Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
An extremely well directed and plotted "Haunted House Horror" written, financed and directed by Dan Curtis (House of Dark Shadows) starring the impressive thespian Oliver Reed (Paranoiac, The Brood) as a husband "" and his peculiar wife Marian (Karen Black) and his mother " (Bettie Davis) and their annoying son rent (for a modest price) a large Victorian age house for the summer, two peculiar elderly folks (Burgess Meredith) with the condition of taking care of the old (and never seen) Ms. Aladice in the top room of the house.
Watching this 76' film feels like it will take steps towards The Shining but stays as it's own type of film and remains only creepy not scary. Modern Haunted House Horror fans may feel that the films length and may be to exhausting for how little danger presents it self with in the film. Few hair raising scenes from the Pall Bearer and the last 5 minutes are only real scares however, ending climax is delivered so well and after credit's role their is enough to digest and discuss what has happened in the Mansion's bloody history. The heavy execution and hard work from Curtis and crew are convincing however the film's only weak spot may be it's length. Some fans however appreciate a good slow burning thriller.
Young Jenny Welch (Susan Pehaligon) succumbs to the taunts of a manipulative and murderous catholic priest (played perfectly by Anthony Sharp) but has no one to turn to. The priests victims, who are morally askew, suffer his religious wrath through taped confessions and even a few of the fragile flock end up dead through poison communion wafers and Rosary Bead strangulations. The priests invalid and mute mother desperately tries to let someone know of his madness but her attempts are blocked by a disfigured Miss Brabazon (Sheila Kiethalso from Walker's Frightmare)
The Confessional is moderately paced and holds great restraint like all Peter Walker films and feels very 70's by film quality and UK location. However the forlorn score and scenes of surprising violence and bleak ending add enough tension to go head to head with even some of Hammer's best horror.
Monday, August 26, 2013
After the local goons are taken into custody for Bubba's death, it is written off as self defense and the men go free. Shortly afterwards each of the men who were guilty start seeing a Scarecrow in a field periodically and then a gruesome death follows afterwards. Films like this follow a Wash, Rinse, Repeat of a basic storyline but the cool angle of Dark Night is you are on the side of the Stalker side waiting patiently for him to kill each victim. With wide shots of farm scenery and a scarecrow theme killer, this is a perfect film to watch around Halloween. 8 out of 10
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
7 out of 10
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
Supervixens is a fast paced, surreal, sexy, part murder mystery/on the run camp/dark comedy that stars an all to gorgeous Shari Eubank as Super Angel, the ferocious and mean spirited vixen that drives her husband Clint Ramsey to the end of his wits. A crooked and evil sheriff Harry Sledge (played by films own producer Charles Napier) attempts an affair with Supervixen but her wicked taunted pushes him to the point of murder. Poor Ramsey is framed on the run from the law on a surreal journey of continuous journey of equal parts Vixen of all shapes and sizes and also equal part bad luck, from beatings, muggings and unwanted advances from voluptous goddessess starring a Myriad cast of Super Eula, Super Lorna, Super Cherry, Super Soul and Super Haji (Faster Pussy Cat Kill, Kill)
Clint Ramsey's luck turns around when he meets a woman quite like Super Angel in appearance (also played by Shari Eubank)but only all she is all too sweet as a gas station/restuarant owner. Ramsey finally finds love until the evil Harry Sledge enters their life again to bring a climax of cartoonish dynamite throwning violence that could only be taken slightly serious in the entertaining Universe of Russ Meyer. 8/10
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Two college hipsters find an unconscious British politician on a set of subway stairs. They argue wether to get involved and telling the authorities, upon returning to the knocked out/possibly drunk politician they find he is gone. Enter Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasance aka Dr. Loomis), half comedian half rule breaking detective, the couple's complaint creates more questions concerning other "missing" cases related to the underground subway tunnels. Brief (and I mean brief) cameo by the always pleasant Christopher as an opposing agent to Dr. Calhoun adds little to the detective part of the story, but if you are a Lee fan, he is still cool as shit.
The films pacing is undiliberatley slow and slightly off putting from mildly warm scenes between Pleasance and others within his office to the overly gritty subway cannibal family and their grimy way of life. Sharon Gurney, the love interest of the films protagonist played by David Ladd, is easy on the eyes in contrast to the grotesque and convincing make-up of the main, constant drooling, Cannibal (Hugh Armstrong) and his relentless rephrashing of "Mind the Doors!"
One particular stand out long, long, long camera shot reveals the interior of the Cannibal's dwelling and the tunnels connecting to the busy subway, adding needed tension and showing Gary Sherman's early eye for suspenseful layout's.
I would only recommend this for Pleasance/Lee or Sherman completists. The film is at best, a mediocre gross-out detective story. Similar plots can be found in the much superior Frightmare by Pete Walker.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
A young pregnant Martha Schmidt(Maren Jensen) loses her husband in a farming accident, attempts to stay on the farm with the help of her friends Vicki and Lana (starring a young voluptuous Sharon stone and Susan Buckner). Vicki suffers her own hell after being trapped in the barn and battles nightmares of a spider and Lana tries seducing a curious Hittite, who was the brother Hittite turned wordly John Schmidt. The Hittites (as quoted from the film "Makes the Amish look like swingers") continue to torment these three woman with threats of vandalism and planting typical scares for the genre helmed by the screen captivating Michael Berryman, until they decide to fight back and arm themselves.
The films third act transcends into the supernatural, and delivers more frightening tension than an average slasher with a sleep walking psychic, ghostly visitation and one hell of a shoot out that was not scene in Craven's films until this one. The ending rings a bell for exploitation fans of Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Borgnine's strong performance as the overbearing rule enforcing elder brings strength to the story, and his harsh way of dishing out punishment to even shunning his own people.
A surprising 8/10. If you are a Craven completist or are tired of the regular late 70's early 80's slasher fair, this will be a breath of fresh air.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Andrzej Zulawski's Possession, is arguably a daring masterpiece, a modern horror-drama that has rarely been imitated and revered as an intimidating, gut-wrenching; at a few moments stomach churning, piece of celluloid.
A distraught husband (Sam Nell) is certain his wife (Isabella Adjani) is having an affair. His investigation leads him on a downward spiral to an emotional breakdown, as he finds out the truth of his wife's actual were-abouts. The end result reveals a dark, evil realm of questions that no man should ever asked himself.
Adjani's award winning performance maybe (and I am not saying this lightly) one of the most disturbing performances ever filmed. This marital drama transcends paranoia and rejection and enters into a bizarre world of sickening horror that would turn most audiences stomachs and even drop the jaws of hardened horror viewers.
A must see for any fan of cult cinema or horror. Few films have come close to the disturbing content, save the earlier work of David Cronenberg (The Brood)
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Directed by John Moxey (Circus of Fear)
The always screen captivating Christopher Lee stars as an occult savvy Professor who leads a young student, Nan Barlow, into a haunted Massachusetts town called Whitewood, for the furthering of her knowledge in Witchcraft. Little does she know that she is the now a target for a virgin sacrifice.
Horror Hotel is ranked among classic horror films that are recognized for its dreadful atmosphere along with Wicker Man (also starring Lee), Blood on Satan's Claw and Witchfinder General.
Spoiler Alert. Similar to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho of the same year, the main female (and blonde of course) protagonist is stabbed within the first act of them film leading into a mystery of her whereabouts.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Beautifully executed by Martino's masterful direction in a gorgeous Italian Villa. Martino's style is different then Argento's or Bava's surrealist approach to the genre nor is his violence as over the top as Lucio Fulci, Martino's focus on his stories is character struggle mixed with sensuality (see Strange Vice of Mrs.Wardh and All the Colors of the Dark) Watch also for the hilarious placement of J&B bottles within the house. (Green J&B bottles are as much a character in Giallo films as a black gloved killer). 9 out of 10.