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The Weird Tradition

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1KentonSem
Edited: Oct 26, 2011, 12:17pm Top

Just watched STAKELAND, a surprisingly well done, grim-as-hell vampire apocalypse / odyssey. The vampires were thankfully... not cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNC2HwAaWWE

On the tentative menu for Hallowe'en this year:

SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY
FINAL DESTINATION 3
THE FINAL DESTINATION
ATTACK THE BLOCK
THE LAST CIRCUS
WITCHCRAFT (1964)
KISS OF THE TARANTULA
STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER (Edwige Fenech. Mmmmmmm.)
ZOMBIE (new blu-ray release!)
ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (new Criterion blu-ray release!)

Probably have a pumpkin-ale soaked FINAL DESTINATION Hallowe'en movie night with friends. The others are mostly for my wife and me over the course of the week.

Also Recommended: HANNA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj6zCJyTq2I

2DeusExLibrus
Oct 18, 2011, 4:17pm Top

I've been watching the X-Files rather obsessively. Technology certainly hasn't aged well, as the majority of the seasons are set in the 90's, in the VERY early days of the internet, when most computers were big grey boxes with bulky CRT displays. That said, the writing is better than most stuff on TV now, with the exception of stuff like Boardwalk Empire (almost through season one. Great show), and the Walking Dead (season two premiere had me in tears at the end).

3KentonSem
Oct 18, 2011, 4:28pm Top

>2 DeusExLibrus:

I might get back to THE X-FILES again, eventually. Add TREME, BREAKING BAD, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, DEXTER to that high-quality list. I'm looking forward to BOARDWALK EMPIRE when it comes out on disc.

4DeusExLibrus
Oct 18, 2011, 5:47pm Top

Boardwalk is amazing. The production values are so close to movie quality its amazing. Haven't seen any of the three you mention KentonSem, but I'll definitely take a look.

5randalhoctor
Oct 18, 2011, 7:15pm Top

Here's some weird films:

Carnival of Souls (1962 cult classic)
The Sentinel (1977)
Shaun of the Dead (funny)

6KentonSem
Edited: Oct 19, 2011, 9:51am Top

>5 randalhoctor:

CARNIVAL OF SOULS is one of my all-time favorite films. Absolutely nightmarish and in gorgeous black and white. The 2-disc release from Criterion contains a ton of very interesting extras, including a rather eerie illustrated history of the real (abandoned) resort on the Great Salt Lake in Utah, where much of it was filmed.

http://www.criterion.com/films/607-carnival-of-souls

7KentonSem
Edited: Oct 19, 2011, 9:55am Top

>4 DeusExLibrus:

I'd have to single out BREAKING BAD as having absolute knockout writing, acting and character development. One of the best TV series I've ever seen.

I also forgot to mention the nearly Shakespearean-level DEADWOOD. Can't recommend it enough, but be forewarned that because it was cancelled, it never received the satisfying wrap-up that it deserved.

8DeusExLibrus
Oct 19, 2011, 10:46am Top

7> I've seen a couple episodes of DEADWOOD and liked what I saw. Been meaning to get back to it for a while now. Sorry to hear it was cancelled, but not too surprised. Seems like any halfway decent scripted show since the turn of the century has been cancelled.

9DaynaRT
Oct 19, 2011, 12:09pm Top

Deadwood was wonderful - it really deserves a re-watch, as soon as I re-watch Arrested Development and Firefly and catch up with Friday Night Lights and Futurama.

It really is too easy to get overloaded when all this media is available at the touch of a button.

10DeusExLibrus
Oct 19, 2011, 2:42pm Top

I limit myself to one or two shows at a time, and just watch those. I find I remember the story better and enjoy what I'm watching more when I do this than when I've got a half dozen or more going at once.

11DaynaRT
Oct 19, 2011, 2:58pm Top

The only shows I watch 'live' are Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead. Everything else sits on my hard drive, waiting for when I'm not reading or listening to podcasts or gardening.

12KentonSem
Oct 19, 2011, 2:59pm Top

>9 DaynaRT:

I hear you, Dayna. I canceled cable for a lot of reasons, one of which was the amount of time it takes away from you. Now, with Netflix streaming providing entire seasons of shows I like, I'm back to square one as far as that goes!

>10 DeusExLibrus:

Right now on DVD, I'm watching TREME, DEXTER, BREAKING BAD and BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES and am streaming 30 ROCK, THE OFFICE, DARK SHADOWS and the new DR. WHO. With BOARDWALK EMPIRE waiting in the wings.

With that not being too overwhelming an amount of stuff to watch, and being caught up on most, the DVD release dates and streaming availability seem to keep me down to watching only 2-3 titles at a time (and I'll usually go through the whole season very quickly), although a couple of those I only watch occasionally. But that's not counting films :-P

13DaynaRT
Oct 19, 2011, 3:01pm Top

I probably could get rid of cable and live with downloads and streaming shows (and save a buttload of $$) were it not for the fact that I am an unabashed sports addict.

14DeusExLibrus
Oct 19, 2011, 9:03pm Top

>12 KentonSem: I've been functioning under the impression the latest escapades of our favorite Doctor were unavailable on Netflix. Did this just recently become available or am I missing something?

15artturnerjr
Oct 19, 2011, 11:25pm Top

>12 KentonSem:

I've been watching BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES on & off with my daughter when she comes over (it's one of the few shows we can agree on) & am still just knocked out by how visually gorgeous it is. Dark Deco rules! 8)

16DeusExLibrus
Oct 20, 2011, 12:03am Top

>12 KentonSem:

I grew up watching Batman: the Animated Series as a kid. That show is singly responsible for making me an utter Batman fanboy!

17KentonSem
Edited: Oct 20, 2011, 8:47am Top

>14 DeusExLibrus:

I just added DR. WHO Season 5 to my Netflix streaming queue. Since I don't have access to whatever is on cable, etc., whatever is available from NF is the newest one to me.

>15 artturnerjr: / 16

I totally ignored the Batman animated series until just a year or two back, when I tried it and was totally blown away by the great noir-ish atmosphere and the often pretty smart scripts. "Dark Deco" - love it!

18artturnerjr
Oct 20, 2011, 10:32am Top

>16 DeusExLibrus:

You're very lucky - I grew up with the campy Adam West live action version (which is, admittedly, very amusing, but is not exactly what I would call a definitive version of the Dark Knight).

>17 KentonSem:

B:TAS really is one of my favorite TV series of all time. I think it stands with the Christopher Nolan films as the shining example of how to make the character & his milieu work outside of comics.

19DeusExLibrus
Oct 23, 2011, 1:06am Top

Watched "Zombiemania" a couple nights ago and wasn't overly impressed. It was a documentary addressing the development of the Zombie movie from the silent period to current times. I thought it was structured poorly (they structured it around "themes" if memory serves instead of just going chronologically), and instead of just having the name and title or something similar at the bottom of the screen, every time an individual gave commentary, they paused, superimposed a zombiefied drawing of the person over them with name and info, and left it there for an extended period. I felt like it would have been a neat touch if it wasn't totally distracting and added nothing. I wasn't aware, however, that Romero basically got shafted, making nothing for all intents and purposes off his first movie. Given the effect he had on the genre, ie, creating it in its modern form, the guy should be rich, but he's not because of fine print in how copyright works (basically, he unknowingly copyrighted the title, not the script itself).

20KentonSem
Oct 23, 2011, 6:41pm Top

I heartily recommend SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY, a fantastic documentary about the director of THE TINGLER, HOMICIDAL, 13 GHOSTS, etc., and his pioneering ballyhoo gimmicks such as "Emergo!", "Percepto!" and so many others. There is a lot of very nifty vintage footage from the 50's and 60's. Heck, even Hitchcock imitated him. Talking heads range from John Waters to Joe Dante. Castle's daughter tells great stories. This is actually the bonus disc in the WC box set. Netflix rents it separately.

21DeusExLibrus
Oct 25, 2011, 4:58pm Top

Can anybody recommend some good zombie movies? Obviously I'm going to have to get ahold of Romero's work (Netflix doesn't have ANY of them available through streaming), but what about other stuff?

22DaynaRT
Edited: Oct 25, 2011, 5:15pm Top

Zombieland and Shawn of the Dead are two that I've heard people rave about.

I've seen 28 Days Later, and it's not bad. There's a comic book sequel to that one.

23Thulean
Edited: Oct 25, 2011, 6:42pm Top

Zombi and Cemetery Man aka Dellamorte Dell'amore are top tier imo.

24KentonSem
Edited: Oct 26, 2011, 9:15am Top

>21 DeusExLibrus:

Romero set the paradigm. He is extremely important in many ways, as are his first three zombie films, regardless of new film making technology, cgi fx or "fast zombies". Of those three films, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is still the best. There is a reason why it was chosen for the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

I'm not a fan of fast-moving zombies as we have come to know them in recent cinema. The idea is supposed to be that these things are dead, rotting and stinking. They are disturbing because they are corpses - us after we die. But moving. And hungry. Sadly, what was once a relatively hard-to-find transgressive cinema is now the province of trendy "zombie flash mobs" and sitcom jokes. That's why, THE WALKING DEAD aside, most of my recommendations come from the good ol' pre-VHS/dvd/internet days:

ZOMBIE (1979) Fulci's Italian take is in a lot of ways the ultimate zombie grue-fest. With the best eyeball-piercing money can buy. It came out today in a new 2-disc set that is supposed to be really nicely done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVD7v2L_roY

THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (1974) aka LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE has an intriguing premise in which the dead are revived by a scientific experiment gone awry. Slow buildup to great-looking zombies. Also just out in a new 2-disc set. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNMbzM21i5c

CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972) ok, this is not a good movie as far as acting, editing or script. But it is simultaneously a GREAT movie, especially if it's 1 in the morning and you have (or have had) lots and lots of beer. For a certain age group, it also evokes bunches of scary, late-nite pre-cable TV memories. My god, I still have a crush on the very strange Anya Ormsby! And beware of Alan Ormsby's pants. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5UQigacQ3o

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1973) or any of the "Blind Dead"series by director Ossorio. REALLY slow-moving Knights Templar zombies just want to cause extremely gruesome mischief. Seriously, even when they're mounted, their horses run in slow motion. Effectively done, though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMcbfKZSvI0

THE BEYOND (1983) Fulci again, Zombies and more in this superbly incomprehensible horror gem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vltPK0IfP4M

CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980) Fulci opens the Gates of Hell! Zombies pour out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=X_DIxiurkqE

DEAD ALIVE (1992) a really, REALLY fun early Peter Jackson that arguably has the biggest, craziest gore-scene in a zombie movie, ever. It involves a lawnmower and a room full of the undead, as I recall. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogj4f-V--h0&feature=related

Ok, you simply must have fast-moving (if sometimes only nominal) zombies?

THE REANIMATOR (1985) everyone knows it, but find a really good edition and watch it again. It's really was that good. And funny. http://www.terrorfeed.com/index.php?id=Re-Animator_Trailer

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) I have a grievance against this film, because everyone has seen it, and this is the reason for the Pavolvian refrain of "BRAINS!!!!!" whenever someone hears the word "zombie". In all of the really great zombie films, the things are after the yummy parts - intestines, liver, upper arm, neck... brains are too hard to get at. But then this film comes along and it's "brains, brains, brains". Ho-hum. It's still wickedly funny, though, with some great zombie gags. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wylpeAXYcBQ

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1982) Rabid, crazed cannibals and extreme gore. This is basically the same thing you get in 28 DAYS LATER, etc. Just way more fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33fa2BI-eNU

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970) Dirty, devil-worshiping hippies are fed a dose of the rabies virus (don't worry - it's for a good reason) and they look like fast-moving zombies as they fly into a murderous, splatter-filled rage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-vdVgiytEo

DEATHDREAM (1974) aka DEAD OF NIGHT. This is from the same director and writer of CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, and here we have one of the great horror films of the 1970's (admittedly, there were a lot of those!). Basically an updating of W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw", a Vietnam vet returns home in an undead state. Things go from bad to worse as he needs to kill and drink blood. Then he starts to rot... Hey, Anya Ormsby again! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSi43oYTJ6E

SHIVERS (1975) early Cronenberg features venereal disease spread by a parasite that causes a murderous sexual frenzy in it's victims. Sit back and enjoy the mayhem as the apartment block dwellers turn on each other, fast zombie style. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJx2joZaKpc

SHAUN OF THE DEAD and CEMETARY MAN (mentioned above) are both great. ZOMBIELAND - ok to a point, but again, the idea is wearing thin.

25DeusExLibrus
Oct 25, 2011, 8:18pm Top

Enjoyed Zombieland and Shawn of the Dead. I thought both were excellent for what they were, ie comedic zombie movies.

26KentonSem
Edited: Nov 2, 2011, 1:57pm Top

One of the greatest horror films is finally available from Criterion. I was able to watch the film last year and I was impressed at how fearsome is still is.

http://www.criterion.com/films/27861-island-of-lost-souls

27DeusExLibrus
Edited: Oct 31, 2011, 8:31pm Top

Just got up to date on the Walking Dead, and all I can say is holy sh*t! I almost broke down in tears reading this arc in the comics, but watching it is about ten times worse. I know I've said this before, but, as amazing as this series is, I would not recommend parents of young kids watch it, unless you can stomach seeing a seven year old shot in the stomach, then operated on without anesthesia. Not sure how they got the performance out of Chandler Riggs that they did, but I bawled my eyes out. I don't think I'll get that little boys screaming out of my nightmares for a month. That said, this show has some of the most amazing zombie makeup I've ever seen.

28KentonSem
Edited: Nov 1, 2011, 10:07am Top

Got the flu for Hallowe'en, but I still managed to watch the new blu-ray of Fulci's ZOMBIE, which looks and sounds better than ever. Also chose Polanski's THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS. The vampires' ball is still a stunner.

29DeusExLibrus
Nov 1, 2011, 11:05am Top

Watched an episode of Kolchak: the Night Stalker last night, as well as a couple more eps of the X-Files. The two are so different and yet similar its striking. Kolchak shows you next to nothing (due, of course, at least in part to 70's era FX or lack thereof), and does basically everything via atmosphere, inference, etc. X-Files is in some ways the exact opposite, ie, they show you damn near EVERYTHING. X-Files is still better written than 90% of the scripted shows on TV now though, IMHO.

30KentonSem
Edited: Nov 1, 2011, 11:45am Top

>29 DeusExLibrus:

Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak is one of tv's all-time great characters. Simply a really inspired casting choice. I love the series to this day although it was obvious even then that simply using the same plot-template to float a monster-of-the-week wouldn't support its own weight for very long.

The original NIGHT STALKER tv-movie was something else altogether. Revolutionary in so many ways.

31DeusExLibrus
Nov 1, 2011, 12:13pm Top

So there's no over-arching plot to the series? I guess that explains why the entire series is 20 episodes. Shame really, I rather like Kolchak.

32KentonSem
Edited: Nov 4, 2011, 11:27am Top

>26 KentonSem:

Finally watched the new ISLAND OF LOST SOULS on blu-ray from Criterion. This is a must-own, and is everything that you could want for such a long-awaited release as this. Every extra down to the Gregory Mank commentary is fascinating and adds a lot to the experience. There is a typically excellent piece by horror film historian David J. Skal in which he provides more food for thought in 12 minutes than most talking heads can provide in 90. This release is a 100% winner!

ALERT:

Barnes & Noble is having a 50% off sale on all Criterion releases until 11/21/11. That means you could buy this dvd for about $7, or the blu-ray for about $10!

33KentonSem
Edited: Nov 4, 2011, 9:44am Top

WOW! I was just blown away by a novel SF approach to zombies (of the 28 DAYS LATER variety, I suppose). PONTYPOOL (2008) actually has an explanation for the phenomenon, one that William S. Burroughs, Noam Chomsky or David Cronenberg might endorse. Or Neal Stephenson, I've heard, in Snow Crash, although I haven't read that one. Best of all, the film is sublimely creepy and the explanation only makes things scarier. Much, if not all, of the action is left to the viewer's imagination for the first half or so, and this is extremely effective. Your mind will produce some intense imagery, I assure you. This is SF/horror for the thinking person. Highly recommended - you can stream it on Netflix.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehq2a8lum_4



34DeusExLibrus
Nov 4, 2011, 11:41am Top

Sounds like something I need to check out. Thanks for the recommendation KentonSem!

35KentonSem
Edited: Nov 28, 2011, 9:08am Top

For your Xmas holiday season viewing pleasure, I strongly recommend RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE.

I'd try to know as little about it as possible before watching ( I basically went in blind to the plot), but here are some links if that doesn't matter:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401143/

It's a Finnish feature-length tale, based on these award-winning shorts (included on the dvd as extras):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVvgfn0VvYw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkyqODDF-LU



It's available from Netflix.

36artturnerjr
Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 6:38pm Top

I've been watching episodes of PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION that I DVRed off of the Science Channel. It's not perfect, but personally I'd much rather see interviews with the likes of Kim Stanley Robinson and Paul Verhoeven than sit through an episode of KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS (crazy, I know).

ETA: Here's a link:

http://science.discovery.com/tv/prophets-of-science-fiction/

37KentonSem
Dec 19, 2011, 1:04pm Top

Just saw Take Shelter and cannot recommend it enough. It is about as enigmatic and eerie as a film can be. In a way, the opening paragraph of Lovecraft's "Nyarlathotep", which we are about to take on for this week's DEEP ONES discussion, could really be describing the general feeling of malaise that runs throughout this film.

After seeing him in Friedkin's Bug and Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, and now this, I think that Michael Shannon is easily one of the most intense actors working today.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/takeshelter/

38Thulean
Dec 19, 2011, 9:29pm Top

>36 artturnerjr:

I watched the Mary Shelley and Philip K. Dick episodes. It is a pretty cool show.

39KentonSem
Jan 17, 2012, 1:36pm Top

Anyone watching AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX? Wow! I was totally blindsided by this. I fully expected to hate it when a friend recently loaned me a DVR copy. Instead, it turns out to be extremely smart and over-the-top, and as unnerving as it is darkly hilarious. The best part is that it takes horror conventions ranging from the creaky to the recently overused, and tweaks them until you are ready to scream. It's not taking the all-too-simple route of by-rote quoting from earlier (and better) films and TV shows - the writers actually seem to not only know their horror cliches and iconography, but more importantly, they know why such things worked in the first place. And they're definitely not afraid to use them! Some of the references are wonderfully obscure, and it's as much fun to play the game of spotting them as it is just watching the show.

This is the TV series that Stephen King should have been able to write. I wonder if it'll get a bit Lovecraftian further down the road?

http://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/ahs/aboutTheShow.php

40artturnerjr
Edited: Jan 23, 2012, 10:51am Top

>39 KentonSem:

Haven't seen it, but I've heard it's great.

***

Pretty kick-ass-looking line-up on Turner Classic Movies this Saturday (although I'm a little mystified by the characterization of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY as a horror film):

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2012-01-28

Friday night looks pretty good, too - they're having a James Whale film festival (including his version of The Invisible Man, which I've been dying to rewatch since I finally read the book last year).

Oh yeah, and I DVRed Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013257/) off of TCM last night. I've wanted to check that out for a while, too - anyone know if it's good?

41KentonSem
Jan 23, 2012, 11:01am Top

>40 artturnerjr:

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages is amazing, in fact, I'd say that is has the best devils and demons that I've ever seen in a film (and this was made in 1922!). Try to watch the original version in all it's glory and save the later release that has some fine ranting by William S. Burroughs for later.

My wife just admitted that she's never seen 2001! What the!?!?! Better remedy that right away. Gives me an excuse to buy the blu-ray :)

Someone told me that AMERICAN HORROR STORY comes from the producers of GLEE! Now I'm flabbergasted. Must find out the details on just where AHS comes from!

42artturnerjr
Jan 23, 2012, 11:27am Top

>41 KentonSem:

I'm assuming the version of Häxan they run on TCM is the original rather than the Bill Burroughs one. Guess I'll find out soon enough.

Your wife's never seen 2001? What kinda film geek hubby are you, Kenton, neglecting her cinematic education like that? (j/k) Make sure she's in the mood to watch it when you check it out, though - it can be maddeningly slow if you aren't into it (even to me, and it's my all-time favorite film). Speaking of the DVD of that, I saw a version of it with audio commentary by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood at Wal-Mart for 5 bucks, but was unfortunately strapped for cash at the time and unable to pick it up. I'll have to check for it again the next time I'm out there.

The Glee people also do American Horror Story? Hilarious! I have friends that are huge Glee fans - I'll have to share that with them the next time I talk to them. :)

43KentonSem
Jan 23, 2012, 11:44am Top

>42 artturnerjr:

IMDB confirms that AHS has some of the same producers and writers as GLEE. Go figure. I'll have to look for some interviews when I get time. Very curious as to how they nailed the horror aspect so well.

Make sure she's in the mood to watch it when you check it out, though.... ahhh, I thought you meant something else entirely. ;)

I've never found 2001 to be boring. Just mesmerizing. My only regret to date is that I've never been able to watch it in a theater.

44artturnerjr
Jan 23, 2012, 1:44pm Top

Make sure she's in the mood to watch it when you check it out, though.... ahhh, I thought you meant something else entirely. ;)

LOL :)

My only regret to date is that I've never been able to watch it in a theater.

That would be mind-boggling, wouldn't it? I am always totally jealous when I talk to someone who's seen it on the big screen. The only thing I can think of that might compete with it is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 8)

45KentonSem
Jan 23, 2012, 2:07pm Top

>44 artturnerjr:

Agreed, although technically, I did see TGTBATU on a drive-in screen when it was first released. I remember seeing the wide-open vistas, the close-ups and, of course, hearing the music. Beyond that, I curled up in the area between the top of the back car seats and the rear window and fell comfortably asleep! I've seen it many times - much more successfully - on smaller screens since then.

:)

46artturnerjr
Jan 23, 2012, 5:21pm Top

>46 artturnerjr:

Kinda miss the old drive-ins. Probably my favorite childhood memory of them is seeing National Lampoon's Animal House with my parents at one when I was 11 or 12 years old. Why they thought it was okay to take a kid my age to such a completely age-inappropriate film is beyond me, but I didn't care. It was only my second R-rated movie, so needless to say I was really excited. :D

47artturnerjr
Jan 30, 2012, 11:03am Top

Watched the movie version (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/) of Cormac McCarthy's The Road last night. It was... okay. Not quite sure why it fell flat for me. Perhaps it's just that when someone does a film adaptaion of what I consider to be one of the four or five best novels I've come across in a lifetime of reading, I'm bound to be disappointed. :(

48KentonSem
Edited: Jan 30, 2012, 11:26am Top

>47 artturnerjr:

I found McCarthy's well-written novel to be so unutterably grim that I just didn't need to revisit it as a movie adaptation.

Watched PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 the other night. I enjoyed the first two installments, but this one just stretches things into absurdity. It still had one (literal) "boo" moment that made me jump, but that disappointingly turned out to be a cheat.

Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas has started an invaluable blog in which he is listing every film he watches this year, along with notes. Check out 1981's POSSESSION at #36. I've never seen it, but it's now on my short list. I've always liked Isabelle Adjani a lot, especially around this time period. She's amazing in both Herzog's NOSFERATU and Polanski's THE TENANT.

http://www.vwpro.blogspot.com/

http://www.videowatchdog.com/home/home.html



49artturnerjr
Jan 30, 2012, 1:39pm Top

>48 KentonSem:

I found McCarthy's well-written novel to be so unutterably grim that I just didn't need to revisit it as a movie adaptation.

I understand what you're saying, Kenton. A friend of mine probably said it all when I asked him what he thought of the book. "Well," he replied, "I'm glad I didn't have a gun in the house when I was reading it." :D

(Re: the movie - I gotta say it was kind of cool to actually see the blasted post-apocalyptic landscape (which the filmmakers did an excellent job of depicting) described in the McCarthy novel. I love that shit - I'm funny that way.)

She's amazing in both Herzog's NOSFERATU and Polanski's THE TENANT.

Finally saw the original Murnau Nosferatu last year, which even this semi-jaded horror movie fan thought was still eerie as hell. Haven't seen the Herzog version, though I definitely want to, along with Shadow of the Vampire. That'd make a sweet triple feature, eh? :D

50KentonSem
Edited: Jan 30, 2012, 6:08pm Top

>49 artturnerjr:

Murnau's original NOSFERATU still works quite well. I have the PAL "Masters of Cinema" restoration, which is a revelation after having lived with so many public-domain releases over the years: http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/nosferatu/.

I like Herzog's 1979 version better. It's even more dreamlike and focused on vampirism-as-plague. Despite Klaus Kinski's doppelganger-makeup, the film is much more than just a remake, so that it becomes both an extrapolation of and a perfect companion to the original. And with Isabelle Adjani, Klaus Kinski and Bruno Ganz as stars, how could you possibly lose? So, yes, all three films you mention would make a great triple feature!

51gryeates
Feb 1, 2012, 6:00pm Top

I finally caught up with the rest of the world recently and watched Twin Peaks. I wish I had picked it up sooner as the performances, the soundtrack, the narrative - everything about it is pitch-perfect. The first season in particular has to be amongst the best I have seen when it comes to performance art on stage or screen.

52KentonSem
Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 7:45am Top

>51 gryeates:

I was lucky enough to watch TP when it first aired. My friends and I had a blast taking each show apart from top to bottom. Little did we know that the show's creators didn't know where the hell the show was going, either! It's still fun to revisit, though.

Make sure to check out the feature film TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, if you haven't already. In some respects, I like it better than the series, as the sense of despair and fear overwhelms the quirkiness. It also wraps up a couple of plot points that were just screaming for resolution.

53DeusExLibrus
Feb 5, 2012, 1:02am Top

Not exactly WT related, but I've been on a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers kick lately, watching a series of commentaries on the seasons I found on a favorite reviews site (That Guy With the Glasses). I grew up watching the original MMPR series (there are, at this point, 13 seasons with, I think, nine or ten different series within that, at least) so there's definitely a nostalgic love for it. The reviews have got me wanting to go back and rewatch at least some of it, but the only place I've found that has it is Netflix, so might have to reactivate my subscription.

54gryeates
Feb 5, 2012, 4:36pm Top

>52 KentonSem: Thanks for the recommendation of Fire Walk with Me - I intend to track it down once I've reached the end of Season 2.

55KentonSem
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 11:22am Top

Started watching the first season of BOARDWALK EMPIRE last night. Steve Buscemi has a field day and Michael (BUG; TAKE SHELTER) Shannon is in it too. Cool bit of trivia I glimpsed during the credits: the "Marine Stunt Coordinator" for the show is none other than Ricou Browning, who played the eponymous monster in the underwater shots of the 1954 classic THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Glad to find that he's still working!

56artturnerjr
Feb 11, 2012, 12:24am Top

Another solid week on Turner Classic Movies at the beginning of March, including: 2001 (still mysteriously labeled as a "horror" film) and its underrated sequel 2010; FORBIDDEN PLANET; ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (which I believe Kenton mentioned earlier in the thread); the immortal THIS IS SPINAL TAP; LA JETEE; and THE ILLUSTRATED MAN (based on the Ray Bradbury book? Anyone?).

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=est&sdate=2012-02-29

57KentonSem
Feb 11, 2012, 7:57am Top

>56 artturnerjr:

ISLAND OF LOST SOULS is one of the great horror films. THE ILLUSTRATED MAN is indeed based on the Bradbury collection. I have never seen the entire film, but it is in my Netflix queue. Let us know what you think if you catch it.

I should get the 2001 blu-ray in today's mail!

58artturnerjr
Feb 11, 2012, 11:29am Top

>57 KentonSem:

Thanks for the info re: THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, and will do.

2001 on Blu-ray? Woo-hoo! I'll bring the beer. :)

59gryeates
Feb 11, 2012, 6:04pm Top

I went to see The Woman in Black this evening. Good film though there were some changes they've made to the narrative which I didn't overly agree with but no spoilers - I still recommend it as an effective piece of atmospheric and terribly British horror.

60KentonSem
Edited: Feb 13, 2012, 9:33am Top

>59 gryeates:

It's also a new Hammer film. Not only that, but it's the first new gothic horror from the revitalized studio. I really liked their LET ME IN (the remake of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN). It's nice to see then return to form with THE WOMAN IN BLACK. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it comes out on Netflix.

http://www.hammerfilms.com/productions/films/order/year_of_production/page/1

61KentonSem
Feb 14, 2012, 9:33am Top

I've mentioned elsewhere that I consider director Larry Fessenden to be the Val Lewton of our time. His films are subtle, scary and enigmatic in a daring way. I think a lot of today's action/horror audiences are absolutely thwarted by his features, but I find them to be refreshingly great, and in the finest weird tradition.

Highlights are HABIT (1995), a postmodernist take on the vampire-as-junkie, made well before vampires became cute and cuddly (starring Fessenden). WENDIGO (2001) a brilliant interpretation of the Wendigo myth, and very much of interest to anyone here who enjoyed the DEEP ONES read of the Blackwood tale. THE LAST WINTER (2006) brings forth fond memories of THE THING with its Northern Arctic setting.

HABIT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNRIFSQMXMc

WENDIGO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix7WW3M1Mw0

THE LAST WINTER
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY_BXNvbr8E

Fessenden has also acted in a ton of things, including starring in the highly enjoyable horror comedy I SELL THE DEAD (2008):

http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/i-sell-the-dead/trailer

Interview:

http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/issues/winter2002/features/super_natural.php

62artturnerjr
Feb 26, 2012, 1:46pm Top

Anybody watching the Oscars tonight? I'm kinda on the fence, although I admit to enormous curiousity regarding the fate of HUGO, which was adapted from a graphic novel(!) by Martin Scorsese(!!) in 3-D(!!!) and is nominated for Best Picture(!!!!).

63KentonSem
Edited: Feb 27, 2012, 9:32am Top

>62 artturnerjr:

Don't really care about awards shows, but I do want to see HUGO on dvd (in 2D, although most of the critics I pay attention to seem to be uniform in saying that this film exemplifies the manner in which 3D in the cinema was always meant to be used).

The book The Invention of Hugo Cabret could be classified as a graphic novel, but it's not of the type we generally think of when we hear that term. It's more of a novel that happens to be told mostly via graphic imagery (there is still some text). I love the idea that in both the book and the film, the great pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès plays a central role. It's a safe bet that most adults (outside of film buffs), let alone kids, probably never heard of him until HUGO, yet he played a central role in the introduction of the fantastique to cinema. HE should get an Oscar!

64tros
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 1:56pm Top

Re-watched Island of Lost Souls. The Panther Woman is hot!

"Are we not men?"

;-)

http://www.librarything.com/pic/276307

65KentonSem
Mar 6, 2012, 2:54pm Top

>64 tros:

You got that right! Purrrr.....

66artturnerjr
Mar 17, 2012, 1:17pm Top

Watched SUPER last night (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1512235/), a film that I was actually very impressed with. Will post a link to my Amazon review as soon as they put it up.

67artturnerjr
Edited: Mar 18, 2012, 8:58am Top

As promised in #66:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R339975RC45AR3/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=...

ETA: Forgot to mention in my review that Ellen Page is cute as a button in this.

68DanMat
Mar 17, 2012, 2:26pm Top

>64 tros:

I can't read that line without hearing Mark Mothersbaugh's voice.

69KentonSem
Mar 27, 2012, 10:17am Top

>68 DanMat:

Motherbaugh and Casale of Devo provide an excellent little interview as an extra on the Criterion ISLAND OF LOST SOULS dvd. They explain what an important influence the film was on the forming of the band.

I also always liked Oingo Boingo's variation, "No Spill Blood":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTPVm8gv8fM

70DanMat
Mar 27, 2012, 10:31am Top

Ha! Thanks so much, I will hunt it down.

71artturnerjr
Mar 27, 2012, 8:07pm Top

>69 KentonSem:

Speaking of Criterion, Kenton - reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask you - would you say that $2 is a good price for a used Criterion DVD (assuming the DVD itself is in decent shape, of course)?

72KentonSem
Mar 27, 2012, 9:24pm Top

>71 artturnerjr:

Probably so! Which title?

73artturnerjr
Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 9:43pm Top

>72 KentonSem:

There are a bunch of them for sale at our local public library's used book store. I will try to run down there tomorrow & jot down all the ones the have & post again when I have that info.

74KentonSem
Mar 27, 2012, 9:55pm Top

>73 artturnerjr:

Sounds like it has potential! :-)

75DanMat
Mar 28, 2012, 10:20am Top

Chances are you can sell them for a few bucks on amazon, make yourself a few dollars.

76artturnerjr
Mar 28, 2012, 3:24pm Top

Back from the library. They didn't have as many titles as I thought (or some of them got snatched up). The ones they have are:

-THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS
-THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
-FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS

77KentonSem
Mar 28, 2012, 3:37pm Top

>76 artturnerjr:

Drat! No EQUINOX?! Ah well. FEAR AND LOATHING is a keeper. The other two, if you don't require them in your collection, could probably be sold at a profit, as Dan notes above.

78artturnerjr
Mar 28, 2012, 4:06pm Top

>77 KentonSem:

Alas, no EQUINOX or ROBOCOP or THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER or other no-brainer titles of that ilk. I was actually gonna snatch up FEAR AND LOATHING anyway as I believe I was in a rather Hunter S. Thompson-like state myself when I saw it & would therefore probably benefit from a rewatch. I will probably purchase the other 2 titles when I go back there (which I am actually gonna do today, as I just found out my daughter wants to go there), if for no other reason than that I currently have no Criterion DVDs in my collection; if the Film Snob Society finds out that I don't have at least 3 or 4, they'll probaly revoke my membership. ;)

79KentonSem
Mar 28, 2012, 4:14pm Top

Art, once or twice per year Criterion has been having 50% off sales. These can come in very useful, especially if you have a Barnes & Noble nearby. Just get on their mailing list or keep an eye on their website/Facebook page.

http://www.criterion.com/

I'm waiting for the next one to pick up the GODZILLA blu-ray.

80artturnerjr
Mar 28, 2012, 9:11pm Top

>79 KentonSem:

Okay - signed up for newsletter AND "liked" on FB. Thanks for the heads-up.

It kills me that they put out GODZILLA, although that's certainly not any stranger than the fact that they put out 2 Michael Bay films.

81KentonSem
Mar 28, 2012, 10:04pm Top

>80 artturnerjr:

Not at all. The original Japanese version of GOJIRA/GODZILLA is serious, dark and somber. A great film that works on several different levels. It fits in quite well with Criterion's vision.

82artturnerjr
Mar 28, 2012, 11:14pm Top

>81 KentonSem:

Huh! Looking at the Wikpedia article on the film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godzilla_(1954_film)), I see that I hadn't realized that the version I saw as a kid in the 70s was almost certainly the bowdlerized American version. I will be on the lookout for the original Japanese version now - sounds very intriguing.

83KentonSem
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 9:21am Top

>82 artturnerjr:

Highly recommended, Art. In retrospect, the Raymond Burr American version isn't really that bad, either, although it cannot match the haunting power of the original Japanese anti-nuke allegory. Now if Criterion released something like GODZILLA VS. GIGAN, it could well be a signal of the end of civilization:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REMsbJMtN0Y

Speaking of the end of the world, up next for me: Lars von Trier's MELANCHOLIA, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. She's one of my favorite actors. I really liked von Trier's heavy-on-the-symbolism ANTICHRIST which she also starred in.

84DanMat
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 2:24pm Top

-83

I downloaded Melancholia from itunes last fall. I'm a classical music person, so to me, the whole thing was a great experience. The weird slowmo effects in the beginning were so trippy.

85monohex
Mar 29, 2012, 11:31am Top

Antichrist is one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. Do not see it if you're squeamish. Of all of the weird and horrifying fiction I've seen and read, I think this one takes the cake for situations I wouldn't want to be involved in, if it were real.

86KentonSem
Mar 29, 2012, 11:42am Top

>85 monohex:

ANTICHRIST does have one particularly gruesome scene, although I find what is implied overall to be the most disturbing aspect of the film. In fact, the nature of evil and the possibility of evil existing in nature has a direct connection to our recent discussions of Machen and Blackwood. I'm going to have to re-watch it soon with that stance in mind.

87monohex
Mar 29, 2012, 12:08pm Top

I did like the ominous atmosphere and weird parts of nature in the film. I certainly got the point about evil, or the idea of it, but what horrified me were the real-time, on-screen physical acts of violence. I couldn't get past them. It's a film I never want to see again.

88DanMat
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 2:27pm Top

-85

Haven't seen it yet, thanks for bringing it up...and my library systems owns a copy!

Speaking on catholic inspired movies, I tried to watch The Devils by Ken Russell off youtube, but sound and picture were extremely poor.

89KentonSem
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 1:17pm Top

>88 DanMat:

I really want to see THE DEVILS. No Region 1 DVD exists, although the new British PAL version is supposed to be pretty good:

http://tinyurl.com/7wmhokg

Even so, Warner Brothers reportedly to this day won't release some missing scenes which would make available a totally complete cut of the 1971 release.

90paradoxosalpha
Mar 29, 2012, 1:37pm Top

I've wanted to see The Devils for a long time too. I didn't know it was so scarce.

91artturnerjr
Mar 29, 2012, 1:47pm Top

>83 KentonSem:

I can never watch footage from those old Godzilla movies without thinking of the endless hours I spent as a kid reading super-fan (and occasional Lovecraft correspondent) Forrest J. Ackerman's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. :)

I DVRed von Trier's Palme d'Or winner DANCER IN THE DARK ages ago. I really need to make it a point to watch that soon.

92DanMat
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 2:38pm Top

I was just looking at the youtube one and might try it again, but maybe on my tablet. Somehow blowing up a youtube video on my 32' flatscreen makes whatever it is look absolutely awful. The speakers are pretty poor on that thing as well, so...

Oliver Reed is/was such a great actor and this is one of his best performances...hopefully there'll be some good sense along the way and a proper edition will see the light of day.

One last thing while we are sort of on a topic, I have a VHS of Baby of Macon. Really great. Horrible copy, which is too bad because Sacha Vierny was involved...

*maybe I'll get that UK release figure out how to play it later...

93KentonSem
Mar 29, 2012, 2:09pm Top

>91 artturnerjr:

Here you go....

94artturnerjr
Mar 29, 2012, 6:17pm Top

>93 KentonSem:

Thanks!

I also have a soft spot for the 70s Marvel Comics Godzilla. Herb Trimpe sure had a way with big green monsters.

95KentonSem
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 12:44pm Top

>84 DanMat:, etc.

MELANCHOLIA. I had a strange response. The film is basically divided into two halves, each featuring one of the two sisters. The first half, which focuses quite tediously on an upper-crust wedding, seems to take forever. We were almost ready to bail (or at least FF), but luckily we didn't since the second half is quite compelling and contains many revelations. After a friend explained that the film is basically a Gnostic allegory showing how the death of ego provides an escape from the material world through intuitive enlightenment, I'm now eager to see the first part again! Lars von Trier is an amazing film maker. With another great performance by Charlotte Gainsbourg!

I also found MELANCHOLIA to be a female-centered mirror to the similarly-themed masculine point-of-view of TAKE SHELTER.

>94 artturnerjr:

Loved the Trimpe version. I've been reading IDW's new Godzilla book, and the offshoot titles, and while they're generally fun to read, it's surprising how the artists seem to have trouble drawing the star!

96KentonSem
Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 1:02pm Top

CORMAN'S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL

Most Roger Corman admirers will know most if not all of the story here, but this is still a must-see, very up-to-date documentary, containing a mass of detailed information (often straight from Corman himself) in its 90 minute running time. Comes complete with a great selection of talking heads and perfectly-chosen clips from the many, many films profiled.

Jack Nicholson provides an especially affecting scene, one that Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog calls "one of the great moments of American documentary film making. "

I appreciated that in addition to all of the laudatory comments, you actually get to see Corman on set, doing things that a producer does.

This is a great documentary about one of the most important figures in film history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngsD17ZAglE

97DanMat
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 3:30pm Top

Just watched Transformers Dark of the Moon and the Fright Night remake (gotta take whatever the library DVD shelf has!). I haven't watched any of the Transformers movies and I have to say it was a bizarre yet utterly compelling mess. It kept going and going and going...There was a part where the top portion of a building is falling over that was pretty well done. And they really effed up the Chicago sky line. A real snapshot of Michael Bay's psyche. Shiny muscle cars, pouting model types, ripped and smoldering American flags...crashes, explosions, gun fire, robot beards, a skyscraper devouring robotic worm, wingsuits...

But I did order The Devils. I figured it'd go out of print anyway and I could sell it back. I'm going to try and watch it on the computer--I heard you can change the region type a few times before it locks in permanently...

There is a copy of the original Fright Night in my public library system; I imagine it'll be a little better than the one I saw.

* I've got Ken Russell's Gothic on my coffee table...hope to make time this weekend.

98artturnerjr
Apr 6, 2012, 2:22pm Top

>96 KentonSem:

Sounds great, Kenton. Half of my favorite directors and actors wouldn't be in the business today they hadn't been through what James Cameron called "The Corman Film School":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Corman#.22The_Corman_Film_School.22

99KentonSem
Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 3:20pm Top

David Cronenberg's A DANGEROUS METHOD is an obvious topical choice for the clinical director, dealing with Jung and Freud as they hammer out psychoanalysis.

Viggo Mortenson perfectly channels Freud and Michael Fassbender does equally well in in the opposite direction of bringing Jung down to earth. The stunner, however, is Keira Knightly who steals the show as hysteric and future colleague Sabina Spielrein in a performance that someone like Meryl Streep would normally receive accolades for.

In an interview, Cronenberg stated that the symptomatology of hysteria, which was an ailment pretty much isolated to Freud and Jung's time, was what really drew him to wanting to direct. This is an enjoyable cerebral excursion. My only complaint is that it can't quite shake off the staginess of the original play it's based on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=664eq7BXQcM

100paradoxosalpha
Apr 9, 2012, 3:43pm Top

My Other Reader and I both enjoyed the heck out of A Dangerous Method (I'm a longstanding Cronenberg fan. She, not so much.)

101DanMat
Edited: Apr 17, 2012, 10:23am Top

"This is an enjoyable cerebral excursion."

Agreed. I enjoyed the discussions. I thought Fassbender, Mortenson and the part of Otto Gross, played by Vincent Cassel, uniformly excellent. It had close to an emotional wallop at the end; not as strong as it could have been. Beautifully shot with excellent care given to details. Thank God someone like Cronenberg is still working in film today. Interesting ideas about men and women and communication and ultimately, what any of it means.

102KentonSem
Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 11:18am Top

The Monk by Matthew G. Lewis has been made into a film by Dominik Moll. I really enjoyed his 2004 release LEMMING with Charlotte Gainsbourg, so I have some hope for this adaptation. Vincent Cassel is Ambrosio. Trailer:

http://international.memento-films.com/catalogue/the-monk

103artturnerjr
May 9, 2012, 4:43pm Top

Has anyone seen THE AVENGERS yet? I was pleasantly surprised to see how many positive reviews it got:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/marvels_the_avengers/

104DanMat
Edited: May 9, 2012, 6:37pm Top

I really can't get into an Avengers without the Scarlett Witch and Vision.

105artturnerjr
May 9, 2012, 6:34pm Top

>104 DanMat:

Maybe they'll be in the sequel (which I'm sure they'll be making, since they've made 26 squizillion dollars on this one already).

106paradoxosalpha
May 9, 2012, 6:35pm Top

> 104

Yeah.

107DanMat
Edited: May 9, 2012, 7:28pm Top

Hopefully, and Kang and Star Fox! If they put Tigra in, furries will be very happy...I'm trying to figure out what Mockingbird's special abilities were. Does anyone know?

*
http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/04/30/the-avengers-movie-wasp/

108artturnerjr
May 9, 2012, 8:38pm Top

>107 DanMat:

According to Wikipedia:

Superbly trained athlete and gymnast, various unarmed combats, and espionage.

Physical attributes enhanced to peak of human potential.

Expert with Battle-stave weapon.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mockingbird_(Marvel_Comics)

109DanMat
May 9, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Well, all joking aside. I'll probably see the movie.

110artturnerjr
May 9, 2012, 9:09pm Top

>109 DanMat:

Me, too, but first I need to see all (literally, all) the prequel films.

111paradoxosalpha
May 10, 2012, 8:53am Top

> 110

They had a showing of the full set last Thursday at my local movie palais. It was tempting. The one I haven't seen that I'm most interested in is Captain America. I suspect that it could be (like Iron Man) one to "click" for me in a movie the way the character never actually did in the comics. Of course, patriotism has gotten a lot more complicated and interesting for me since I read Captain America comics as a kid.

112artturnerjr
May 10, 2012, 10:28am Top

>111 paradoxosalpha:

Of course, patriotism has gotten a lot more complicated and interesting for me since I read Captain America comics as a kid.

As it has for all of us (I would hope, anyway).

The intiguing thing about Cap to me is that he's supposed to be the living embodiment of America, and you can sort of graph what that has meant in the popular consciousness by following his exploits from the relatively simple depictions of the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby and Stan Lee/Kirby eras (let's kick some Nazi/commie butt!) into something much more complex (e.g., Frank Miller's thoughtful depiction of the character and what he represents in the Daredevil: Born Again story arc).

113DanMat
Edited: May 10, 2012, 12:40pm Top

If you look at Frank Miller's arc, the Holy Terror thing, it's interesting as well....is he sort of an uber-patriot? Is that were all patriotism leads? A sort of xenophobic mindset? I can't deny my impulse towards allowing creative freedom and expression to prevail, so if that's what he needs to indulge in now, I say fine, better do it than not. But I wonder if he's lost ideas (and some drawing ability) and that stuff usually in the background is now all foreground and too murky a subject for him. I looked through Holy Terror in a store about a month ago, so I kinda want to look at it a little closer and see what's really going on. But I don't feel like buying it. You know, if you compare him to Joe Sacco, it seems like Miller is really grasping at straws. He's gotten a lot of money and press with Sin City and 300 in Hollywood, so it's weird how that has fed into his work, but in a bad, self-indulgent way...

114KentonSem
May 10, 2012, 12:47pm Top

>111 paradoxosalpha:

While reading through the Kirby CAPTAIN AMERICA OMNIBUS featuring issues #193-214, Annual #3-4; Captain America's Bicentennial Battles (approx. 1976-1977), I was surprised to find a kind of anti-contemporary-government stance flowing through the stories, loud and clear, including a rather paranoid outlook that is commonly accepted now. I know that Kirby was basically a New Deal liberal, but the subtext in these surprised me recently and of course went way over my head when I read them as a kid.

115artturnerjr
May 10, 2012, 1:28pm Top

>113 DanMat:

Yeah, I've been kind of disgusted with Frank personally ever since his whole anti-Occupy rant (http://frankmillerink.com/), but I have to say I still have respect for him as an artist. Even apparently simplistic and facile recent work of his such as All Star Batman & Robin take on new complexity and shades of meaning upon reflection, I think.

>114 KentonSem:

Like a lot of folks who lived through that era, Kirby was completed disgusted by Richard Nixon, Watergate, and their aftermath. Jack was too much of a straight shooter for that to not show up in his work at least a little bit.

116KentonSem
Jun 14, 2012, 9:05am Top

Some thoughts after seeing PROMETHEUS in 2D.

If you didn't see it yet, no real spoilers follow, but there are comments on the film, both pro and con.

Definitely a must-see on the big screen. There are several set-pieces that are just breathtakingly great. It's worth it for that very last scene alone. I was actually surprised to find that this is very much Noomi Rapace's film, and she does fine. Not Sigourney-great, but fine. Theron is just there to try to look mean and model tight-fitting space suits. She does the latter well. Other characters have, but do not reach their potential.

HOWEVER:

1) The story is abysmal. It suffers the typical affliction of most big budget SF these days. Great concept. Fine first act. Then it falls apart.

2) Beyond that central conceit, there is NOTHING in here that hasn't already been done before in the earlier films. Nothing. Nada.

3)There are some aspects of PROMETHEUS that are just so cliched that it's truly mind-blowing to consider how they even got in there. And the plot holes. Oh, the plot holes...

PROMETHEUS should have been ALL animated, telling the tale of the Engineers and their bio-weapons. NO HUMANS NECESSARY. In Giger-vision. It would have been perfect. If Ridley had done it like that, ALIEN fans would truly be in orbit right now.

-Kenton

p.s. The "Stephen Stills" bit stuck out like a sore thumb, but I did get a kick out of the Pinocchio reference.

117DanMat
Edited: Jun 14, 2012, 10:34am Top

Blame Damon Lindelof, he has no real talent...

118KentonSem
Sep 7, 2012, 12:30pm Top

We've been in the territory covered by THE DAY before, but it might be worthwhile thanks to actress Ashley Bell, who was mucho scary in THE LAST EXORCISM (pretty good in its own right). Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDXzVgMihvs

-K

119KentonSem
Oct 24, 2012, 12:15pm Top

I'm going to see Universal's new restoration of FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN tonight. I believe this is a national event in the U.S. Can't wait to see these with an enhanced audio/visual cleanup. The entire "upgraded" Universal Monsters oeuvre was recently released on blu-ray, too. Just about everything I've read seems to agree that these are pretty amazing.

While I like to sample such restorations, in some ways I prefer the scratchy, slightly fuzzy prints I grew up with. There is a kind of eerieness - created by audio defects especially - that can be conjured during the frequent silent stretches in these films. This is wonderfully explained in the book Uncanny Bodies - well worth an interlibrary loan if you have any interest in these films.

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/forums/133/The-Universal-Horrors-Bl...

120artturnerjr
Feb 25, 2013, 10:28am Top

I rewatched the original Alien film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078748/) over the weekend for the first time in about ten years. Still the best Lovecraftian horror film of all time, imho (although John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084787/) is admittedly a very close second).

121KentonSem
Edited: Feb 25, 2013, 11:28am Top

>120 artturnerjr:

I'd agree with those two choices for top Lovecraftian horror films, Art!

I was recently taken aback by a viewing of a 1981 film called Possession, by Ukranian director Andrej Zulawski. Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neil star as a couple in a badly disintegrating marriage. Shot in East Berlin with the wall often in the background, it can be seen from many different points of view, symbolically, socially and politically, but here's the thing: it descends into a realm of genuine cosmic horror that few films can attain. Adjani and Neil both give absolutely stunning performances. I've never seen anything quite like this. Best of all, it ends on this note of shrieking terror that even got to jaded old me! It's hard to find, but there will be a bells-and-whistles R1 release sometime in 2013.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082933/

Besides Possession, Adjani was also in two other great horror films: Herzog's Nosferatu, Polanski's The Tenant.

ETA

Just noticed that I actually mentioned Possession in >48 KentonSem: above - took about a year, but I'm glad I finally caught up with it!

122DanMat
Edited: Feb 25, 2013, 2:43pm Top

Carlo Rambaldi made the creature in that one. The whole thing was online a few months ago. Either youtube or one of the others...I don't see it now though and it was a little scratchy.

Are you talking about the Mondo Vision release? They do a nice job on restoration. I think they were slated to do On the Silver Globe but I don't see it on the site anymore. Maybe a bump in sales from Possession will help speed things along...

123KentonSem
Edited: Feb 25, 2013, 2:53pm Top

>122 DanMat:

Yep - Rambaldi designed the thing.

There were several versions that could have appeared on YouTube, etc. This is a long film, though. Possession was actually available for many years on VHS as a horribly truncated (by nearly 40 minutes) mess. I watched a German disc which was properly formatted and with some nice extras. Apparently even that was really off in the color tones pulled off of the original print. This is supposed to be corrected in the new release by Mondo Vision:

http://www.mondo-vision.com/possession.php

124tros
Feb 26, 2013, 2:12pm Top


How about Blake's 7? Too bad it's not available in us dvd format.
Servalan anyone?

The Tenant is an old fav. A recent discovery is The Blood Spattered
Bride by Vicente Aranda, lots of sex and gore.

125KentonSem
Edited: Feb 27, 2013, 9:00am Top

>124 tros:

I'll look for The Blood Spattered Bride. A quick lookup tells me that it is an adaptation of Carmilla. That's subgenre unto itself.

126tros
Feb 27, 2013, 9:04am Top

124
Only a faint whiff of Carmilla remains in TBSB. For non-horror sex,
check out his Carmen and Mad Love.

127KentonSem
Edited: Mar 21, 2013, 12:07pm Top

The April 2013 issue of Sight & Sound has an eye-catching, green-tinted full page ad for a new dvd called THE STONE TAPE, A CLASSIC ORIGINAL BBC GHOST STORY written by Nigel Kneale. The blurbs say "one of the smartest and scariest ghost stories ever made" and "the ghost story other ghost stories are scared of!".

Anyone ever see it? I'm guessing it was made in the 1960's.

128RandyStafford
Mar 21, 2013, 1:30pm Top

>127 KentonSem: Actually, I got the dvd for Christmas.

It's not too bad. I believe it was made 1973 or thereabouts. (A scientific team is brought together to develop the next big thing in audio recording technology after tape.)

I certainly wouldn't call it the scariest ghost story ever filmed or even the best Kneale project ever filmed. (I'd probably pick The Changeling for that.) The ending is a bit predictable, but, as you would expect from Kneale, the apparatus of all the rationalizing science was well done.

Also got, for my recent birthday, a dvd of the 1972 BBC adaptation of M. R. James "A Warning to the Curious". That was enjoyable -- though I haven't read the story itself.

129KentonSem
Edited: Mar 21, 2013, 2:50pm Top

>128 RandyStafford:

Thanks for the info, Randy. Thought those blurbs sounded too good to be true. Sounds like THE STONE TAPE is an interesting concept, but I probably won't actively seek it out unless it becomes available on Netflix. I do have the BBC M.R. James set high on my want list, though.

130KentonSem
Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 9:23am Top

Just watched Marlon Brando in 1971's THE NIGHTCOMERS, directed by Michael Winner. This turns out to be an intriguing, psychosexual prequel to "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James. Nothing supernatural is intimated, but the unnatural bond between Peter Quint and the boy Miles is especially unnerving. The entire cast is excellent and the brutal climax is a shocker. You can stream it on Netflix . Recommended.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNPQvi1GwZk

The new BBC series RIPPER STREET is quite good for your black little Victorian heart, if you have one. It takes place in the East End a year after the Ripper murders. London looks suitably dirty and overcrowded. The show is very serious and violent. I'm not sure how accurate some of the crime-scene investigation techniques are, but the characters are great. It even shares some very welcome actors with A GAME OF THRONES.

http://www.bbcamerica.com/ripper-street/

Last year's PARANORMAN is a welcome animated surprise. It's kind of a not-too-sweet present for monster kids everywhere. With one of the finest gross-out sequences, ever. Also NF-streamable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zIjLA8NGLY

Fritz Lang's silent epics SIEGFRIED and KREIMHILD'S REVENGE (1924) remain jaw-droppers and have obviously been a huge influence on all films to follow, from Cecil B. DeMille to STAR WARS and beyond. Check out that dragon! The royal backstabbing feuds would be right at home on GAME OF THRONES. This film was broken into two long parts which can be streamed on Netflix or - at least for now - can be found in its entirety on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTXLvCPeAvU

131lucien
May 6, 2013, 11:53am Top

I watched Night of the Eagle / Burn, Witch, Burn, which turned out to be a decent adaptation of Leiber's Conjure Wife. The music is often over played but there are some nice tense scenes that make it worth a watch.

132KentonSem
May 7, 2013, 8:46am Top

>131 lucien:

I re-watched Night of the Eagle last week. It's a very good, very British version of Leiber's novel.The ending is rather abrupt, but it works wonders with its low budget. It makes a perfect double feature with 1957's Night of the Demon (aka Curse of the Demon) as both films feature disbelieving academic types who are supernaturally shown the error of their ways.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/50450/burn-witch-burn-night-of-the-eagle/

133housefulofpaper
May 7, 2013, 4:44pm Top

> 132

When I watched it, my impression was that Night of the Eagle was trying very hard not to be very British. I very much doubt that any institution like Hempnell Medical College existed in 1961 and I think I remember the actors using slight "transatlantic" accents. The game's only up when the film has to show the characters driving to Cornwall.

134KentonSem
May 7, 2013, 6:48pm Top

>133 housefulofpaper:

my impression was that Night of the Eagle was trying very hard not to be very British

They didn't do a very good job, at least to this U.S. viewer. It was filmed in Cornwall and Berkshire. I know what you mean about trying not to seem British, though. After all, it was scripted by Americans Matheson and Beaumont and based on the Leiber's novel in which Hempnell is modeled after Occidental College in Los Angeles. The main cast members come from France, Australia, the U.S and the U.K.

135housefulofpaper
May 7, 2013, 7:48pm Top

> 133

Sorry, badly worded and unintentionally grumpy-sounding post. I should have said that I agree, this is a very good film, and Peter Wyngarde is especially good in it...miles away from "Jason King" (not that I think Jason King's bad, but there's not a trace of camp in his performance here).

I should have clarified that I don't think an institution like Hempnell would have existed in the UK at the time.

136KentonSem
May 7, 2013, 10:36pm Top

>133 housefulofpaper:

Wyngarde is terrific as Norman, isn't he? Who is Jason King?

137housefulofpaper
May 8, 2013, 1:54pm Top

> 136

Jason King: early 70s adventure series featuring louche ladies man and novelist/adventurer (his real life mirrors the adventures of his creation "Mark Cain") Jason King. Camp off the scale.

Here's the opening titles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l357Ia7UUk

138KentonSem
May 9, 2013, 8:40am Top

>137 housefulofpaper:

Ha! That's great! Very 70's. Wyngarde's a lucky guy - looks like he's having cocktails with Ingrid Pitt!

139artturnerjr
May 16, 2013, 4:29pm Top

Picked up a copy of Conan: The Complete Quest (double-sided DVD with Conan the Barbarian on one side and Conan the Destroyer on the other; both films are in 2.35:1 widescreen) for 5 bucks at Wal-Mart last night. Woo-hoo! :)

140KentonSem
Jun 3, 2013, 4:22pm Top

Netflix has Michael Bassett's 2009 Solomon Kane listed for a July 2013 release. For better or worse, I've added it to my queue. Has anyone seen this film?

141housefulofpaper
Jun 3, 2013, 5:27pm Top

> 140

Yes. James Purefoy v. good and he was pleased to play a hero with a west country accent. Film handsome by the standards I usually apply (old British TV shows). East European locations I seem to remember. Not a big budget. Might look a bit "Syfy channel" compared to big budget Hollywood films. Good cast.

Sadly, script a mess. Also poor historical/theological knowledge. Film set 50+ years after Reformation and suppression of the monasteries. Near the start of the film Kane is holed up (in England) in a monastery! Also opines a theology very different to the puritanism that should define him as a character. Notable that no UK film critics picked up on this.

142KentonSem
Jun 3, 2013, 5:49pm Top

>141 housefulofpaper:

Damn. I wouldn't expect Robert E Howard-level writing from the film, but something a little less superficial than the recent Conan adaptation (which I finally watched) would be nice. Doesn't sound too promising. On the other hand, it might make for decent MST3K-style movie night fodder.

143KentonSem
Jun 18, 2013, 9:00am Top

Watched THE BAY (2012), which turned out to be another tedious "found footage" entry. DIARY OF THE DEAD or THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT it ain't. This time it's eco-horror. Ho-hum. And I like eco-horror films!

One film which DOES get the the "found footage" motif down in spades is {REC} 3: GENESIS (2012). Great cast, excellent ending. I' ll say no more, but here is the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlzGK2uy7Es

That lead actress is something else!

144tros
Jun 18, 2013, 11:24am Top


Just watched Cronos by del Toro, not bad for his first film.

145DeusExLibrus
Jun 27, 2013, 10:01pm Top

Just saw World War Z. Not impressed. I definitely want to read the book, and there were a few little things that were awesome but obviously lifted from the book.

146KentonSem
Jul 2, 2013, 4:01pm Top

After a recent read of Ramsey Campbell's fine early novel The Nameless, I discovered that it had been filmed in 1999 by director Jaume Balagueró. Unfortunately, the film removes the logic of the novel, leaving at bit of a mess. You can still stream it on Netflix if you're curious. It might seem unlikely, but I still think that Campbell's surreal prose could be translated successfully to the screen by the right creative team.

147housefulofpaper
Jul 3, 2013, 6:30pm Top

Peter Cushing thought The Blood Beast Terror was the worst film he ever made, but I enjoyed the digitally restored version just out on DVD in the UK. Not only has the colour balance been corrected (the last DVD release looked like two-strip Technicolor) and the image made much sharper, but some extra footage has been found and reinserted too.

148KentonSem
Edited: Jul 4, 2013, 12:18pm Top

>147 housefulofpaper:

Very nice, Andrew. I used to see The Blood Beast Terror now and then on late night TV back in the 70's. A monster moth-girl , as I recall. I've been slowly going through recent dvd/blu-ray editions of Hammer, Amicus, etc. Hope to get to this one eventually. You've reminded me that the latest issue of Sight & Sound reviews some new books about Cushing. I quick look at Amazon UK shows a ton! I'm actually most interested in a novel called Whitstable by Stephen Volk, which features the actor as one of the main characters.

http://tinyurl.com/pktwsnj

149housefulofpaper
Jul 4, 2013, 3:08pm Top

>148 KentonSem: A monster moth-girl

Yes, and played by Wanda Ventham (Benedict Cumberbatch's mother!)

150KentonSem
Jul 6, 2013, 9:59am Top

Anyone see director Ben Wheatley's 2012 film The Kill List? I went into it cold, and was blindsided. It belongs to a sub-genre that should be of interest to WT members. I'll say no more. Just watch it.

151housefulofpaper
Jul 6, 2013, 10:49am Top

> Not yet, but I watched A Field in England - Wheatley's latest - yesterday. I don't know about its availability in the States, but I thought it was great and hopefully you'll be able to see it soon.

152KentonSem
Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 5:22pm Top

>151 housefulofpaper:

You're lucky! A Field in England was also featured in the latest Sight & Sound. It's on my list. One of the stills from the film caught my eye - I thought it was a new Solomon Kane film at first! It sounds like it leans more toward Peter Weir territory, though. That article also pointed me to The Kill List. I was happy to find that Netflix had it available to stream. Wheatley seems to be a director to watch out for.

153housefulofpaper
Jul 6, 2013, 3:04pm Top

> 152

Ben Wheatley mentioned Peter Watkins' 1960s drama-documentary Culloden as an influence on the look of his film, and I guess also on the naturalism of the performances. Alejandro Jodorowsky is a name that critics have reached for when talking about the film's trippier elements.

154artturnerjr
Jul 11, 2013, 3:20pm Top

Recently watched Chronicle (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706593/), which is sort of a 21st century update of Brian De Palma's (and Stephen King's) Carrie with some nice Alan Moore-esque twists. I would have preferred an R-rated version (metahuman carnage just doesn't work as well when it's toned down for a PG-13 rating) but still found it to be an enjoyable film.

Up next: continuing the revisionist superhero theme with Unbreakable (which, incredibly, I still haven't seen).

155KentonSem
Jul 11, 2013, 5:27pm Top

>153 housefulofpaper:

Jodorowski has a new film out called The Dance of Reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYKx1JPmtKU

>154 artturnerjr:

I really enjoyed Chronicle too, Art. One of the better superhero movies I've seen in recent years. It reminded me a lot of Joe Hill's comic book The Cape.

156artturnerjr
Jul 11, 2013, 6:49pm Top

>155 KentonSem:

Both The Cape* and 20th Century Ghosts* (which appears to contain the short story upon which the comic is based) added to wishlist. Thanks for the tip. :)

*Touchstones not working

157artturnerjr
Jul 12, 2013, 4:16pm Top

Unbreakable (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217869/) is the quietest superhero movie I've ever seen; not such a bad thing, as it turns out. My rating: 8/10.

158KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:45am Top

For some sadistic reason, last night I watched the entirety of the 1975 Joan Collins cheese fondue The Devil Within Her. Obviously, someone thought "Hey - let's make ib>The Exorcist but with a possessed BABY!" And a demonic dwarf! Joan plays a stripper (really - the ultimate vanity production!) who spurns her nightclub-act dwarf partner when he feels up her tits. He doesn't take rejection lightly, so he curses her unborn child-to-be! Add the usually reliable Ralph Bates with a hideous 70's hairdo and the always sexy Caroline Munro (who eclipses "glamorous" Joan in every scene they have together) mix in some laughably inept murders by the killer baby (who at least does look suitably cross) and you get a whole lot of... belly laughs. Sadly, it's directed by Peter Sasdy (Taste the Blood of Dracula). Also with Donald Pleasence, who tries to keep a straight face. Good with lots of beer. Currently Netflix-streamable.

159housefulofpaper
Edited: Jul 14, 2013, 6:42pm Top

> 158

I just lost a whole post trying to delete an errant semi-colon! Oh well.

I'll just note that this film's also known as I don't Want to be Born and Jonathan Rigby ( in English Gothic: a century of horror cinema describes it as "jaw-droppingly atrocious".

A much better horror film set in '70's London and featuring Donald Pleasence is Gary Sherman's Death Line (like Jacques Tourneur with Night of/Curse of the Demon, Sherman came to the UK to make a quintessentially British (no, English) film, and absolutely nailed it).

Edited to add that you may know Death Line under its U.S. title, which was Raw Meat (classy!)

160housefulofpaper
Jul 15, 2013, 5:16pm Top

> 158, 159

And now I've watched I Don't Want to Be Born/The Devil Within Her (also known as Monster and Sharon's Baby - although as there's no character named Sharon in the film, I'm left wondering if it was supposed to be Satan's Baby...)

161KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:45am Top

>140 KentonSem:, 141

Solomon Kane. Visually interesting. Nice costuming. Script starts middling and gets plain silly. One Hollywood cliche after another. This is not Howard's Kane just as the most recent Conan is not Howard's famed barbarian. Kind of like putting out a new Bugs Bunny cartoon starring the Trix cereal rabbit.

162tros
Jul 21, 2013, 11:50pm Top


Black Sunday by Mario Bava a ultra-low budget b/w horror film, worth watching if only for Barbara Steele, available from NF streaming.

163KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:46am Top

>162 tros:

Black Sunday is one of Mario Bava's finest films. The highly stylized sets are beautiful, as is Steele. A dark fairy tale on film in gorgeous black & white.

My wife and I had an entire 3D Imax theater to ourselves to see Pacific Rim. Fine cast, powerful fx, cool monsters and even cooler giant robots. I thought the script gave discreet nods to Godzilla vs. Megagurius and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla amongst many others. Loved the couple of Ultraman-style zoom-in shots for some of the monster-punching and I could swear I saw a couple of man-in-a-suit inserts during the city battle scenes. Guillermo Del Toro is kind of like the giant robot of all monster kids these days - he can do no wrong!

164housefulofpaper
Jul 22, 2013, 6:06pm Top

The Thing from Another World (1951) - I'm surprised at myself for not having watched this before now. I'm sure I recorded it onto VHS years ago. Anyway, it was on a slightly clumsy 2-disc DVD set with a digitally restored version on one disc, and an unrestored version with a commentary by John Carpenter on the other, together with a colourised (that's how I spell it!) version which is about 3 minutes shorter.

165KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:46am Top

The Colour Out of Space. The movie! I bet it will be a color we've all seen before.

http://www.thecolouroutofspace.com/

166housefulofpaper
Jul 26, 2013, 5:28pm Top

> 165

This is a surprise. The rest of the internet doesn't seem to know about it yet. From the synopsis, this film (if it happens) plainly isn't going to be a straight adaptation. Might still be good, though.

I have to confess, I didn't think Richard Stanley had done anything since Dust Devil (I'd forgotten that he was sacked from the third Dr Moreau adaptation).

167KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:46am Top

I liked the director's cut of Dust Devil. Should be interesting to see what Stanley does with HPL. Kind of a difficult story to film.

168KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:46am Top

Watched the Criterion blu-ray of Repo Man. Gorgeous. I've never seen it look so good. One of the best films ever made.

169housefulofpaper
Jul 29, 2013, 6:13pm Top

Something a bit different: archive footage of Algernon Blackwood (for definite) and of M. R. James (perhaps).

Algernon Blackwood lived long enough to tell ghost stories on the BBC just after WWII. A 2005 documentary, "The Story of the Ghost Story" includes a few seconds of footage of him doing just that. The whole programme was uploaded to YouTube a while back, but as of now its been taken down and the user's account suspended for copyright violations. This is all the more annoying as two official clips of the programme, uploaded by BBC Worldwide three years ago, are still there. Neither of them include Blackwood. I don't know if these clips mean that people outside the UK can see the whole programme, somehow.

Anyway, I can describe the Blackwood footage:
Blackwood, seated on a leather(?) chair - not ornate - against a plain background. It's a head-and-shoulders shot. Black and white, of course. He's turned slightly away from the camera (making a more interesting, slightly diagonal shape in the frame), so his head is turned slightly to his left, so as to face the camera. He's wearing a striped three-piece suit and spotted bow-tie. He's gaunt and lined, as in the familiar photos. Initially, he's wearing dark sunglasses (I imagine the studio lights were pretty fierce), which he removes as the documentary voice-over introduces the clip. He tucks the glasses into his breast pocket. We see him nod in greeting to his viewers and start to talk but we don't hear the clip yet. Fade out, and fade in to a point where he has begun his story. He says "one day a friend of his said to Kier{?} 'now, these doctors aren't helping you at all. Why don't you, um, why don't you ask the spirits?'" And that's all we get.

The most recent M.R. James podcast "A Podcast to the Curious" - or rather, the connected website
www.mrjamespodcast.com
includes a link to some old newsreel footage at BritishPathe.com. I don't know if this can be viewed outside the UK, but it's headed "HRH The Duke of Connaught at Eton 1934". He was Queen Victoria's last surviving son, when he died in 1942 (thanks, Wikipedia). Anyway, as this worthy is shown round the grounds of Eton (quite a distance from the camera, sadly), one of the people guiding him round certainly looks like the older James, and appears to be wearing the formal gear that he has on in the portrait reproduced at this website: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2009/02/hauntography-the-ghost-stories-of-m-r-jame...

The Podcast to the Curious confirms that the 1934 date is right for it to be James.

170KentonSem
Jul 31, 2013, 9:01am Top

>169 housefulofpaper:

Thanks for that info and the link to "A Podcast to the Curious". Good stuff.

171KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:47am Top

I was unable to finish the 2013 remake of The Evil Dead, despite reading a few "not so bad" reviews from usually-reliable sources. Basically, they subtracted all of the fun and black humor found in the original, added some pretty young stars and plodded away. 1981's Evil Dead and its remake/sequel, Evil Dead II are the cinematic equivalent of a string of firecrackers all going off at the same time. Purely, delightfully off-the-charts insane. The new one just takes forever to get where we all know it's going, and then it connects-the-dots from one incredibly gruesome, soulless set-piece to another. Another victim of the torture-porn taint. Avoid.

As a chaser, for some reason I tried 1977's Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, The People that Time Forgot. An American International Picture! Despite laughably awful "dinosaurs", this is actually a rip-roaring, old-fashioned adventure. Sarah Douglas is really quite lovely, too. With Doug McClure! I enjoyed the heck out of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV1XRwYNzhI

172housefulofpaper
Edited: Aug 3, 2013, 5:06pm Top

> 172

Doug McClure only turns up at the end, doesn't he? - Like Charlton Heston in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

He's got much more screen time in The Land That Time Forgot (which I saw on it's original cinema release - that dates me!).

You might be interested to know that he British film industry claims these films for their own - Land is even featured in a 2013 "British Film Posters" wall calendar.

They were made by Amicus Productions (a British Film company, albeit one set up by two New Yorkers), as was At The Earth's Core.

Warlords of Atlantis/Warlords of the Deep was made by the same production team, but after Amicus had gone under (they also made Arabian Adventure, but without Doug McClure. It wouldn't have been right, seeing him in one of these films without his cigar and fancy weskit!).

Edited to add - The American-International connection is that they were co-producers. It looks like Amicus needed some US financing from around 1974 onwards (to be honest, the entire British film industry was on life support at that time).

173guido47
Aug 4, 2013, 12:54am Top

Slightly Off topic. Wait, this an off topic thread...

Can anyone recommend a "good" (eg. "Brazil" or "Blade Runner" quality film) on Steam Punk or say Victorian Urban Fantasy?

Guido.

174housefulofpaper
Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 6:32am Top

> 173

'"Brazil" or "Blade Runner" quality' - I can't think of anything that good, unfortunately.

There's Wild Wild West and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, of course. The 1976 Doctor Who Serial "The Talons of Weng Chiang", maybe...

A lot of earlier fantasy films take their cues from Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs - the Doug McClure films in my last post are perfect examples - but (naturally enough) they don't feel at all "Steam Punky". As far as the movies are concerned, I think Steam Punk has influenced Production Design far more than it has actual storytelling.

E.T.A. - once again, I've left half my train of thought unwritten. Taking their cues from the above-named writers, the films are set in the 19th/early 20th centuries. That's what I wanted to say.

175paradoxosalpha
Aug 4, 2013, 8:45am Top

> 173

Hugo was pretty sweet for that aesthetic. And it's meta-cinema.

176guido47
Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 10:04am Top

Thanks. Hugo did have the look. I'll have to look up "wild,wild west". I think I'm confusing it with a western? If it isn't John Ford or Clint, I am not that enamoured with westerns.

ETA. I had seen "wild, wild...". I remember it as a farce. The brass strider was OK but...
I will have a look at "THe league of...", I think I was put off by the rotten reviews it initially got.

178KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:47am Top

>173 guido47:

There is Jeunet's amazing 1995 City of Lost Children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9k9PDg4ja8

A fairly enjoyable 2004 Japanese anime called Steamboy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eAk6oNBSMU

Proyas' 1998 Dark City is highly underrated and contains steampunk elements.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrGSLMl1XFs

And what about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rLJMzUJf34

179housefulofpaper
Aug 4, 2013, 12:08pm Top

How about The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec (2010), directed by Luc Besson.

I think some of these suggestions are going to be too whimsical for guido47's tastes, though, to judge by the original Bladerunner/Brazil comparison.

180RandyStafford
Aug 4, 2013, 5:56pm Top

>179 housefulofpaper: It's definitely a humorous story with faux Victorian technology and a pterodactyl wandering about Paris.

Nothing too serious, certainly nothing in tone like Brazil or Blade Runner but worth a look if you want some a light sf, steampunky comedy.

181guido47
Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 10:54pm Top

I guido47, hereby announce that I DO LIKE whimsy. My Fan based Web site, is all about very whimsical characters, drawn by a quirky Aussi cartoonist :-)

Thus I own (and love) Belleville Rendez-Vous & howls moving castle on DVD.

Thanks Group, for your suggestions. I'll have to look more obliquely. To date I guess I was just looking for some sort of film version of Steam Punk/Urban Fantasy. A la. 'Lord of the Rings' adaptations.

ETA. Touchstones
ETA2. Just ordered Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec.

182guido47
Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 11:26pm Top

Supplimentary note. Just ordered "City of Lost Children" and "Dark City". Fortunately both are available in Aussi. I have seen 'Steam Boy', liked it, but not enough to buy it (today) :-)

183KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:48am Top

In Antiviral (2012), newbie director Brandon Cronenberg explores the body horror territory which was famously pioneered by his father in the 1980's. There are some interesting ideas here about celebrity worship, but I was surprised at how closely this film echoes Videodrome (1983) and some of his Pop's other films. Unfortunately, unlike those classics, the story carries little momentum. Can't really recommend it.

The Shuttered Room, based on the HPL fragment/Derleth story looks fine in a decent widescreen transfer. It's not a great horror film by any means, but it's worth a watch. The story contains some of the same elements which would go into Peckinpah's 1971 Straw Dogs. Carol Lynley (an underrated actress) as Sarah Whately (niece of ol' Zebulon) is pleasant eye candy but ends up being required to perform two moments of outrageous illogic in order to move the action along. Gig Young is pretty hilarious as an action hero (dig those crazy karate chops, man!). Surprise cast member Oliver Reed is in full-blown over-the-top mode as a local hooligan. Also with pretty dodgy accents for "Dunwich Island", off the coast of New England, and a decent, if incongruous, jazz score.

>35 KentonSem:/36 in http://www.librarything.com/topic/154972

I believe Rick Jones is part of the Oliver Reed-led crew of no-goodniks. The one wearing the hat!

184housefulofpaper
Aug 12, 2013, 2:50pm Top

The one wearing the hat!

Thanks!

185unorna
Aug 12, 2013, 7:07pm Top

Anyone seen Dagon , the Case of Charles Dexter Ward or The Whisperer in Darkness ?

186housefulofpaper
Aug 12, 2013, 8:42pm Top

> All three, but as it's 1:40 a.m. here I can't say any more for the moment. Have to sleep!

187KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:48am Top

>185 unorna:

There may well be newer short film versions of all three titles, but...

I remember Stuart Gordon's 2001 Dagon as being a lot of fun, provided that you are expecting a lot of gratuitous nudity with your dose of Lovecraft. It's far more of a version of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" than it is a take on the early HPL story "Dagon". I recall thinking that they did a great job at depicting the villagers as they (d)evolved into Deep Ones.

The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) is another winner from HPLHS productions. See >5 randalhoctor: here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/108394

The film makers took a few liberties which change the dramatic arc quite a bit, but even those are enjoyable.

As for The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, the only cinematic version I'm aware of is Roger Corman's 1963 The Haunted Palace, with Vincent Price and Lon Chaney, Jr. It's really not bad at all. Of course, it does have a screenplay by the great Charles Beaumont!

188unorna
Aug 13, 2013, 6:02am Top

Oh, I agree, Dagon had more affinity with Shadow over Innsmouth. That being said, however, I found it incredibly chilling, especially the Deep Ones!!!!

Thanks for the tip on Whisperer in Darkness I brought up a trailer on youtube, looks brilliant, they've even shot it in monochrome and it's available from Amazon YIPPEE.

I watched The Haunted Palace many years ago, it was good stuff (Charles Beaumont - 'nuff said!)
However, there is another version, saw it on cable, The Resurrected a.k.a Shatterbrain 1992, with Chris Sarandon as Charles Ward. Definitely worth a watch if you can locate it.

189housefulofpaper
Aug 13, 2013, 2:14pm Top

Oops - I was thinking of The Haunted Palace. I knew of The Resurrected/Shatterbrain, but I've never seen it.

I'm sure I've read somewhere that Dagon was planned, at one time, to be a bigger-budgeted feature. I think some pre-production artwork for the Deep Ones fed into the character designs for Davy Jones and his crew in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

190housefulofpaper
Aug 13, 2013, 2:45pm Top

Talking of Lovecraft adaptations, we haven't mentioned the two films directed for American International by Daniel Haller in the '60s.

Die, Monster, Die! aka Monster of Terror is a very loose adaptation of "The Colour out of Space". The action was moved to England, where it was filmed. Although Boris Karloff is in it, it's not, in all honesty, very good. US viewers, and anyone under 40, are even denied the pleasure of spotting British character actors in minor roles. (Karloff's best films from the end of his career, for my money, are The Sorcerers directed by Michael (Witchfinder General) Reeves, and Peter Bogdanovich's Targets).

The other Haller film is The Dunwich Horror. It was apparently notable in its day for the scene with Sandra Dee writhing around on a sacrificial alter (without the internet I'd only know her as a passing reference in Grease). I enjoyed much of this film, from the animated opening credits to Dean Stockwell's turn as a groovy Wilbur Whateley.

191paradoxosalpha
Aug 13, 2013, 3:13pm Top

> 190

I agree. Haller's Dunwich Horror is a lot of fun; Die, Monster, Die! isn't.

194KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:49am Top

Watched the 2012 doc A Band Called Death in which the three Hackney brothers begin a proto-punk band in 1970's Detroit. Of course, being black rockers in a band with that name gets them all kinds of grief, despite their excellent musicianship and quality songs. There is meaning behind the band's name. You can get their first and only album "For the Whole World to See" on Amazon. Really good stuff here - both the film and the music.

195artturnerjr
Aug 19, 2013, 11:08am Top

Finally watched There Will Be Blood (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469494/), a film I've had on DVD for years and never got around to checking out; it's pretty much as great as everyone says it is. Despicable characters doing despicable things to each other despicably = my kinda movie! :D

>168 KentonSem:

Fuckin' love Repo Man. I'm pretty sure that film's soundtrack was my introduction to the music of Black Flag, and was therefore a pretty epochal cultural milestone for me.

>174 housefulofpaper: & 176

I too have avoided the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film up until now (although I adore the comics series (http://www.librarything.com/series/The+League+of+Extraordinary+Gentlemen)) because of shitty reviews, but perhaps I'll break down and give it a go now.

196paradoxosalpha
Aug 19, 2013, 12:49pm Top

> 195

The League movie really was awful. Moore's dislike of it doesn't count, because he didn't even like the movie they made out of V for Vendetta. But League was just hard-to-watch bad for anyone who likes the comics. Squandered a good cast, too.

197RandyStafford
Aug 19, 2013, 10:26pm Top

>195 artturnerjr: Some literary trivia regarding There Will Be Blood is that the Daniel Day Lewis character in supposedly based on Larry Niven's grandfather.

198KentonSem
Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 8:49am Top

After reading a positive review of the latest James Bond flick Skyfall (2012) in Video Watchdog, I had hopes that it would be worthwhile. Unfortunately, it's really not. The best parts are references to earlier Bond iconography, such as the Walther PPK and the venerable Aston Martin (which is featured in the best scene in the film), and the manner in which M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny are set up for future installments in the franchise. The action scenes are mostly pathetic cliches in which large numbers of faceless, dialog-less bad guys spray tidal waves of automatic weapons-fire without hitting anyone, heroes outrun fiery explosions (and runaway, crashing trains that do not even break apart), and characters with murderous vendettas who do not off the targets of their rage during the first 9 wide-open chances that they have to do so, only to fail miserably on the 10th. The "old spy tech vs. new spy tech" theme gets old quickly, and the double entendres are wanting. Uber-hacker computer expert Q makes a stupid mistake that would make a Computer Security 101 student blush. And on and on...

To be fair, a couple of the main characters do actually get hit by bullets, and it's nice to see Bond with a physical limitation, as he sometimes experiences in the novels. He also doesn't always win a fight and often wins out by pure luck, which is another welcome character-quirk from the books. Javier Bardem creates a somewhat interesting, effete-yet-menacing villain, but he he simply gets boring after a while and doesn't attain the operatic qualities of a Goldfinger or a Blofeld. He's all about 'splosions. Dennis Craig is fine as Bond.

I really enjoy Fleming's novels, which I've been reading in series. I'm up to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. That should put JB back to right for me.

199paradoxosalpha
Aug 20, 2013, 10:58am Top

> 198

I can't remember whether you said you'd read any of the Laundry books yet, but the second one (The Jennifer Morgue) is the Bond homage, hilariously done. It's more about the movies than the books, but both are addressed. One of the things I learned indirectly from Stross's notes there is that in the 21st century Doctor Who is James Bond, inasmuch as the Doctor Who Xmas specials now occupy the broadcasting/ritual viewing niche formerly occupied by the Bond films in English television.

200KentonSem
Aug 20, 2013, 11:14am Top

>199 paradoxosalpha:

I didn't much enjoy (or more likely wasn't in the mood for) The Atrocity Archives and did not finish it, but I've been thinking about giving it a second chance. Hopefully that will work out and I'll go on to The Jennifer Morgue!

201DanMat
Edited: Aug 22, 2013, 2:38pm Top

>198 KentonSem:

Yes, Skyfall was crap.

I was hoping The Master was going to be as good as There Will Be Blood. Not so much. Interestingly Paul Dano was not orignally cast in that role, he had a supporting part. Daniel Day Lewis and Dano have some great chemistry, I can't really imagine another actor quite playing off him as well.

202housefulofpaper
Aug 24, 2013, 11:46am Top

I've got hold of a couple of DVDs from Spain. The films are commercially unavailable in the UK.

Firstly, the recently-discussed The Shuttered Room. Removing any trace of supernaturalism or Lovecraftian cosmicism from the story, and turning it into a proto-Straw Dogs, lessens it in my eyes, but it's a good-looking film. It's impossible to get around the fact that Gig Young is surely too old for the main role (a point the film tries to deal with by way of an unkind line of dialogue from Oliver Reed's character).

One slight drawback with the disc is that I can't play the original soundtrack without Castilian subtitles.

The film was of course shot in the UK, although set in New England. Here's a link to a website about the mill that's the main location, and which was burnt down for real, for the final scene:

http://www.norfolkmills.co.uk/Watermills/hardingham.html

The second DVD is The Night Stalker - the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker is available in the UK, but not so the two TV Movies, and they haven't been screened on British TV for 20 years. On this disc, I can turn off the subtitles.

The two discs coincidentally form a Carol Lynley double-bill.

203KentonSem
Edited: Aug 24, 2013, 1:59pm Top

>202 housefulofpaper:

The original 1972 The Night Stalker remains a great film. I remember its broadcast premiere, when it just blew everyone out of their socks. It was truly groundbreaking in soooo many ways. I still watch it every once in a while. The sequel The Night Strangler is not as good but is still a lot of fun, as is the TV series. For the latter, the monster-of-the-week premise wears thin quickly, which is why it ran out of gas so soon.

I just watched American Mary (2012) directed by real-life Weird Sisters Jen & Sylvia Soska. Even though it's pretty dumb, I still had a good time watching it simply because for all its cutting-edge airs, it's really about 20 years out-of-date and kept reminding of early 1990's "modern primitive" novels like Kathe Koja's Skin or the medical horrors of Michael Blumlein. I think J.G. Ballard's Crash was an influence, too. Not that the film is up to any of those written works quality wise. In it, we meet bankrupt medical school dropout / fetish model Mary, who finds extra income as an underground body surgeon to all manner of trendy young freaks. Things begin to truly spin out of control when she is drugged and raped. Katherine Isabelle (the werewolf girl in Ginger Snaps) is likeable enough as Mary, but the rest is a waste.

204KentonSem
Aug 28, 2013, 9:51am Top

Since the first disc of Boardwalk Empire: Season 3 didn't arrive in the mail when it was supposed to, I watched Rolling Thunder instead. This 1977 film comes up on a lot of "cult classics" lists. It easy to see why, from returning Vietnam Vet POW hero William Devane getting his hand shoved into a sink disposal to the scene-stealing menace of top-notch character actor Luke Askew. What surprises, however, is that the film doesn't follow the typical revenge-film plot trajectory, instead taking time to meander into some interesting side tributaries, thanks to the script by Paul (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, etc.) Schrader. The characters are mostly very well-developed, too. Also with a very young Tommy Lee Jones.

This topic was continued by Off Topic - Film/TV (2).

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