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

TravisR

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Another good one, and I believe the only MOW episode to get a sequel ("Tooms", toward the end of Season One).
Yeah, sequel episodes were few and far between on The X-FIles. Off the top of my head, there was a sequel to S2's Irresistible (a great scary episode) called Orison in S7 and S3's Pusher (another winner) had a sequel in S5 called Kitsunegari. Both of those episodes really fail to live up to the first ones but Tooms was a really good sequel.

To take it to an extreme, there was also a semi-sequel to S3's Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space' on Millennium called Jose Chung's 'Doomsday Defense'. And the wrap-up episodes of Millennium and The Lone Gunmen that were episodes of The X-Files could be called sequels too.
 

BobO'Link

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Yesterday:

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The follow up to The Invisible Man Returns is a comedy... not much horror here, folks. A young woman gets fed up with her boss at the dress emporium where she works and sees an ad for volunteers to test an invisibility machine. Of course she signs up. It's the typical invisible comedy routines (of course likely pretty new when the film was made) in a light, early, sex type comedy. A good cast makes it quite enjoyable but don't go in looking for scares.

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Another Harryhausen favorite (I like all of the films on which he's worked). Typical 50s atomic monster type film... Atomic testing in the Arctic wakens a beast who then terrorizes the North Atlantic sea area, making its way to New York. It lays waste to Manhattan Island until a scientist comes up with a plan to try to stop the seemingly indestructible beast. Great stuff!

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Yeah... that image makes it look like a romance film - it's not. A composer and his sister purchase a seaside home they fell in love with. However, it's been empty because of its somewhat "unsavory" history of being haunted. The the supernatural activity at the house increases and they begin to question if they really want to be there. This was a second viewing and I still didn't get much of a horror feel. It's a decent early entry into a truly haunted house genre, one that's not a comedy, but rather tame.

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The follow up to The Invisible Woman is another non-horror entry into the series. The grandson of the original "Invisible Man" still has the old formula but considers it too dangerous to use. Friends of the Axis powers (it's WWII, BTW) show up at his shop and attempt to obtain the formula (using bodily harm as a threat). He escapes, Pearl Harbor is attacked, and he decides to offer the formula, but only if *he* is the subject, to the Allied powers to aid in the war and be an invisible agent in Germany. As he parachutes into Germany he removes his clothing to land fully invisible and alude Nazi soldiers, who are quite confused. Along the way he meets up with a lucious double-agent (Ilona Massey) who he's not sure if he can truly trust. Some drama, some comedy, little to no horror. It's a worthwhile entry as an example of US war marketing during those years. It sports another good cast and is lots of fun.
 

Malcolm R

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EW's list of the scariest movies available on Netflix right now. These are probably not new to anyone, but if you really don't want to get up off the couch to put a disc in the player, they might work in a pinch. ;)

https://ew.com/movies/the-scariest-movies-to-watch-on-netflix-right-now/

The Autopsy of Jane Doe was a nice inclusion here. That was a very creepy film, IMO, as much mystery as horror, though the end went a bit wild. Great performance from Olwen Kelly who plays Jane Doe (even though she doesn't really have to do much).
 
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Bryan^H

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IMG_0650.JPG


The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle
Should have been called the ineffective non scary guy in a mask...at Blackmoor Castle.
Grade-F

The Ghost
Barbara Steel is pretty good in this, but I was bored before the 30 minute mark, and it dragged on, and on. Not scary just dull, and predicatable.
Grade-D
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Shock Waves

Brilliantly atmospheric. Peter Cushing at his absolute horror best here. Luke HAlpin, and Brooke Adams sweeten the deal. Rated PG
Grade-A

Yeti

I'd feel more at ease with this quality Blu-Ray transfer if the giant Yeti didn't resemble, and unshaven Robbie Benson.
Super long, but an attractive lead gal, and her young brother with token lassie dog make it bearable. OK for an Italian giant monster movie I guess. Question how do you de-thaw a giant yeti tapped in ice for a hundred thousand years?
Answer: with 8 blow torches. Very scientific!

Grade-C+
 

dpippel

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OCTOBER 23:

27) Starship Troopers (1997) (4K UHD Disc) 4/5 stars -
Paul Verhoeven's take on futuristic fascism is still a hoot and entertaining as all get out, if you take it for what it is. The director's film satirizes the very things that Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel sought to glorify, which confused a lot of people when it came out. The effects hold up amazingly well, and the over-the-top gore and violence is completely intentional. I figured this movie would be valid for the Challenge since, well, it's about humanity's war against a race of giant alien BUGS. ;) Hard to believe it was released *23* years ago! Sony's 4K UHD release looks and SOUNDS (Atmos) fantastic.

28) The Thing (1982) (Blu-ray Disc) 5/5 stars - John Carpenter's masterpiece is a staple for me every year, and it's still a wild ride after more than a dozen viewings. As good as it gets.
 
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whacky blacky

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October 23

52. Evil Takes Root (2020). FTV. Streamed. 2/5. A sacred tree gets cut down releasing an evil tree spirit that jumps into the closest human host becoming a tree demon. Things branch out from here.

Tree demons aren't usually the scariest things but they try. Most of the acting was wooden anyways. You do see a tree getting an exorcism which doesn't happen everyday. It had me stumped! Alright I'll leave.
 

Michael Elliott

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Gorgon Video Magazine (1989) *** 1/2

I had never heard of this documentary before running into it on YouTube. This is basically Gorgon "magazine" but played out as a documentary so we've got "article" on Wes Craven, Linnea Quigley and others as well as reviews and previews of upcoming movies. This was hosted by Michael Berryman and for the most part I found it to be extremely entertaining and I loved the lay-out of the documentary.

Toho Unused Special Effects (1986) *** 1/2

I almost didn't watch this but decided to throw it on. I was really impressed with this because we get to see various takes from several GODZILLA movies that just didn't make the final cut for a variety of reasons. The highlight are the scenes with the fake tanks that are crashing into one another. Very funny stuff here.

Don’t Scream: It’s Only a Movie! (1985) ***


Vincent Price hosts this documentary that takes a look at the history of horror films. We get clips from several horror films including the first two FRIDAY THE 13TH movies as well as a bunch of films that producer Dick Randall owned like PIECES, TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD and MARK OF THE DEVIL. Price's narration is right on the mark and overall this was fun to watch.

The Perfect Scary Movie (2005) ***


Two dozen or more famous horror directors and actors are a part of this British documentary on horror films. At nearly 2-hours this moves on a bit too long but there are several very good interviews. Of course Carpenter and Hooper talk about the same stuff they normally do but there are so many people interviewed here you can't help but stay entertained.

The Oblong Box (1969) **

Vincent Price leaves America, AIP and Roger Corman and delivers a really bland Edgar Allan Poe adaptation. The film is just deadly dull from the word go and the direction is so lackluster that the film just never comes to life and that's with both Price and Christopher Lee.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee (1969) ***

I had zero plans on watching this but it turned out to be an extra on THE OBLONG BOX release. Vincent Price narrates this short based on the Edgar Allan Poe story. The animation at the end was quite good and effective and Price's narration is spot on and really delivers on the words of Poe. The live action stuff isn't nearly as entertaining.
 

Neil Middlemiss

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October 23: Silver Bullet (1985) – 4 out of 5 – First Time Viewing

A series of strange killings has the small town of Tarker’s Mills has the townsfolk on edge, including young Marty Coslaw (Corey Haim). Confined to a wheelchair, Marty doesn’t let anything stop him from having fun or from annoying his sister. But a terrifying run-in with what he believes is a werewolf late at night puts Marty, his sister, and their fun Uncle Red on course of a showdown.

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed Silver Bullet. It isn’t sophisticated in its storytelling, direction, or make-up effects, but it certainly delivers horror for younger audiences (I would have been 11 the first time I saw it) while not shying away from some solid scare and frightening jolts. Even to this day there are small moments that I still find chilling and surprisingly brutal (including a moment or two with a baseball bat).

Based on a Stephen King novella, (Cycle of the Werewolf), the story has King’s DNA all over it. And the cast really help make it something better than it probably should have been. Gary Busey’s portrayal of Uncle Red is a blast. He’s terrifically cast and has some solid dialogue to work with. Corey Haim as Marty is also terrific. His portrayal of a likable kid contending with being paraplegic and the horrors of the werewolf threat are very believable. In fact, his reactions to seeing the werewolf for the first time on the bridge don’t look like acting, nor does it look like a performance when he’s tearing away from the bridge on his souped up motorcycle-based wheelchair from his near-death encounter. Megan Follows is great as Marty’s sister, Everett McGill creepy as the town Reverend, and Terry O’Quinn good as the town sheriff. And I’d forgotten that the always wonderful Leon Russom was in this. I wished I’d remembered that when I interviewed Leon for the film A Quiet Place which he was in for a single but very memorable sequence, I would love to ask him about his experience on this on. Oh, well. Next time.

Silver Bullet is a great little werewolf film that still works nicely.
 

JohnRice

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21) Bug - 4.5/5 - Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon portray Agnes and Peter, two broken people who cross paths before descending into a pit of insanity brought on by their growing belief in an absurd string of conspiracies. It starts off with... well... bugs. Blood-sucking "aphids" to be specific, and progresses to injected tracking devices, global conspiracies, government control of the populace... and... wait a minute. This is sounding familiar.

Bug is, without a doubt, one of the most freaking insane movies I've ever seen. It is two people descending into complete delusion and destruction. The conspiracies and hysteria they whip themselves into are so outrageous, there can be no doubt, absolutely... zero... doubt... that these two people have gone COMPLETELY insane.

I have more to say, and did so elsewhere, but the undeniable parallels between Bug and the current environment is too political to enter into on this forum. I'll just say that I was stunned by the parallels. The world is a very different place from what it was when I first saw Bug about ten years ago.
 

sleroi

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10/23

25. Scream and Scream Again (1970) - first time viewing - **1/2

This movie has a lot of interesting moments but is so all over the place that the pieces dont add up to a satisfying whole. It starts as a murder mystery, then after a ridiculously long and not very exciting chase it morphs into mad scientist territory. All with an undercurrent of a spy film.

The police are trying to solve "the vampire murders" somewhere in Great Britain. There is also a mad scientist, a nazi like military organization, and its possibly all been sanctioned by British Intelligence.

The films tone also shifts as often as the plot. There are a lot of odd humorous asides thrown in as if to temper the horror, but the horror never rises to the level of needing to be tempered. So Vincent Prices monologuing about improving humanity comes off much more as caricature, though, as usual, hes still fun to watch.
 
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dana martin

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First Time Viewing

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35. Chamber of Horrors :emoji_star: :emoji_star: 1/2

A little gem from Monogram pictures, Leslie Banks looks well rested and ready to place people on an island and hunt them down. Following the old dark house format it's a cute little murder mystery about 7 keys and gyms at the end lots of shady characters and enough comedy to keep it aboveboard not boring some decent miniature work and mat paintings used to good effect. On the same level as the Universal “b” pictures from the 40s
 

Russell G

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Fun movie day today. Though I did give a Ouija movie four stars so maybe the challenge is getting to me.

055 10/23 The Wasp Woman (1959) 2.5/5 Finally got around to this Corman “Classic”, which is crazy since it’s so common on all those DVD bundles and what not. Anyways, a scientist has figured out that royal jelly from wasps has anti-aging properties, but also one hell of a side effect. An obvious knock off of THE FLY. It’s not as good, but as cheap drive-in junk, it’s a bit of fun to spend an hour with. I really like the jazzy scores these early Corman films have, and I’m a sucker for a cheap monster so I probably got more out of this than most will.

056 10/23 Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 4/5 I can’t believe I’ve giving a Ouija Board movie four stars but here we are. This one tells the story of a 60s single mother with two young daughter who are in the séance racket and pick up a board to add to their gimmick. The youngest daughter really gets into it. Mike Flanagan does the right thing with this by dumping everything but the basic rules from the first film to basically tell a stand alone story. He also does some gimmickry to make this one feel like an 80s era film which also helps you forget the first film. The real trick though is this one is ridiculously good, and has some legit scares to boot. I got completely sucked into this one and loved it.

057 10/23 Nail Gun Massacre (1985) 2.5/5 Rewatched this one for the first time since the VHS rental days in the 80s when the box cover was all the rage on the shelves. Which means I forgot how crap it really is. A woman is attacked by a gang of guys and is now nail gunning them in vengeance, or is she? Duh haw! Anyways, this is about as bottom of the barrel of a slasher you can get. Cheaply made, flat out dumb, and hard to tell if it’s supposed to be a straight slasher or a satire. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I don’t hate this one. It’s a fun dumb, I guess. Despite the limitations, they real go for it so it's kind of a stupid, sleazy gem.

058 10/23 Torture Garden (1967) 3.5/5 This Amicus anthology film follows the template set by Dr. Terror, only with its tongue planted more firmly in cheek. This one has Dr. Diablo running a sideshow where people get a glimpse into their terrible futures. So while not as imaginative as Dr. Terror, it’s still a fun anthology with all the stories being pretty good.
 

Malcolm R

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Underwater :emoji_scream: :emoji_scream: :emoji_scream:

Nora is a mechanical engineer working for a drilling company deep in the Mariana Trench, nearly 7 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The station suffers multiple breaches and decompression, thought to be the result of a massive earthquake. As a small group of survivors tries to figure out a way to get to the surface, which includes walking across the ocean floor in pressurized suits, they discover they're not alone and the destruction of their station may not have been an accident.

This film gets right down to business. We learn about the characters as we go, rather than a long introduction, as all hell breaks loose just a couple minutes into the film. The sound design of this movie is amazing, with the surrounds constantly alive to create a completely enveloping soundscape, and lots of LFE. The film is also incredibly claustrophobic. Anyone who has issues with that in real life may be uncomfortable, as was one of the people viewing with me.
 
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Malcolm R

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016 10/09 Ouija (2014) 2.5/5 I remember this one taking a bit of a kicking and was expecting to hate it. Considering it’s a PG-13 rated horror movie based on a parlour game, it could have been a lot worse. That’s not to say it’s a masterpiece. The main issue is it’s dumb and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you have to base it on the happenings of fucking about with a spirit board. I found it to be enough “dumb fun” to stick around and watch the teens get knocked off, but I’m not likely to revisit it again anytime soon.
Flanagan's sequel seems to be generally regarded as better than the first (he wrote and directed).
Fun movie day today. Though I did give a Ouija movie four stars so maybe the challenge is getting to me.

056 10/23 Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 4/5 I can’t believe I’ve giving a Ouija Board movie four stars but here we are. This one tells the story of a 60s single mother with two young daughter who are in the séance racket and pick up a board to add to their gimmick. The youngest daughter really gets into it. Mike Flanagan does the right thing with this by dumping everything but the basic rules from the first film to basically tell a stand alone story. He also does some gimmickry to make this one feel like an 80s era film which also helps you forget the first film. The real trick though is this one is ridiculously good, and has some legit scares to boot. I got completely sucked into this one and loved it.
Told ya! :D
 

HawksFord

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16. The Mad Ghoul (1943) – We finished our run through the second Universal Horror Collection with this fun little movie. George Zucco is a scientist experimenting with the nature of life and death, David Bruce his assistant, Evelyn Ankers is the singer with whom all the lead characters are in love, and Turhan Bey is her pianist. Even if you haven’t seen this one yet, you can guess where it’s going. No surprises but worth watching on a late October evening.

:emoji_skull: :emoji_skull: :emoji_skull:
 

BobO'Link

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Friday's viewings:

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The last of the Invisible Man sequels finds a fugitive who escaped a mental institution looking up the couple who'd left him for dead during an Expedition which made them wealthy. He's looking for his share. After being rejected, thrown out, and cheated again he makes his way to an eager scientist testing who needs someone on which to test his invisibility formula. Our fugitive then goes on a mission of revenge on the couple and their family. It's a respectable, although somewhat generic, end to the series that features several horror stalwarts: John Carradine, Evelyn Ankers, and Gale Sonderguard to name a few. Apparently Carradine names it as a horror film he's been in that he likes.

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So this is on the unwatched shelf but I keep thinking I've seen it and almost move it off but decide to watch it "again" anyway. Turns out I'd not seen it before and was thinking of The Orphanage. So... London, 1921, following WWI. Florence Cathcart is famous for exposing hoaxes and helping the police to arrest con artists and is told of a boarding school, claimed to be haunted, where children are being frightened to death. She reluctantly goes with Robert, the stranger who told her about the school, to investigate and hopefully solve the mystery. But wait... we're not done. Everyone but she, governess Maud, the boy Thomas, and Robert stay only for strange things to happen. She's becoming convinced that maybe, just maybe, there's some truth to ghosts after all.

And the movie was very good up until the last 45 minutes or so where they threw in a huge plot twist, out of nowhere, totally changing what's been built up so far. The twist mostly plays fair but changes a good horror story into a more mundane affair. That last 45 minutes totally ruined the movie for me as it completely changed what the movie was really about.

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A new species of poisoness spider makes its way from South America to the US by hitching a ride in a coffin of one of its victims, winding up in the barn of newly transplanted San Franciscans looking to start a new life in "rural" America. It mates with a barn spider and begins a string of unexplained deaths until our San Franciscan Dr. figures out what's going on and enlists help from the members of the expedition.

When this one came out in 1990 I thought it looked rather lame (frankly, I'm really not a fan of most post 1970s or so horror films anyway) so never watched it. Several years back I snagged a free copy from Disney Movie Rewards (also the new BR upgrade) and watched it to find a quite fun little roller coaster of a movie. All the actors play it fairly straight, adding to the fun, and John Goodman is a quite humorous local bug exterminator.

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Wood you believe a walking tree?!? I wanted to branch out a bit with something rooted in terribly bad horror with a film that will never be an evergreen and can be truly sappy at times. Nail it up to radioactivity, again, to raise a giant bore out of a sapling. At its heart it's about revenge and, of course, getting a tree to go on walk about. I'll admit to owning the BR.

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Something is stealing the cattle. The locals believe it's rustlers living in the swamps around Hollow Mountain. A horror western with a stop-motion T-Rex that actually has articulate forearms it tries hard but has a few too many, hopefully, unintentional laughs (when the T-Rex snarls is especially humorous) and flat out long, boring, sections to take it seriously. It's noteable for being the first film to combine stop-motion with Cinemascope and color. Harryhausen will do the "dinosaur in a western" theme better over a decade later with Gwangi. Shout!'s BR looks excellent.
 

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