview. What they find is a deeply paranoid and disturbed man, who has boarded up the house, run barbed wire, electrified everything, and laid booby traps all over (which caught one unfortunate soul whose car broke down nearby and was seeking help). And all of this has happened in the space of three days according to the deputy who accompanied the sheriff to the earlier interview when Pritchard and the property were relatively "normal". What on earth has happened to Jackson Pritchard?

This was a pleasant surprise. Found this on Netflix and saw that the cast included Milo Ventimiglia and Shawn Ashmore, so decided to give it a shot. The production design and effects are excellent. The opening scenes of the Pritchard property are very unsettling (it makes the Texas Chainsaw house almost look like a 3-star B&B). And the sound design is fantastic. Even compressed streaming from Netflix really worked out the subwoofer and surround system. Directed by Clay Staub who has worked as 2nd unit director under Zack Snyder on several films. In addition to Milo and Shawn, the excellent cast also includes Amanda Schull (who receives top billing, though I have no idea who she is) as the FBI agent, and a nearly unrecognizable Jonathan Frakes as the local sheriff. Milo Ventimiglia as the seemingly-psycho Jackson Pritchard is great.

The weak point in this effort is the story, which kind of jumps around from genre to genre, and idea to idea, and sort of ends up in a pile of confusing mumbo jumbo. But I still found it enjoyable and may see if I can track down a blu-ray just to experience the sound design again in an uncompressed format.
 
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Michael Elliott

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Fender Bender (2016) **

Slasher about a man who purposely wrecks into people so that they can exchange information and then he goes and kills them. I really wanted to like this film but I had one major problem with it and that's the fact that the lead character is probably the dumbest person in horror history. Yes, I know horror films need dumb characters but this woman simply did one dumb thing after another and it got to the point where I really didn't care if she lived or died. Sadly two of her friends show up and they're just as dumb.

Svengali (1931) ** 1/2

Sound version of the Trilby tale has John Barrymore playing Svengali. I really love Barrymore's performance and it's certainly one of the best of his career. He plays Svengali as a creep as well as a loser and I thought he was excellent at both. The supporting players are nice as well but I've always felt that the direction just let this film drag at times. Archie Mayo was a good director but this film is just way too slow to really work and it looks like something made in 1921 and not 1931.

Vampir, Zan-e khoon-asham (1967) ** 1/2

Iran's first vampire film! A man travels to a small town where he falls for a woman even though he's been warned that her brother might have been a vampire. I thought the performances were exceptionally good and there were some interesting views of Iran and their customs including a very long wedding sequence. The horror elements were rather light but for the most part I found this to be interesting and worth watching.

The World Beyond (1978) ***

Made-for-TV film has Granville Van Dusen and JoBeth Williams on a small island where they are attacked by a golem made out of mud. I really enjoyed this film and in fact there's one terrific jump scare that even got me. I liked the look of the golem and thought the film was rather creative by trying to push more psychological horror than actual monster scares.
 

dana martin

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First Time Viewing
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26. Vampyr :emoji_star: :emoji_star: :emoji_star: :emoji_star:

A masterwork of mesmerizing filmmaking, the ethereal use of shadows and light, camera angles music and sound create an atmosphere unlike any surreal dream or nightmare. And unlike the German Expressionism films like Caligari, Nosferatu it has its own unique style and look. From the very opening I sat leaning forward in the chair, enthralled by everything as it unfolded. Influential in its style, I see shades of a future similarities with the work of David Lynch, the collected work of the Quay Brothers. I am happy that this year I decided to break tradition and go after the unwatched in my collection, had I known earlier, this would have been in the rotation a long time ago, just a stellar film! IMO.

Dreyer based this on Sheridan Le Fanu “In a Glass Darkly” especially “Carmilla” which would find a much different interpretation at Hammer Films much later.

next....
 
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Russell G

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A quick update before I finish off the last one. Had a decent day. Admittedly some of these skirt the horror/scary genre edges, but they're close enough to count I think. :mellow:

035 10/18 Orgasmo (1969) 3.5/5 A psycho-sexual thriller from Lenzi is the first of a series of pictures he made with Carroll Baker and is a heck of a ride. A widowed American arrives in Italy to stay in her inherited estate and avoid the tabloids when she meets a young man who has ambitions beyond being a boy-toy. Other “home invasion” type pictures get more extreme, but this one does a wonderful job of escalating the stakes while feeling dreamy like the state poor Baker is in. Baker carries the film, and story-wise there’s lots of surprises to keep you invested.

036 10/18 My Amityville Horror (2013) 2.5/5 The oldest Lutz son gets to tell his story and play some metal guitar in this documentary. Presentation wise it’s fine but honestly, I don’t buy it. He’s presented as a reluctant participant, like he doesn’t want to tell his story but he’s obviously liking the attention that comes with telling his story. So while I don’t buy it, this doc is still light years better than most of the movies that have Amityville in the title.

037 10/18 Gorath (1962) 3/5 The weird star Gorath is heading towards earth and the craziest thing is happening. With a life extinction event happening, the leaders of earth band together and, get this, listen to the scientists! Imagine! Clearly this is Science Fiction. Anyway, this is pretty tight and while it’s light on monsters - I watched this based on it being on a Kaiju list - those science dorks do end up waking up a weird giant walrus lizard thing so I’m counting this for my October 2020 challenge as the tone is one of suspense and there’s a legit monster. Oh, and it’s pretty good too.

038 10/18 Alone (2020) 3.5/5 A young woman packs up her things and heads off to start her post marriage life only to run into a stalker on the lonely forest highways. I really enjoyed this one. It’s pretty much a two person chase in the woods but director Hyams keeps things moving and throws in some legit creepy scenes and tight action. A really well done thriller.
 

sleroi

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Gavin Kopp
10/19

20. Meatball Machine (2017) - first time viewing - ****

Somehow I stumbled across this on amazon prime and it looked interesting.

Alien parasitic necro borgs are hiding in rivers in Japan, waiting to latch on to humans, creating cyborgs who grow organic drills, saws and cannons and battle each other with the winner eating the loser. A shy man captures one of these, wich then latches on to the girl next door whom he has secretly admired most his life.

He eventually, thanks to a cool expository subplot, becomes a cyborg himself. He has to figure out how to maintain control over his necroborg so he can save the girl, who of course now wants to kill and eat him.

This is first and foremost a gory splatter film. The first 20 minutes were confusing and the very low budget film seemed only to exist for the sake of severed limbs and drilled through eyeballs. But then it morphed into a battle royale tragic sci-fi love story. It remained extremely gory throughout, but it developed a sense of energy and urgency that really engaged me.

Looks like there is a sequel on prime as well. I know what Ill be watching tomorrow.
 

John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4


090) 10/18/2020 Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
1/2

Grave robbers free Lawrence Talbot who then goes in search of Dr. Frankenstein hoping he can help him die. Finds monster instead. Post production tinkering resulted in Bela Lugosi getting lambasted for his performance as the Monster, which is too bad. There are good scenes here in this atmospheric production. But the script has all kinds of problems, and the casting of nice guy Patric Knowles was a mistake. He's about the most unconvincing mad scientist there is.

091) 10/18/2020 The Ape Man (1943)


Bela Lugosi has transformed into ape-human hybrid; needs human fluid to transform back. Monogram silliness features one of Lugosi's oddest performances, going full blown ape. Good for a few laughs.

092) 10/18/2020 I Walked With a Zombie (1943)


Exquisite Val Lewton production about nurse who learns her patient's fever may be the result of voodoo curse. Haunting and beautiful, with strong performances and tragic ending.

093) 10/18/2020 The Leopard Man (1943)


A publicity stunt goes bad when a leopard breaks free and starts attacking the local citizenry. But all may not be as it appears. Lesser Val Lewton is still good, with one of the finest terror sequences in 1940's horror when a young woman must make a late visit to the market. It comes early in the film and nothing tops it.

094) 10/19/2020 Captive Wild Woman (1943)
1/2

Universal nonsense about mad doc John Carradine turning ape into woman. Lots of circus footage - too much in fact - pads this story making it feel longer than it's hour length. But it has some campy charms that the sequels lack.

095) 10/19/2020 The Seventh Victim (1943)


Boarding school student leaves to find her missing sister; discovers she's tied up with Satan worshipers. Intriguing mystery with good cast and memorable final scene.
 

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