Friday, 28 April 2017
The Exorcist 2 had some massive shoes to fill after the legendary effort that was the first film (universally regarded as one of the best horror films of all time) and sadly it falls well short...... Not to say that it's a bad film, in fact it's quite alright but is not the follow up that the first film deserved. It apparantly copping a panning at the box office and at the hands of critics at the time and to be honest I never even bothered watching it until now after years of wondering what ever became of young Reagan who got possessed by a demon.
Young Reagan has now grown into young woman / teenager who by repressing memories, put the unpleasant incidents of the first movie behind her.... Reagan is undergoing counselling and in an effort to understand the possession and the death of the priest, father Marrin that exorcised her in the first film, a new priest, father Lamont (also a friend of the deceased priest father Marrin) wants to question Reagan, but her psychologist thinks recollecting the incidents would be too traumatic so she suggests Reagan undergoes a hypnotic treatment which somehow re-awakens the demon Pazuzu (who possessed her in the first film)
While the subject matter of this film really appeals to me, I find the movie watches like a TV special. Its cool enough for what it is, but definitely not the successor the first movie demanded. Some shit house special effects really serve to cheapen it too. One thing I really did like about the movie is that it expanded on the demon Pazuzu that took control of young Reagan in the first film. If you have a deeper interest in religion and demonology this could be of great interest to you, there are many aspects of this film which would appeal to those interested in religious history and they are little details, if not watched closely would be missed, if you don't have any real interest in religious history / mythology I'm not sure this movie would serve any purpose other than answering the question "I wonder what happened to that girl from the Exorcist"?
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Monday, 24 April 2017
This one came with high expectations considering director Ruggero Deodoto whom many reader will know as respsonsible for directing one of the most iconic horror films of all time, "Cannibal Holocaust". The film starts out with lots of exploitative female nudity (I would expect no less...) and descends into an orgy of early 20 something sex and drug abuse.... some connections can be found as it explores the darker side of human nature and in this case it's a decidedly more sexual take on that.... and there's a fair bit of the 'found footage' thing going on... but it borders on porn rather than the gore we loved "Cannibal Holocaust" for ..... the similarities don't end there though..... this film is a modern, voyueristic and rather disturbing look into a frat house style accommodation in Europe, Italy to be precise, where swinging and drug taking is a regular occurrence (well more the norm in this case) and through the haze of sexual decadence a young red haired girl turns up dead in the groups apartment, and no-one can remember how it happened until footage of the party shows up.
The survivors of previous nights debauchery find the phone and computer of the deceased and recount the nights events and the painful realisation of the previous nights events come back to haunt them bit by bit. A wild party that none of them can remember cuts in an out the friends trying to dispose of the body whilst coming to grips with what just happened.
I'm not sure how I feel about it but it left me polarised in a similar way to what 'cannibal holocaust' did but in a much different way. It highlights just how crappy humans can be to each other in a similar way to what "cannibal holocaust" did and leaves the viewer with the same dirty feelings afterwards.
As a film it is very well shot though it can be a bit disjointed if you're not paying attention to when the film cuts in and out of past footage and current timelines, but if you can deal with that its a hard hitting and unnerving watch on a few levels, I wouldn't say it would go down as a classic by any stretch but more than worthy of a watch once.
Anyway you guys can judge for yourself:
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Friday, 21 April 2017
The plot focuses in on Elizabeth who after finding her sister hanging as the result of an apparent suicide. Not convinced of the police reaction and findings of the case Elizabeth joins the "Salem Academy" which her sister attended previously to find answers. Upon further investigation Elizabeth and their friends uncover tales of historical "Witch Hangings" and other mysterious goings on in the underbelly of the school, leading to the discovery of a satanic cult under there.
While not being a hugely gripping watch, or a huge budget feature (I believe it was made for TV) its something to do and worth watching once, and beats watching most shows on television.
Interesting note, the film was remade in 2000 and starring Shannon Doherty and to be honest I find this a much easier watch. Not in the least part because I think miss Doherty is a babe. Tho not directed by Spelling it does have a very 90210 / The Craft type feel to it but that just depends on your tastes I guess. The two movies do have a fair amount of differences in the plot so there's probably no point going into too much detail about both films but they follow a central thread as outlined above.
Overall I think the 2000 remake of this one is a more entertaining watch so if you're going to watch only one I'd personally choose the remake but I've listed both of them below which are available for streaming from youtube
the 1973 version:
and the 2000 version:
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Thursday, 13 April 2017
The plot within Nightbreed is a resonably complex one, it focuses in on Boone, a young man who is experiencing what he thinks are delusional dreams about a mythical place called Midian, the vunerable Boone is then heavily drugged and misled by his psychiatrist Decker into thinking he is responsible a series of murders that Decker himself has committed. He is then institutionalised and meets a fellow inmate who shares his 'delusions' and the two venture into a cemetary called 'Midian' which is indeed hosting a clan of beings from an ancient race who shun the light and dwell in secrecy under the secluded cemetery. Boon is then bitten by one of the 'nightbreed' who inhabit the underground lair and given the gift of immortality which works out well for him because the psychiatrist who has stitched him up with the murder rap has him killed by the local police force. Boon then rises from the dead and flees the morgue to seek his own kind amongst the underground caverns of Midian only to be attacked by Decker and the local police force. There's a deeper subplot as well involving Boone and his girlfriend Lori who tracks the 'decased but missing' Boon from the morgue to the Cemetary and wants to be part of his world. It's a fairly complex film and holds up to multiple viewings in which finer points of the story come to light as well.
I understand this didn't do too well at the box office but I think its a great film and the creature effects are stunning the attention to detail is unbelievable. Except for a few places still holds up well even to today against the CGI which has taken over a lot of bigger budget movies. This is all practical effects (except for a couple of obvious exceptions) and serves to bring Clive Barkers magical underworld imagery to life rather well, and creates a captivating atmosphere with plenty of fantasy and occult imagery to keep everyone enjoying this movie!
I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in horror, the occult, or more specifically Clive's Claim to fame series "Hellraiser" .... The "Nightbreed" in this film remind me a lot of the Cenobites and have similar captivating personalites of their own.
I was unable to find a watchable version of this on youtube... but again well worth paying for if you can download it or find it somewhere to buy a physical copy!
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Saturday, 8 April 2017
One of horror legend Bruce Campbell's lesser known works. Its a Sci-Fi film firmly rooted in the B Grade Category. It isn't a bad film perse but can't tell if it was serious attempt at science fiction or a parody of the old alien films. (as the aliens look really cheap and fake)
The film centres around a small team of astronauts led by Dr. Hood (Campbell) who were sent on a 40 year space probe mission and on their return to Earth find the planet taken over by insect like aliens. Again It's not that bad a movie ... actually it's quite watchable.... But it makes me wonder why Bruce Campbell agreed to be in the film as I'm sure he could have been doing better things. Even though he did seem to vanish for a while after Evil Dead 3.
Anyway, back to the film... after landing back on Earth the team find themselves promptly captured by the alien overlords that have since taken over Earth to harvest the planet for its wood, to send back their own planet (its apparantly rare on their planet to get wood) . Hood and one of his team manage to escape the alien labour camp and flee to the hills where they meet a few of the last remaining free humans and hatch a plan to free Earth from the space insects.
While its far from being a masterpiece, aside from a few dumb moments it's actually quite watchable and the violence / gore factor is pretty low, so you can watch it with children who are partial to a bit of low level horror
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Thursday, 6 April 2017
The plot centres around a true crime author Ellison (Ethan Hawke) who is under pressure both financially and from the press to release a good book before his career goes down the toilet. He and his family move to the country and buy a big old house and start a new life which is of course, as fate would have it is hiding some nasty little secrets. Including the hanging murder of a family in their backyard. Upon digging through the attic Ellison finds some stored footage from across the years depicting entire families getting slaughtered. Upon further investigation Ellison finds some childrens illustrations in the attic depicting the killings with a common thread featuring a "Mr. Boogie"
Who is this "Mr Boogie"? How is he linked to all these murders? The Answer is much stranger than just a standard run of the mill serial killer / slasher flick.... and has roots in ancient pagan mythology. But sadly I will have to leave it at that, and not give away much more than that as not to ruin your enjoyment of this film .... except to say that it is an enthralling watch and well worth any horror fans time to check it out.
The film has a genuinely creepy air about it and does keep the suspense high, with high impact 'scare' scenes expertly placed. As a seasoned fan of the genre it takes a lot to genuinely creep me out ... and I'm happy to say this film crept me out big time, the kind of creep out that can hit on the psychological level, and it kept me right on the edge of my seat for the whole duration of the film! Well done guys!
If you can't find the physical DVD its available on view on demand on you tube and if you're going to pay to watch a film online this one is well worth it!
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Saturday, 1 April 2017
I have to say this is a pretty 'out there' concept for a film. It centres around a young couple that meet on the internet and fall in love. The male in the relationship obviously has some deep psychological issues and need for love (probably attributable to his mother) and Noelle the female still isn't right after the death of her father in her childhood, so I guess between the two of them and their mental malfunctions, the pair make a well matched couple. At some point he asks his new found lady love to kill him and eat him. She of course refuses but later reconsiders and agrees to his request.
This film starts out a little slow with a series of flash backs with a badly injured Noelle being interrogated by the police about the grizzly death. And works backwards from there. It's a novel way to tell a tale I guess, but honestly it gets a bit boring and confusing not long into the movie. A lot of random footage and blurry flash back vision make this rather painful to watch. It watches kind of like a dream sequence / home made snuff film, maybe that was the intent? I'm not really sure. Plot wise its a little thin, and I've more or less disclosed the whole story anyway
I will go as far as to say it doesn't seem to follow any logical sequence at all, and many of the sequences are repeated..... maybe it is intended to be watched on drugs? If someone reading this wants to get really wasted and watch this one and report back to me if makes more sense on mind altering substances I'd like some feedback on that. I'm not sure what the director of this was aiming for but for me it fell short of the mark, well short, which is a shame because it is a fairly morbid concept behind the film and I think had it been done a little better could have been something quite... well not excellent, but at least a lot more captivating.
Overall it doesn't suck too bad, but the movie itself is a tale of squandered potential.....
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