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***Official 22nd Annual HTF October Scary Movie Challenge 2021*** (1 Viewer)

JasonRoer

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53. Kiss of the Vampire (NEW)
It's Hammer. That means it is gorgeously shot, however, while there is usually a deliberate pacing to their films, this turns into a snail's pace. A couple ends up in a small village and they are lured by an aristocratic family to vampire central. There is nothing wrong in the film, and I'd likely watch it again, however, as noted above, the slow pacing took from the overall pleasure of the screening. 2.5 out of 5.

54. Phantom From Space (NEW)
Here we have a deliciously corny 1950s flying saucer independently produced B-movie. I was thoroughly entertained. Typical storyline with a UFO crashing and the subsequent hunt for the pilot. Here the twist is the alien is invisible without its spacesuit. 3 out of 5.

55. Tales From the Crypt: Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Catherine O'Hara stars in a fun TFTC episode playing a lawyer who is brought in on a ridiculous charge in a small town. Here in this town, they are most strict when it comes to punishments! I love the series and always have since it debuted on HBO all those many years ago. You really can't go wrong with any of the episodes, however, the Cryptkeeper has some laugh-out-loud puns in this episode, which elevates it to a 4 out of 5.

56. Tales From the Crypt: None But the Lonely Heart
Tom Hanks directs and acts in this episode! Treat Williams plays a young fella with his sights on marrying older women (WAY older) to nab their cash after he kills them. And there's a fine ending to the episode! 3.5 out of 5.

57. Halloween (2018)
I'll duck in advance. I LOVE this movie. Other than the outlier of Season of the Witch, this is my 2nd favorite film in the series only behind the original. This was my second viewing, but it held up equally as well as when I saw it in the theater. It's so good that I'd even consider watching it again tomorrow before I see Halloween Kills if not for wanting to spend more time with my wife (I have 14hr days during the week). I love the callbacks to the original film while the filmmakers still put a decided stamp of their own into the series. I'm particularly happy they decided to wipe out the entire cannon and redirect the storyline. I can't wait to see Kills tomorrow! I know some have been disappointed by Kills, but it hasn't dampened my excitement one bit. As for Halloween (2018), it's a 4.5 out of 5 for me.

58. Ash vs. The Evil Dead S3 EP 4, 5, 6
The series rewatch continues! 5 out of 5.
 
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JohnRice

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14) Prisoners (2013) - 4/5
Denis Villeneuve's first English language film is a masterfully done, philosophical and psychological nightmare. When two young girls disappear, their respective families begin to collapse and venture down their individual paths of destruction. Add in a police detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is a little too committed to his job for his own sanity, and a string of other disturbing characters, and it all adds up to a real-world horror. This movie is so stinking grim and hopeless, I could feel the life draining from me as I watched it.
 

BobO'Link

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October 14th
65. The Blob (1988) ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲
A deadly entity from space crashes near a small town and begins consuming everyone in its path. Panic ensues as shady government scientists try to contain the horrific creature.

I really enjoyed this one the first time I saw it a few years back and felt it was a worthy successor to the original from 1958. I didn't like it as much this time and am pretty sure it's the music and other things that *really* seem to date this version coupled with it now feeling like a cash grab type film with a new half-baked side plot. There are some good visuals and effects that somewhat redeem it but, at least for now, I'll stick with the original.

66. Terror of the Tongs (1961) ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲
Another in the "not horror but lumped in with them" title...

In 1910, Hong Kong members of a secret Tong crime syndicate protect their identities by murdering the daughter of a British sea captain who vows revenge.

The acting is mostly good, it stars Christopher Lee, and has some suspense and thriller aspects. AND it has many stereotypical whites-made-up-as-Asians (mostly rather poorly) that just don't play well any more.
 

dana martin

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Day 14-15: 14-15 October 2021: Feature Presentations: (1940) New Decade, New Ideas ? And some Interesting finds.

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37. The Invisible Man Returns: The Invisible Man: The Complete Legacy Collection (Release Date: Jan 12, 1940)💉💉💉
Vincent price is in good voice as he steps into a slot originally held by Claude Rains although his voice is not as commanding. Universal follows up the original Invisible Man with this sequel, from the new Universal, the special effects still work as good as they did in the first one, but there's less mayhem, although I think the weakest part of this is you can see that there is some dissent into madness but they hold back on that. The weakest part of this though is it feels as if because they didn't push that envelope they had to have a happy ending.

Cecil%2Band%2Bsmoke.PNG

you just never know what's lurking about.

38. Doctor Cyclops: Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Apr 12, 1940)🔬🔬🔬🔬
Cooper and Schoedsack return to the big screen in this wonderful Technicolor film, Albert Dekker’s megalomaniac persona as a research scientist whose eyes are failing him in his secluded research facility in the Amazon who's found the world's largest deposit of radium. Which he uses in his experiments to miniaturize individuals after they bought into assist his secretive work.
uIHB7SZdC9iMm2tZMOGMSpjvq9yEfyRjVkxZJ-wUmHTol20QZsy4QxfBoFnHFyIjuUscwnXBMuqDEUf9s8pdncxFBUTPqfo0w44wz-oggtW7DhneltTN

Don't temp fate.

39. Black Friday: Universal Horror Collection Vol 1 (Release Date: Apr 12, 1940) First Time Viewing🔫🔫🔫
OK where is start off with this one, tongue firmly planted in cheek, I do like the Svengoolie TV show it reminds me a lot of some of the humorous TV host that used to who the creature features on Friday nights when I was a kid. So here's the setup and I'm being serious some genius at Universal Studios thought it would be a great idea to put Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in a gangster movie where Karloff as the doctor helps a college professor with part of a brain transplant after an accident happens with his friend the good professor and noted gangster happens where the gangster is about to die. apparently the good doctor isn't as straight laced as he seems, so that the doctor can hunt down some stolen money pairing and sort of a Jekyll and Hyde switch on switch off situation.

what is this like the 5th pairing of Karloff and Lugosi together, and Bela’s part is basically nothing more than a couple of cameos.

40. The Ghost Breakers: Kino Studio Classics ( Release Date: Jun 12, 1940) First Time Viewing🤣🤣🤣🤣
Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard do a follow up to the previous years The Cat and the Canary, with the same hilarious results. Bob's rapid-fire wit is on play throughout the entire film and if the mods are OK with it it's a funny line, nothing was intended, it's just I busted out laughing when I heard it.




41. The Mummy's Hand: The Mummy: The Complete Legacy Collection (Release Date: Sep 20, 1940)🍃🍃🍃
By now the on staff writers at Universal had the boys in the writers room, cranking them out, and delivering the goods, even at the “B” unit level. To which a lot of these, films in the universal horror cycle actually are. the original mummy was not in the original re-release package. So, what the boys in the writing room did was come up with a whole new mythology. And becomes one of the first Reboots in film history. While using film content from the original with Boris Karloff. we get a whole new mummy in the character of Kharis, who fell in love with the Princess, and was wrapped in bandages and buried but has never died. His goal is to provide and protect any person that was usurp the tombs.

Aided by a long line of mystical priest, the latest in this incarnation is George Zucco in a fez, with a bigger box of tana leaves, and huge pot to boil them in. with express directions from his mentor before taking the role as to how many leaves to boil, well he fails at math! Tom Tyler apparently suffered from some arthritis and that helped with his gait as he walked. The blackened out eyes make the mummy look dead. An as our heroes battle this monstrosity they finish it the easiest way possible, set that damn thing on fire. Will this be the end? Only time will tell!

mummys-hand-movie-mummy-andoheb-george-zucco-tom-tyler.jpg


42. The Ape: Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Sep 30, 1940) First Time Viewing:emoji_microscope::emoji_microscope::emoji_microscope:
The Ape finds Boris Karloff playing the kind country Dr., who's doing research so that he can help a young girl who's paralyzed to walk again. Having experimented on dogs and other few animals. The circus comes to town one of the trainers torments the ape until the ape throttles the individual. His mauled body Just taken to the good doctor to see if he can help. As the individuals dying the good doctor withdrawal spinal fluid from the victim to use in his experiments. The first treatment with this spinal fluid actually helps bring some feeling back to the girl's legs.

A fire is set at the circus and the ape breaks loose, Smelling the scent of the trainer that had tormented it; it shows up at the doctor's house where it attacks the good doctor and he fights back best he can and kills the ape.

(Now in a matter of mere moments our illustrious hero, finds a way to completely skin the ape. Yet it loses none of its body shape or styling including how its colors built somehow mysteriously put a zipper in the back of it somewhere. And starts using this ape guise to go around town attacking people And as the victims pile up, spinal fluid is drawn so that he can continue his research in helping the young girl)

As the movie ends the young lady in the wheelchair can walk, while our kind country Dr. has to pay for the wrong he is done.


43. Chamber of Horrors aka ( The Door with Seven Locks): Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Oct 12, 1940 in UK) FTV 🚪🚪🚪
This turned out to be a cute little British murder mystery, with a long-lost heiress finally showing up at the country estate in England. Along the way she's helped by a young former Scotland Yard officer add unraveling the mystery of the door with seven locks.

Next!

Day 16: 16 October 2021: Feature Presentations: (1941) and the start of Lugosi's Monogram 9 !!
 
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John Stell

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Bold - Denotes first ever viewing

Rating - Out of a possible 4
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046) 10/14/2021 Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
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Christopher Lee's second outing as Dracula for Hammer Films is an enjoyable effort. Two stranded couples mistakenly accept the hospitality of Drac's manservant who offers room and board at the castle. Andrew Kier does well as Van Helsing's replacement, an unorthodox priest who offers his assistance to defeat the evil. Lee doesn't utter a syllable but is as powerful in the role as ever.

047) 10/15/2021 The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
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1/2

Third Hammer Frankenstein outing for Peter Cushing seemingly abandons the narrative of the previous entry and instead tells something straight out of the Universal horror series. The doctor returns to his home village to continue his work; discovers his creation trapped in ice (see Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man); and runs afoul hypnotist who uses monster for his own purposes (see Ygor in Son of Frankenstein). Handsome production which of course features another strong Cushing performance.

048) 10/15/2021 Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
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1/2

Bela Lugosi tries hard but this is a disappointing adaptation of famous Edgar Allan Poe story. Lugosi is trying to mix the blood of women with the blood of an ape, but the ladies keep dying. Young medical student catches on and tries to stop him. Nicely visualized but dramatically uneven. Much of the comedy is too broadly handled.

049) 10/15/2021 Halloween Kills (2021)
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1/2

Wow. After the only positive buzz I heard about this was "the kills are brutal", I was prepared to be disappointed by this. Quite the opposite. Right now, this would be my second favorite Halloween film. Why? Because the writers have decided to make this iteration of the story about group trauma, not just Laurie Strode's. I didn't care that Laurie spent all her time in the hospital because I saw where they were going with the story. And I'll say this, the ending choked me up. I can't remember the last time a slasher film did that. It may have to reappraised after Halloween Ends comes out to wrap things up. But for now, f**k the naysayers. This is brutal viscerally and emotionally, and I cared what was happening on the screen. Don't know if I'll see again in theaters but I got my preorder in at Amazon for the Blu Ray.
 
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BobO'Link

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Day 14-15: 14-15 October 2021: Feature Presentations: (1940) New Decade, New Ideas ? And some Interesting finds.

207223_large.jpg
230004_large.jpg
230172_large.jpg
119651_large.jpg
174334_large.jpg
273705_large.jpg
164855_large.jpg


37. The Invisible Man Returns: The Invisible Man: The Complete Legacy Collection (Release Date: Jan 12, 1940)💉💉💉
Vincent price is in good voice as he steps into a slot originally held by Claude Rains although his voice is not as commanding. Universal follows up the original Invisible Man with this sequel, from the new Universal, the special effects still work as good as they did in the first one, but there's less mayhem, although I think the weakest part of this is you can see that there is some dissent into madness but they hold back on that. The weakest part of this though is it feels as if because they didn't push that envelope they had to have a happy ending.

Cecil%2Band%2Bsmoke.PNG

you just never know what's lurking about.

38. Doctor Cyclops: Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Apr 12, 1940)🔬🔬🔬🔬
Cooper and Schoedsack return to the big screen in this wonderful Technicolor film, Albert Dekker’s megalomaniac persona as a research scientist whose eyes are failing him in his secluded research facility in the Amazon who's found the world's largest deposit of radium. Which he uses in his experiments to miniaturize individuals after they bought into assist his secretive work.
uIHB7SZdC9iMm2tZMOGMSpjvq9yEfyRjVkxZJ-wUmHTol20QZsy4QxfBoFnHFyIjuUscwnXBMuqDEUf9s8pdncxFBUTPqfo0w44wz-oggtW7DhneltTN

Don't temp fate.

39. Black Friday: Universal Horror Collection Vol 1 (Release Date: Apr 12, 1940) First Time Viewing🔫🔫🔫
OK where is start off with this one, tongue firmly planted in cheek, I do like the Svengoolie TV show it reminds me a lot of some of the humorous TV host that used to who the creature features on Friday nights when I was a kid. So here's the setup and I'm being serious some genius at Universal Studios thought it would be a great idea to put Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in a gangster movie where Karloff as the doctor helps a college professor with part of a brain transplant after an accident happens with his friend the good professor and noted gangster happens where the gangster is about to die. apparently the good doctor isn't as straight laced as he seems, so that the doctor can hunt down some stolen money pairing and sort of a Jekyll and Hyde switch on switch off situation.

what is this like the 5th pairing of Karloff and Lugosi together, and Bela’s part is basically nothing more than a couple of cameos.

40. The Ghost Breakers: Kino Studio Classics ( Release Date: Jun 12, 1940) First Time Viewing🤣🤣🤣🤣
Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard do a follow up to the previous years The Cat and the Canary, with the same hilarious results. Bob's rapid-fire wit is on play throughout the entire film and if the mods are OK with it it's a funny line, nothing was intended, it's just I busted out laughing when I heard it.




40. The Mummy's Hand: The Mummy: The Complete Legacy Collection (Release Date: Sep 20, 1940)🍃🍃🍃
By now the on staff writers at Universal had the boys in the writers room, cranking them out, and delivering the goods, even at the “B” unit level. To which a lot of these, films in the universal horror cycle actually are. the original mummy was not in the original re-release package. So, what the boys in the writing room did was come up with a whole new mythology. And becomes one of the first Reboots in film history. While using film content from the original with Boris Karloff. we get a whole new mummy in the character of Kharis, who fell in love with the Princess, and was wrapped in bandages and buried but has never died. His goal is to provide and protect any person that was usurp the tombs.

Aided by a long line of mystical priest, the latest in this incarnation is George Zucco in a fez, with a bigger box of tana leaves, and huge pot to boil them in. with express directions from his mentor before taking the role as to how many leaves to boil, well he fails at math! Tom Tyler apparently suffered from some arthritis and that helped with his gait as he walked. The blackened out eyes make the mummy look dead. An as our heroes battle this monstrosity they finish it the easiest way possible, set that damn thing on fire. Will this be the end? Only time will tell!

mummys-hand-movie-mummy-andoheb-george-zucco-tom-tyler.jpg


41. The Ape: Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Sep 30, 1940) First Time Viewing:emoji_microscope::emoji_microscope::emoji_microscope:
The Ape finds Boris Karloff playing the kind country Dr., who's doing research so that he can help a young girl who's paralyzed to walk again. Having experimented on dogs and other few animals. The circus comes to town one of the trainers torments the ape until the ape throttles the individual. His mauled body Just taken to the good doctor to see if he can help. As the individuals dying the good doctor withdrawal spinal fluid from the victim to use in his experiments. The first treatment with this spinal fluid actually helps bring some feeling back to the girl's legs.

A fire is set at the circus and the ape breaks loose, Smelling the scent of the trainer that had tormented it; it shows up at the doctor's house where it attacks the good doctor and he fights back best he can and kills the ape.

(Now in a matter of mere moments our illustrious hero, finds a way to completely skin the ape. Yet it loses none of its body shape or styling including how its colors built somehow mysteriously put a zipper in the back of it somewhere. And starts using this ape guise to go around town attacking people And as the victims pile up, spinal fluid is drawn so that he can continue his research in helping the young girl)

As the movie ends the young lady in the wheelchair can walk, while our kind country Dr. has to pay for the wrong he is done.

and one to finish today!

42. Chamber of Horrors aka ( The Door with Seven Locks): Kino Studio Classics (Release Date: Oct 12, 1940 in UK) FTV 🚪🚪🚪

Hope, who was a Republican, was also an equal opportunity comedian when politics met the screen...

From The Cat and the Canary:


I *always* get a laugh from both lines in these movies. :D
 
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Michael Elliott

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Reaching the mid-point of the month, this is where I always start to feel a bit distressed and hopeless that I'll get to watch all the films I wanted or intended to watch, as well as trying to sample those positively reviewed by others. And that's in a normal year. This year, I'll have to cut it short as I'm leaving for vacation on the 29th (the release date for Antlers, BTW, produced by Guillermo del Toro; see separate thread in the Movies section). Eeek! So many movies, never enough time.

Just have to keep plugging away, I guess. At least I've already crossed the minimum levels suggested by the "rules" of the challenge. :thumbsup:

Yeah I'm starting to altar my "want to try and view" list at Letterboxd. I was hoping this month's Vinegar Syndrome titles would be here by now but I'm kinda glad they aren't as I'd have to chop other films off the list. I'm leaving for Salem on the 29th so I'm going to be missing a few days of viewing, although I will probably try to watch some on the phone on the way up there.

What's bad is that I think I've found my big group of films for next year's challenge!
 

Michael Elliott

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57. Halloween (2018)
I'll duck in advance. I LOVE this movie. Other than the outlier of Season of the Witch, this is my 2nd favorite film in the series only behind the original. This was my second viewing, but it held up equally as well as when I saw it in the theater. It's so good that I'd even consider watching it again tomorrow before I see Halloween Kills if not for wanting to spend more time with my wife (I have 14hr days during the week). I love the callbacks to the original film while the filmmakers still put a decided stamp of their own into the series. I'm particularly happy they decided to wipe out the entire cannon and redirect the storyline. I can't wait to see Kills tomorrow! I know some have been disappointed by Kills, but it hasn't dampened my excitement one bit. As for Halloween (2018), it's a 4.5 out of 5 for me.

The only thing I didn't like was the humor with the little kid and the twist with the doctor at the end.

I know "fans" complain about them cutting out the sequels for this storyline and there are rumors of Danielle Harris coming back. I think it would have been a fun nod had the reporters at the start asking Laurie about the daughter she gave up for adoption. That would have been a nice wink towards Harris.
 

JasonRoer

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The only thing I didn't like was the humor with the little kid and the twist with the doctor at the end.

I know "fans" complain about them cutting out the sequels for this storyline and there are rumors of Danielle Harris coming back. I think it would have been a fun nod had the reporters at the start asking Laurie about the daughter she gave up for adoption. That would have been a nice wink towards Harris.
I liked the kid, but I totally agree about the doctor. That was simply ridiculous.

And yes, daughter given up for adoption would have been great.
 

TravisR

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The only thing I didn't like was the humor with the little kid and the twist with the doctor at the end.
The little kid was the comedic highlight for me. But yeah, the doctor stuff didn't work. I think they felt like the movie needed a twist so they just dreamed up something to fulfill that perceived neccessity and then no one ended up liking it.
 

Ruz-El

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Reaching the mid-point of the month, this is where I always start to feel a bit distressed and hopeless that I'll get to watch all the films I wanted or intended to watch, as well as trying to sample those positively reviewed by others. And that's in a normal year. This year, I'll have to cut it short as I'm leaving for vacation on the 29th (the release date for Antlers, BTW, produced by Guillermo del Toro; see separate thread in the Movies section). Eeek! So many movies, never enough time.

Just have to keep plugging away, I guess. At least I've already crossed the minimum levels suggested by the "rules" of the challenge. :thumbsup:
I'm hitting that wall too. My main goal this time around was knocking off as much unwatched physical media as I could and I think I'm going to do it. I might have to kayfabe some not strictly horror but that's okay eh? lol
 

Ruz-El

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That I forgot to post my review for my one movie watched since last time should tell you all you need to know about how I'm doing at this point. I think I'm about a couple production years behind John's Hammer run. :lol:

042 10/14 Curse of the Werewolf (1961) 3.5/5 Oliver Reed stars in this one as the Werewolf, a child born on Christmas day, forever cursed for competing with Jesus, and a product of an assault on top of it. It’s one of the sleazier origins to a werewolf film you’ll see, and director Stamp plays it pretty hard. That aside, this one diverts from the Universal series to really feel like it’s own thing. The sleazy opening is effective, and the remainder of the film following Reed’s character from wolfboy to wolfman is intriguing. Oliver Reed is absolutely magnetic in the lead, just full of physicality and charisma despite playing it pretty lowkey. If there’s an issue, it’s that the wolfman's make-up is no great shakes and it takes forever for the wolfman to really properly appear and when he does, he’s more a human fly in behaviour. That said, I enjoyed it. It plays pretty heavy and that helps to make it effective.
 

dpippel

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OCTOBER 13:

26) The Mummy (2017) (iTunes 4K Streaming) 1.5/5 stars - SO much money and talent involved, how could it possibly go wrong? Well, it did. Bigtime. This film is a disaster from start to finish. Tom Cruise is 100% wrong for his part, the humor falls flat, the "mythos" it tries to set up as the beginning of Universal's Dark Universe "franchise" is almost laughable, and it clunks along for FAR too long. Sofia Boutella does a fairly good job as the gender-bent mummy, and watching Russell Crowe chew the scenery as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is a hoot, but that's really all it has going for it besides a bunch of very expensive effects work. Oh, and it's always nice to see Grace (Annabelle Wallis) from Peaky Blinders in anything. :) But... yikes.

OCTOBER 14:

27) The Last Witch Hunter* (2015) (iTunes 4K Streaming) 3/5 stars - Based on what I'd read I was fully prepared to loathe this film, but instead I ended up mostly enjoying it in a very guilty sort of way. I mean, it's VIN DIESEL, but it was imaginative, well made, and pretty entertaining. I had no idea that Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, and Rose Leslie were even IN it until the thing started up! MUCH better than The Mummy!

OCTOBER 15:

28) The Wolf Man (1941) (4K UHD Disc) 4/5 stars - Quite possibly my favorite Universal classic monster movie. Lon Chaney Jr. and the rest of the cast are great, the sets are amazing, and I love the score. I watched the new Universal 4K disc release and still feel that it looks dull and dark compared to the 30 film collection Blu, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

29) Legend (1985) (Blu-ray Disc) 3/5 stars - Ridley Scott's fairy tale is a mess, but you can't take your eyes off of it. Another film featuring a completely miscast Tom Cruise, the draw here for me is the production design and Tim Curry's deliciously haughty performance as Darkness, not to mention his amazing makeup (courtesy of Rob Bottin, fresh off of The Thing).
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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October 15: Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020) – 2.5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

Burt Gummer (Michael Gross), living a life of solitude on a remote island, is asked to help rid a different remote island of a graboid threat before they can reproduce and create the variant offspring (like shriekers). He reluctantly agrees, finds a collection of good people on one island, and a group of bad people on another, and has to navigate the creature and people challenge to hopefully save the day once again.

Tremors: Shriker Island is the 7th installment in the Tremors series and we’re along way from the charm and humor that made the original Tremors such an impossibly fun time back in 1990. Everything is a bit slicker, shorter on natural comedy, and largely out of new ideas that would make this series one that became adventurous in its direct to video form. What hasn’t changed is the irascible Burt Gummer played with continued delight by Michael Gross. He’s the reason we keep coming back to these movies. The budgets feel small, the acting average, the camera work generally acceptable with a few dashes of surprise, and a parade of rote characters we’ve seen a thousand times in a thousand movies. But Gross’ Gummer feels like a friend at this point, a fun, grumpy uncle that we like to hear stories about. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years back when he was doing the promotional rounds for Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (the 6th entry). He was a delight to talk to, so I find myself eager to watch him do his continued great work. The film around him may not be all that good, but he has never let me down.

By all accounts this might be the last of the series, which also starred Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) who looked like he worked hard and had fun. I can see myself watching and enjoying this again someday, but it’s really only recommended for fans of the series.
 

Malcolm R

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) :emoji_scream::emoji_scream::emoji_scream:

A group of young people traveling along a road in rural Texas make the mistake of picking up a traumatized hitchhiker who commits suicide in their van after mumbling about a "bad man" and "you're all gonna die". Stopping at the nearest sign of civilization, a decrepit diner, they make attempts to contact the local sheriff (another mistake), and end up at a dilapidated farm house where they meet the disturbed Hewitt family and their disfigured son/nephew, Thomas, a.k.a. "Leatherface".

It's an unpopular stance, but I enjoy this remake much more than the original 1974 film. I think it's just so much more effective and unsettling. The production design and the sets are just perfect at evoking the look of the 70's production. Everything just looks dead, hot, gritty and grimy and rotten, with hopelessness and despair all around. The cast is wonderfully creepy, especially the Hewitt family, and though Leatherface may be the marquee villain it's largely R. Lee Ermey's film as Sheriff Hoyt. They even got John Larroquette to again serve as the voiceover narrator (he also narrated the original film).

Things begin to fall apart towards the end, but most of the way it's a hell of a ride.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning :emoji_scream::emoji_scream: 1/2

In 1939, we witness a horrific birth by a pregnant woman working in a slaughterhouse. The baby is deformed and the foreman just tosses the baby in the dumpster, where is found by Luda Mae Hewitt. She takes the baby home to raise it as her own, naming him Thomas. Jumping ahead 30 years, the board of health has closed the slaughterhouse, basically killing the town where it was the only significant enterprise. The management convinces a reluctant Thomas Hewitt to leave his job butchering cattle. He does not take it well. Eventually, the Hewitt family crosses paths with a pair of brothers and their girlfriends who are traveling across Texas, and take them back to their farmhouse to show them some down home hospitality.

A prequel featuring the same wonderful cast from the 2003 remake. Again, the production design is top notch and contributes to the dread atmosphere. We learn much about the origins of Leatherface, how the Hewitt family came to adopt cannibalism, and how Sheriff Hoyt gained his position. Believe it or not, the gore and violence is ratcheted up another notch from the prior film. This film works for me about as well as the prior film, though while R. Lee Ermey gives another great performance, he does go a bit over the top chewing the scenery by the end.

And probably the best Leatherface has ever looked is while he's wearing Matt Bomer's face. :emoji_astonished:

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JasonRoer

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My wife just informed me that a writer friend of hers directed a part of the horror anthology film, Grave Intentions, which can be seen on Tubi. I'm going to give it a go tomorrow. Sounds interesting: "In this anthology film, a practitioner of the magical arts teaches the basics of her craft. The most important lesson? You must be mindful of your intention."
 

JasonRoer

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October 15: Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020) – 2.5 out of 5 - First Time Viewing

Burt Gummer (Michael Gross), living a life of solitude on a remote island, is asked to help rid a different remote island of a graboid threat before they can reproduce and create the variant offspring (like shriekers). He reluctantly agrees, finds a collection of good people on one island, and a group of bad people on another, and has to navigate the creature and people challenge to hopefully save the day once again.

Tremors: Shriker Island is the 7th installment in the Tremors series and we’re along way from the charm and humor that made the original Tremors such an impossibly fun time back in 1990. Everything is a bit slicker, shorter on natural comedy, and largely out of new ideas that would make this series one that became adventurous in its direct to video form. What hasn’t changed is the irascible Burt Gummer played with continued delight by Michael Gross. He’s the reason we keep coming back to these movies. The budgets feel small, the acting average, the camera work generally acceptable with a few dashes of surprise, and a parade of rote characters we’ve seen a thousand times in a thousand movies. But Gross’ Gummer feels like a friend at this point, a fun, grumpy uncle that we like to hear stories about. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years back when he was doing the promotional rounds for Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (the 6th entry). He was a delight to talk to, so I find myself eager to watch him do his continued great work. The film around him may not be all that good, but he has never let me down.

By all accounts this might be the last of the series, which also starred Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) who looked like he worked hard and had fun. I can see myself watching and enjoying this again someday, but it’s really only recommended for fans of the series.
I've never watched any of the sequels despite loving the original. And I've always felt like I've been missing out. I'll have to get to them. Do you have any favorites?
 

HawksFord

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14. Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) – We took a break from Hammer films to watch this three hour, made-for-TV movie. I remember watching it (on a small, black and white television) when it aired on two consecutive nights in November 1973. I recall it being a pretty big deal at the time at least in my circle of friends. There’s a lot to like here. It’s more faithful to the complexity of the original novel than most film versions, there’s an impressive cast, and a big budget with excellent shots throughout. The film has some moving scenes and some genuinely creepy moments, but it also drags a bit in a few places as if the story was stretched out just a little too long. There are some extras on the Shout Factory disc we still need to watch. I’m really glad I picked this up and expect we’ll be watching it again before too long.

:emoji_skull: :emoji_skull: :emoji_skull: :emoji_skull:
 

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