Off Topic - Film/TV (2)

É uma continuação do tópico Off Topic - Film/TV.

DiscussãoThe Weird Tradition

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Off Topic - Film/TV (2)

Set 4, 2013, 6:47 pm

200 posts is about the limit for a manageable thread, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

I've got a region 2 DVD of The Night Strangler from Spain. I wondered if Dr Richard Malcolm's mummified family, and that whole 19th-century underground city, wasn't an influence on Mike Mignola's work in e.g. "Hellboy"?

Set 4, 2013, 8:11 pm

I just watched the DVD of "Die Farbe" which I bought from the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society at NecronomiCon 2013. Pretty good! This is a version of The Colour Out of Space directed in Germany by Huan Vu. It is in German with subtitles. The subtitles are a bit small but I could follow them by concentrating.

This version is set in rural Germany. IMDB says the 'Swabian-Franconian Forest' and it is just as creepy as rural Massachusetts. The Gardners are named Gärtener and Ammi Pierce is named Armin Pierske. In other words, it is a close adaptation retaining the sounds of the names as well as most plot points.

Possible spoiler at the end of this post regarding the visual representation of The Colour.

The scene with the final dissolution of the Gärteners is handled convincingly.

The story is set before and just after World War II. It is amusing when American soldiers occupying the region notice something odd in the well. What do American soldiers do with anything unfamiliar? Hand grenades! Bad idea. Don't drink the water.

The film is in black and white, which allows The Colour to be represented neatly as a low-saturation but bright violet (the making-of feature says pink).

Set 11, 2013, 1:59 pm

The 1961 feature Night Tide is currently streaming on NetFlix, and it's worth watching. The cast is strong, with a young Dennis Hopper as the naive lead and Linda Lawson as an aquatic and possibly non-human femme fatale.

Occultist Marjorie Cameron (the erstwhile "Scarlet Woman" to Thelemite rocket scientist Jack Parsons) plays herself (credited as "Water Witch") and gives Hopper's character a long tarot reading. There's also a cool dream sequence.

Set 11, 2013, 2:29 pm

>3 paradoxosalpha:

I watched Night Tide a few weeks ago via NF streaming. Very enjoyable and low key. I liked the seaside locations and Hopper is really good. Still developing as an actor, but you can tell that an unusual talent is there.

Not so good is Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem (2013), which is apparently his paean to 1960's/1970's devil flicks. Sheri Moon Zombie stars as a radio DJ who plays a supernaturally-enhanced demo record on her home turntable, which leads to all manner of satanic complications. I think she's an interesting actress (great in The Devil's Rejects), but she can't seem to make anything out of this role. The whole film is pretty uninvolving, but at least Ken Foree and Bruce Davison are given parts. R. Zombie also seems to be pulling out all the stops to invoke Ken Russell-like set pieces at the end, but they just look forced and silly (thanks to me ol' pal Barney for pointing this out!).

Even worse was Post Tenebras Lux (2012), which, despite an intriguing and enigmatic first 20 minutes, oh so slowly devolves into incoherence and ennui.

Editado: Set 18, 2013, 2:13 pm

Rewatched what is probably my favorite 90s horror movie, the wonderfully cartoonish exploitation flick homage From Dusk Till Dawn (, last night. Onto the sequels next, I suppose, although I, um, have not heard positive things. :/

Editado: Set 19, 2013, 2:36 pm

The 2012 black and white Spanish silent film Blancanieves, which retells the Snow White tale by mixing bullfighting in with the dwarfs, is a disappointment. It's too self-conscious in its attempt to emulate a vintage silent. It simply makes me want to go back and revisit any number or genuinely amazing films of the early twentieth century.

The 2006 German film Requiem is compelling and disturbing as it tells the story of a young woman who is eventually killed as the result of a dozen or so exorcisms to relieve her of "demons" which are obviously symptoms of poorly-diagnosed epilepsy or schizophrenia. The early 70's setting is spot-on, from the clothing, hairstyles and overall look, to the perfect soundtrack which includes Krautrock greats Amon Düül and a surprising Deep Purple selection. The actress Sandra Hüller, as the "possessed" Michaela, gives a stunning performance. She's got Carrie-era Sissy Spacek's plain-yet-pretty-girl looks down in spades, while retaining the all-important shadings of vulnerability which make the character work. The film doesn't dwell on the exorcism part and is really low-key but the horror of the situation comes through loud and clear. Includes pathetic parents and despicable priests. "Based upon true events". Currently available on NF streaming.

Editado: Set 27, 2013, 3:59 pm

Watched the 2012 documentary Room 237, in which several overly-obsessed fans of Kubrick's The Shining detail their conspiracy-level interpretations of the film. Supposed Kubrickian hidden agendas include the Holocaust, the genocide of the American Indian and the faked moon landing (Stanley was actually tapped to film the thing, you know). It sounds like a great idea, but the crackpots get tiresome pretty quickly. I watched The Shining last year for the first time since I originally saw it in 1980 as an unimpressed Stephen King fan. I loved it the second time around. Indeed, there is more to the film than meets the eye if you approach the narrative and the technical aspects with a level head. This doc at least makes me want to watch it again. On blu-ray.

Up next: Francis Ford Coppola's 2011 vampire flick Twixt. With Bruce Dern!

Set 30, 2013, 9:34 am

Twixt turns out to be a lot of fun. Much more enjoyable than most reviews hold it out to be. Val Kilmer plays a nearly washed-up horror writer who stumbles onto a horrific mystery in a small town. With the dream-ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, some Lynchian small-town surrealism and Bruce Dern as wanna-be horror writer and town sherriff Bobby LaGrange! It's not a "big" horror movie, as was the director's take on Dracula, but it has some good moments. It helps if you expect more of a dark fairy tale than a splatterfest. Originally intended for 3D, it still looks pretty amazing without it.

Set 30, 2013, 2:13 pm

>8 KentonSem:

Nice to hear that Coppola's doing good work again. From the time he did The Godfather until the time he did Apocalypse Now he was, imho, the greatest filmmaker on the planet, but he hasn't done a lot of compelling work since.

Editado: Out 8, 2013, 10:06 am

Put this on your must-see list: Sauna, a 2008 Finnish film directed by Antti-Jussi Annila. At the close of the 16th century, a cartographer and his war-vet brother accompany three Russian soldiers to map out new borders after a 25-year war. What they find in the wilderness is stunning supernatural terror. I was reminded of Algernon Blackwood at points. I'd love to hear thoughts from other WT members. Don't watch the trailer. Just go into it blind. Thanks to Laird Barron for recommending this film.

Out 8, 2013, 7:25 pm

> 10
I agree, Sauna is pretty entertaining.

Editado: Out 14, 2013, 12:36 pm

The Objective (2008) directed by Daniel Myrick sounds promising. A CIA agent heads a small special-ops squad into Afghanistan in search of a mysterious cleric who may be the key to off-the-scale radiation readings picked up by a spy satellite. A supernatural entity actually turns out to be the cause. Unfortunately, the script does not flesh out the characters and the acting by the leads is mostly pretty wooden. At no point did I accept purty boy Jonas Ball as the haunted CIA leader. There are a couple of good sequences in which the overwhelming power of the entity is gotten across, and the rough-looking Moroccan locations do provide an air of authenticity that the story doesn't quite live up to. A disappointment.

Up next is Tragic Ceremony, a 1972 satanic cult flick that I haven't seen before! Might make it double feature with 1971's great Brotherhood of Satan!

Out 14, 2013, 1:40 pm

Can't stop thinking about Terrence Malick's cosmic The Tree of Life ( since watching it for the first time a few days ago. Ever see a movie where you wanted to stop strangers in the street and insist they see it? Yeah, it's one of those. Required viewing for Douglas Trumbull's magnificent special effects work alone.

Editado: Out 16, 2013, 2:25 pm

I like the Paranormal Activity series for its overlying story arc and occasionally adept scares, although the "found footage" trope becomes idiotic as often as it provides a genuinely spooky, voyeuristic aspect. The latest, Paranormal Activity 4 continues the somewhat intriguing murderous-witch-coven story. The series is a minor one in horror cinema, but it can be an enjoyable time-waster. Streaming on Netflix.

Out 18, 2013, 10:18 am

1972's Tragic Ceremony unsuccessfully tries to straddle the gothic and the contemporary in a tale blending devil worship and hippies. This Italian film features American starlet Camille (I Spit on Your Grave) Keaton as she wanders somnambulantly through a boring, badly-lit production. A group of hippies have car trouble just outside of a large castle-like structure. It turns out that their hosts are actually satanists who are hosting a ceremony that very evening. It's interesting that the satanists are mostly older folks ( as in Rosemary's Baby and The Brotherhood of Satan) and the hippies are the innocent victims. Keaton does a very nice gothic scene as she wanders the windblown castle complete with flowing white nightgown and dripping candleabra, and there are some primitive extreme gore fx by soon-to-be-famous Carlo Rambaldi. The trouble is that the film mostly consists of scene after scene of characters doing nothing more than smoking and engaging in inane conversation. Hell is ennui! Can't recommend this one.

Out 30, 2013, 9:43 am

The 2008 Belgian film Left Bank is a pretty engrossing tale of paganism and the Samhain holiday that gets let down by a "so what?" ending.

1971's The House That Dripped Blood is an entertaining but mostly tame anthology of Robert Bloch stories. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing each get a segment, although Lee's "Sweets to the Sweet" is the best tale in the bunch. With Ingrid Pitt showing a lot cleavage.

2013's Frankenstein's Army features a group or Russian soldiers encountering many differently-assembled monstrosities in a secret lab located in the German wilderness. The monsters are vaguely steampunk in design and are eye-catching and menacing, but why the film-makers had to go for the "found footage" trope in this instance is beyond me. It ruins the film.

Out 30, 2013, 7:30 pm

Last year the BFI issued all their M R James adaptations (plus Dicken's "The Signalman" and two original screenplays from the '70s). Included as extras were three stories done as readings by Christopher Lee in 2000 (set in a Cambridge college in the early part of the last century, Lee was - despite the on-screen credit - not playing James but the narrator to whom the things he recounts actually happened (or they happened to friends).

As a sort of appendix, they have now issued "Classic Ghost Stories": five abridgements of "The Mezzotint", "The Ash-Tree", "Wailing Well", "Oh, Whistle, and I'll come to you, My Lad", and "The Rose Garden" - running time 15 minutes apiece - from 1986. Robert Powell is the reader, again a James/narrator figure in rather 1890s costume and studio set. Powell reads to camera. There are brief "tableau" of certain scenes played out by non-speaking actors. We also see the mezzotint in various stages of its unfolding tale, and a painting of the post in the Rose Garden. The series is shot on videotape.

As extras, there are three 11-minute versions of "The Mezzotint" "A School Story" and "The Diary of Mr Poynter". These came, apparently, from a series for children's television with the umbrella title "Spine Chillers". There was a long-running series called "Jackanory" in which actors would read a children's book in five 10 or 15 minute segments, stripped across the week Mon-Fri. Spine Chillers was a 1980 spin-off.

So, again it's a reading to camera. This time the James stand-in is Michael Bryant, in evening dress and Victorian side-whiskers, against a backdrop of book-case and aspidistra plant. Although for children, this is chillier than the Robert Powell series, with Bryant ending his readings as haunted as his Rev. Justin Somerton in the BBC's version of "The Treasure of Abbot Thomas". It's shot on 16mm film.

As an extra, Test Card "F" and an uninterrupted 50Hz tone can be produced indefinitely. for those who want to calibrate their TV's sound and picture, or are nostalgic for when BBC programming would give way to this in the afternoon, I suppose.

Editado: Out 31, 2013, 1:27 pm

> 17

Did you purchase a DVD copy, or perhaps screen via Netflix? Assume it's a multi-disc set, given your description.

Christopher Lee has a fabulous voice and his modulation would lend itself to a James reading. You didn't mention whether you found it effective, or did it perhaps disappoint? I'm not familiar with Robert Powell or Michael Bryant.

Out 31, 2013, 5:38 pm

> 18

I've got the DVDs. I don't have Netflix.

Actually, the publication history is a bit complicated. Leaving aside the releases of full dramatisations of "Oh, Whistle"... (1968), "A Warning to the Curious" (1972) and "The Signalman" (1976) as single discs around 2001, "Oh Whistle"... (1968 and 2010 versions) and all the "Ghost Stories for Christmas" - including the two made in 2005 and 2006 - were released on 5 separate discs or one multi-disc set, last year. The Christopher Lee readings were included as extras. Actually, four were made but for some reason only three were included. I gather it was an issue with rights to music on the soundtrack that prevented the fourth being used (a reading of "The Ash Tree").

A further disc with the Powell and Bryant readings came out this month, and the multi-disc set has been reissued with a different cover, to include this sixth disc.

None of the readings disappoint. Christopher Lee has the benefit of the most sumptuous setting (a real location rather than studio, and shot on videotape that's been given a "filmic" look rather than Powell's raw 80's videotape or Bryant's rather washed-out and soft-image 16mm film; and he also has the longest running times - 30 minutes per story against 14 (Powell) or 11 (Bryant) - so the abridgement is much less brutal. He clearly also prepared for the role as a proper acting job. The booklet(s) included with the DVDs point out such touches as the authentic Danish accents (in "Number 13") and accurate Edwardian pronunciation of golf ("goff", in "A Warning to the Curious").

Also, although he's not actually playing M R James, the booklet does give the fascinating (to me, at any rate) snippet of information that Lee met him, or rather was interviewed by him, when Lee sat the scholarship exam for Eton (this was in 1935 - in the event, the booklet says, Lee went to Wellington College).

There are - for the moment, at least - what I take to be off-air VHS recordings of the Lee and Powell series on YouTube, so you don't need to rely on my judgement of their relative merits. Unfortunately I couldn't find any clips of the Michael Bryant readings (but I did find what appears to be a fearsome performance from a 1972 BBC "Duchess of Malfi").

Editado: Nov 1, 2013, 9:27 am

Night of Dark Shadows got the short shrift from fans and critics alike when it was released in 1971 not long after its vampire-ridden twin House of Dark Shadows (1970), despite the fact that it too starred a number of cast members from the TV show, including David Selby as TV heartthrob Quentin Collins. While "Night" features witches, reincarnation, possession, homicidal mania, a debut performance by a gorgeous young Kate Jackson and a really fine gothic air, it does not feature werewolves (sorry, Quentin fans), vampires or Barnabas Collins. On this recent viewing, however, I'm thinking that "Night" might actually be the better film of the two. Of course, neither is a masterpiece to begin with, but fans should find a place in their hearts for both. Directed by Dan Curtis. The dvd transfer is gorgeous.

Habit is the directorial debut of Larry Fessenden, who also stars, writes and edits. Filmed on the streets and in the grungy apartments of 1995 NYC, the film would be worth it simply for being a historical artifact if the story wasn't so compelling, too. It's kind of like a low-rent, very loose re-imagining of Dracula. Fessenden give a truly fearless performance. I really think he might be the finest horror director working today (you'll also find him acting in a lot of films, too). Also look for The Wendigo (2001) and The Last Winter (2006).

Nov 1, 2013, 3:49 pm

>19 housefulofpaper:

Really appreciate the detail on the DVD releases. Won't be ordering them soon but it helps avoid confusion knowing of all the overlap between releases.

And how unexpected to learn Prof James was one of Lee's examiners! Wonder if he ever heard one of James's fireside chats, and adapted a mannerism or two into his performance.

Nov 1, 2013, 4:32 pm

> 21

You're very welcome.

As to whether Lee ever heard M. R. James tell one of his stories, the answer must be that he didn't: he didn't go to Eton, and James died the year after they met. However - here's an extract from Jonathan Rigby's article in the booklet:

there {Wellington College}he was treated to several stories by James' contemporary E. F. Benson. "He was a very charming and scholarly man", observed Lee "and held that large hall of schoolboys absolutely entralled with his words. Of all the stories, "The Room in the Tower" remains most vivid, and I can still hear his quiet voice chilling the blood of every single person in that room - I don't think anyone, masters or pupils, slept a wink that night!"

So maybe Christopher Lee drew on E. F. Benson's readings, and who knows the extent of M. R. James's influence on those?

Editado: Nov 4, 2013, 2:56 pm

Escape from Tomorrow (2013) has gained a certain amount of notoriety because it was mostly shot at Disney World on iPhones without Disney's knowledge or consent. The black and white is gorgeous and the surreal, sinister-Disney aspect is really well done (although it's hardly a fresh concept). Overall, however, it's kind of muddled. Worth one watch just to see Disney World in b&w.

This Is the End (2013) is truly idiotic with a bunch of trendy young actors, including Seth Rogen and James Franco, facing the end of the world. Well, the Rapture, actually. There are a few funny gags and a nicely rendered cgi demon, but you probably have better uses for your brain.

Pain & Gain (2013) with Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Ed Harris is a riveting true crime tale that is darkly, hilariously twisted. This actually happened! Don't let the fact that Michael Bay directed it deter you. The casting is perfect - watch and marvel.

Nov 4, 2013, 3:50 pm

The Woman in Black is better than I expected, atmospheric, worth watching.

Nov 6, 2013, 9:30 am

>24 tros:

I enjoyed The Woman in Black very much. It was nice to see what me be classified as an "old-fashioned ghost story" crafted so well . It was moody and scary. Another success for the reincarnation of Hammer Films.

Editado: Nov 6, 2013, 2:23 pm

Recently picked up the Criterion blu-ray release of The Uninvited (1944) with Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey and the eyes of Gail Russell. I'd never watched the entire thing before, despite it's well-deserved reputation as one of the greatest of all cinematic haunted house tales. Turns out I can't recommend it enough. The film is sophisticated, humorous and scary, with least a couple of interesting then-taboos being broached for good measure. It also looks gorgeous. Up until this entry, haunted houses in film always had some kind of rational explanation for events. Here, the irrational wins out and provides not only a logical ending, but a satisfying one at that.

Editado: Nov 7, 2013, 12:23 pm

Jugface (2013) is a fairly entertaining horror story focusing on a backwoods Tennessee clan that worships "the pit" and that which lies within it. The sacrificial lamb storyline somewhat echoes "The Lottery". Starring actor/director Larry Fessenden, Sean Young and a young actress named Lauren Ashley Carter, who resembles a cross between Bette Davis and Barbara Steele.

Editado: Maio 27, 2015, 3:11 pm

I couldn't finish Stoker (2013), a wannabe art-house updating of Hitchcock's great Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Uggh.

Pleasantly surprising, however, was Psycho II (1983). The plot can't quite keep up with its own twists and turns by the end, but Anthony Perkins and Meg Tilly are both great in the lead roles and the placing of Norman as the target of a Gaslight-style scenario that backfires was a pretty inspired idea. Nowhere near the same league as the original, of course, but not bad at all!


Re-watched Shadow of a Doubt and really liked it. Go figure.

Nov 21, 2013, 9:58 am

Now I want to screen a Hitchcock. Or perhaps Gaslight, one of my early discoveries and it's been years since I last watched it.

Nov 21, 2013, 2:00 pm

> 29

By coincidence, I've bought the original version of Gaslight, starring Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard, and directed by Thorold Dickinson, today.

Nov 22, 2013, 8:39 am

While we're on the subject of Hitchcock, take a look at these photos from a 1956 Halloween party he threw in NYC:

The butler looks liked he should have been hosting Creatures Features on a local TV station!

Editado: Nov 22, 2013, 10:21 am

>30 housefulofpaper:

Original version? Didn't know of that, I've always loved the Ingrid Bergman / Claude Raines version. Does the term gaslighting stem from the original, do you know?

>31 KentonSem:

Drat: images blocked at work. Will have to try again from home.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:52 pm

> 32 It wasn't a term I was familiar with, but Wikipedia says it does originate with the film (or, to be strictly accurate, the original Patrick Hamilton play).

Nov 22, 2013, 4:14 pm

And it was Charles Boyer, of course, not Claude Raines in the 1944 Cukor version. I should know better than to pretend I have a reliable memory.

Editado: Fev 5, 2014, 12:55 pm

I finally watched John Carpenter's 1987 Prince of Darkness. Not even Donald Pleasence can save it, but it's enjoyable on the level of kitsch. The script consists of Idiot's Guide to Physics-style mumblings ineptly combined with Theology 101 term papers to provide satanic non-scares. The 1980's fashions are truly awful even for the 1980's, and provide the true horror here. The high points of the film are Alice Cooper as a homicidal street person, John Carpenter's droning, eerie synth score and a scene in which Satan is being dragged out of a mirror world.

I remember master magician Ricky Jay from numerous talk show appearances in the 1970's. He was the guy who looked like a rock star and did feats of mind-blowing prestidigitation. The new documentary Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is fantastic and I heartily recommend it to WT members. We're not talking David Copperfield-level theatrics here, but the much more personal magic of card tricks and sleight-of-hand. The history of magic heavily permeates this film. I kept thinking of Walter B. Gibson's "how to" books, or the Coleman Collins from Peter Straub's novel Shadowland. See Ricky Jay perform little miracles!

Watched 10 minutes of 2012's Dario Argento's Dracula and, already numbed by that point, switched to the same year's The Scapegoat, a twisted little doppelganger film based on a Daphne Du Maurier novel. It's never comes close to attaining the same levels of excellence as the 1973 Roeg / Du Maurier classic Don't Look Now but it's a nicely twisted little tale, just the same. Kind of like Downton Abbey viewed through a much darker lens.

Fev 4, 2014, 10:13 am

>and that whole 19th-century underground city

Thats actually the Seattle Underground:

Fev 28, 2014, 12:43 pm

I like most of director J.T. Petty's work very much. Films like Soft for Digging and The Burrowers are great, and are highly recommended to WT members. I'm saddened to report, however, that his new comedy Hellbenders is an unfortunate misfire. It's pretty much a nonsensical mishmash of clashing religious mythologies, decent makeup fx and not-so-decent CGI. Even so, if someone were to make a video clip consisting of all of the outrageous, profanity-laden blasphemes spouted by Clancy Brown in the role of Father Angus, I'd watch it over and over.

Mar 2, 2014, 6:30 pm

Three literary adaptations were released on one disc* by the British Film Institute (BFI) last autumn, tying in with their Gothic season.

The 'main feature' is Leslie Megahey's 1979 TV film of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's early story 'Schalcken the Painter'. This was long-awaited, never having been commercially available before, and not repeated on UK television for over 30 years (a fuzzy VHS copy had made its way onto YouTube fairly recently, which was where I first saw it).

It was made for BBC's Omnibus arts programme, which was generally a series of one-off 'straight' documentaries. The focus is almost as much on recreating 17th Dutch interiors on film as on telling the story. This is not a criticism, but be warned that it moves at a very stately pace.

There are two 'supporting features' in the shape of two short films which received theatrical release, back in the days when there would indeed be a programme of main feature and supporting feature(s).

The first is 'The Pit', a 1962 adaptation of The Pit and the Pendulum'. It was apparently financed by 'The British Film Institute Experimental Film Fund'. There's no dialogue but plenty of expressionistic black and white cinematography, some shouting, and electronic sound effects. Somehow, despite all this experimentation every frame virtually shouts "1962". It was produced and directed by Edward Abraham - who scripted 'The Monster Club' nearly 20 years later.

The third film is 'The Pledge' from 1981. This is actually an adaptation of Lord Dunsany's story 'The Highwayman'. The director, Digby Rumsey, had made two earlier Dunsany film adaptations (form the information on IMDB, they sound fairly modest affairs). This one boasts some impressive models of the hanged man in various states of decay, complementarily bleak landscapes (it was shot in the Cambrian mountains), and a Michael Nyman score (possibly it's not just Nyman's score that conjures up thoughts of Peter Greenaway's early films, since the DVD booklet reveals that Greenaway was one of the picture editors).

Strangely, 'The Pledge' was the support for 'Porky's', on that film's first UK release.

* it's actually dual-format: the same content on a DVD and on a Blu-ray disc.

Editado: Mar 3, 2014, 12:51 pm

>38 housefulofpaper:

Thanks for that info. I'm going to have to break down and order some of these BFI releases - including the M.R. James adaptations - from Amazon UK one of these days. I was recently reading about Schalcken the Painter in Sight & Sound magazine (they reviewed the entire DVD set). Might be a really interesting vampire tale. I'd also like to read the original tale by Le Fanu.

Mar 3, 2014, 12:44 pm

> 39

I can recommend Le Fanu's ghost stories. M. R. James praised him as his favourite ghost story writer. On top of that, his gothic novels (specifically Uncle Silas and The Wyvern Mystery have been identified as (ahem) "unacknowledged" influences on Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

You might also want to look into Peter Greenaway's films from the late '70s and the '80s. They are in the spirit of the experimental SF and Fantasy that characterised Michael Moorcock's editorship of New Worlds Magazine (I'd probably single out the shorts 'Water Wrackets' and 'A Walk Through H', and the three-hour 'The Falls').

Editado: Mar 3, 2014, 2:00 pm

>40 housefulofpaper:

I've always liked "Carmilla" very much (hmmm... maybe a movie marathon of film adaptations of that tale is due), and not long ago, a pal gifted me with a copy of Wylder's Hand. I don't have a collection of Le Fanu's tales, though.

Mar 9, 2014, 5:34 pm

Recently checked out Ralph Bakshi's animated post-apocalyptic fantasy film Wizards ( via YouTube. More than a little dated now (you can almost smell the pot smoke and patchouli oil as you're viewing), I still found it to be a diverting entertainment, particularly late in the evening after a couple beers.

Here's the YouTube link:

Mar 10, 2014, 9:25 am

>42 artturnerjr:

I fondly recall Wizards as a midnight movie staple during the pre-home video years.

Just Netflix-streamed Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, a whimsical fantasy adventure set the very early part of the 20th century. Featuring a determined heroine, a personable pterodactyl, living mummies and many wonderfully idiosyncratic characters. I was reminded at times of the illustrations of Moebius, various silent films and the books of Tim Powers. Good stuff!

Editado: Mar 18, 2014, 10:37 am

I could always listen to music by Rush on the radio (remember the radio?) or MTV (remember when MTV would play Rush videos?), but I never bought one of their albums, despite my love of hard rock/metal/prog. The 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage makes me wonder why. They are a great band. The documentary works really well with a lot of home movie footage and photos. Thankfully, the obligatory rock celeb talking heads are kept to a minimum and the band gets to tell the tale. You can stream it on Netflix.

I was disappointed by Brian Flemming's The God Who Wasn't There (2005), despite the limited presence of the always welcome theologian/Lovecraft scholar Dr. Robert M. Price. What starts as an interesting look at the idea of Jesus as myth devolves into a kind of limp personal attack on the school where the director lost his faith (he tries to ambush the school's superintendent Michael Moore-style, but it just ends up sounding kind of whiny). You can YouTube it at if you are so inclined.

Mar 18, 2014, 8:33 pm

>44 KentonSem:

I enjoyed Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage a great deal, too. Here's my Amazon review from a few years back:

Of related interest - another excellent documentary on the band (Rush: Classic Albums: 2112 & Moving Pictures) can be found on YouTube here:

Editado: Abr 7, 2014, 3:22 pm

I finally got around to Matthijs van Heijningen's 2011 "prequel" version of The Thing starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. It has the unenviable task of existing in the shadow of John Carpenter's 1982 version, which is a nearly perfect horror film. The latest version tries to make a good go of it, but bungles the why-should-I care factor by providing a supporting cast of bland, indistinguishable scientist-or-explorer-types who exist in the film purely to become monster fodder. There doesn't seem to be one character in the bunch who has any real reason for being at a research station (?) in the antarctic. Even worse, the unbearable paranoia of Carpenter's film (and Campbell's source novella) just isn't there, and it really should be the whole point.

The monster and its various transformations do nicely echo the unforgettable Rob Bottin nightmares of the 1982 film, but these are, of course, CGI fx. As far as I'm concerned, CGI is deliberately trying to trick my eyes. There is no "work with me on this" relationship, which I am happy to provide for physical fx to create an illusion of reality. My eyes realize that CGI is base trickery, and so I am constantly reminded that what I am looking at is not real. It might as well be a cartoon. A neat-looking monster cartoon which subtracts from the overall intended effect. But that's the norm these days. I'll get over it.

Winstead does a decent job in an underwritten role. It's hard to imagine that a young Cornell research scientist wouldn't require instructions in the use of hand grenades and flame throwers, but then again, there is an imperative here which might make anyone catch on very, very quickly.

There is one silly shot near the end which instantly telegraphs the film's big "shock" reveal a few minutes later. Up until that point, I was wondering how this film could be a prequel, but a sequence inserted throughout the end titles nicely resolves that question. It even uses part of Ennio Morricone's brilliant score. Ah, well. Time to watch the 1982 film for the 1000th time...

Editado: Abr 7, 2014, 2:01 pm

William Friedkin's 2011 film Killer Joe took me quite by surprise. The plot description about a psycho police detective led me to expect something of a Killer Inside Me riff, but instead this subtle, pitch-dark comedy about troubled family relationships is really just a nod and a wink away from Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) territory. Matthew McConaughey is perfect as Joe Cooper, the police detective who does contract killing on the side. Juno Temple brilliantly pulls off the role of the Lolita-like Dottie, perhaps taking Carroll Baker's performance in Baby Doll (1956) into account.

Abr 7, 2014, 3:05 pm

Just watched Maniac with Elijah Wood, a long way from middle earth, based on an 80's film, extremely gory and shocking.

Abr 7, 2014, 4:24 pm

>47 KentonSem:

Speaking of Friedkin... can you (or anybody else here) give me the scoop on his 2006 film Bug ( I keep seeing it on the cheap locally and wondering if it's worth picking up.

Editado: Abr 7, 2014, 4:28 pm

>49 artturnerjr:

Bug is fantastic and features the debut film performance by Michael Shannon. Highly recommended. Like Killer Joe, it's based on a stage play, but that in no way detracts.

Abr 7, 2014, 5:07 pm

>50 KentonSem:

Thanks. I'll definitely pick it up the next time I see it then. 8)

Abr 7, 2014, 6:16 pm

Mention of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger over on the Deep Ones thread made me think of A Canterbury Tale from 1944.

It was intended as a propaganda piece but its far more than that.

It's a slight narrative of three modern pilgrims (two army sergeants - one English, one American - and a land girl) temporarily thrown together in a village near Canterbury by an encounter with "the glue man".

The real story is in its evocation of the English countryside, and history; and more than that, the sense of the spiritual, even miracuous, in the everyday. In this, it's the closest I can think of, in cinema, to the later works of Arthur Machen.

Abr 8, 2014, 1:33 am

>52 housefulofpaper: In this, it's the closest I can think of, in cinema, to the later works of Arthur Machen.

Well! I'll see if I can screen that, then.

Editado: Abr 16, 2014, 12:46 pm

I was enthralled by Michael Powell's 1951 The Tales of Hoffmann. It's one of those visually stunning films that provides a truly dream-like experience for the viewer. The sets and costumes, which draw upon surrealism, cubism, expressionism and more , combine with a superb color palette that rivals that of Kwaidan. The very dark overtones of Hoffman's work are all here, from Olimpia the automaton being torn apart to a series of wonderfully satanic/vampiric roles played by Robert Helpmann. I was delighted to find that one of the extras on this Criterion dvd is horror director George Romero discussing this, his favorite film, and the impact it has had on his life and career since he first saw it as a child.

Abr 16, 2014, 12:39 pm

I'm putting the 2 Powell & Pressburger films in my Netflix queue, as well. Though it may be a stretch to convince my Other Viewer (apologies, paradoxosalpha) to go along for the ride.

Editado: Abr 21, 2014, 7:05 pm

I really like the work of director Larry Fessenden and his Glass Eye Pix film company. Larry's latest, Beneath (2013), is a big fish tale which hearkens back to early 1980's teens-in-peril-in-the-woods movies with nods to higher standard fare like Joe Dante's Piranha (1978) and Spielberg's Jaws (1975). The story is mostly a black comedy in which you want to see the teens get eaten because they are all such a-wads, but the gradual breakdown in manners (they're stuck out on a lake with a large killer fish circling them) is pretty amusing in itself. There are a lot of shots that stand out with an eerie, poetic beauty which makes an intriguingly jarring juxtaposition with the deliberately low-brow script. The fish is actually pretty well designed, but the big pupils they painted on on its bulging eyeballs often make it look like nothing so much as a 1950's Paul Blaisdell movie monster. Love it. Not the best Fessenden entry, but an entertaining one. It helps if you're cognizant of Beneath's horror film inspirations.

Abr 25, 2014, 9:27 am

I urge you all to see Under the Skin which will give you a new definition of weird. Four thumbs up (or more, depending on your species)!

Here is a review from letterboxd:

"Review by Matt Singer ★★★★½

Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien who's like "I got yer male gaze right HERE buddy."

I joke because I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought."

Editado: Abr 28, 2014, 10:24 am

Continuing my ongoing Michael Powell film fest, I watched The Red Shoes (1948). Yes, it's the classic of classics that everyone always raves about. A must-see with a fine downbeat ending. Just watch it, if you haven't already. I still prefer the more dreamlike Tales of Hoffman (see above), however. Moira Shearer stars in this one, too (she also plays Olympia the automaton in Tales). I appreciate how Powell stars actual dancers in these films, instead of getting name stars and having someone double for them. Next up, the horror film that effectively ended Powell's career: Peeping Tom (1960).

As an antidote for all this artiness, I screened Escape Plan (2013) with Stallone and Schwartzenegger. Pretty dumb! I always enjoy Amy Ryan and Sam Neill. They have throwaway roles, but what the heck. The movie went ok with Victory Storm King porter.

I also saw The Wizard of Oz (1939) for the millionth time, but this was the first time for me on a big screen. Unfortunately, it wasn't a film print, just the "digitally restored" dvd. Sound was bad, framing was weird, but what is it about this film that makes it so compelling every time you watch it? For me, it's watching Judy Garland skip.

>57 bertilak:

Under the Skin is near the top of my watch-list. As soon as Netflix gets it...

Maio 5, 2014, 3:50 pm

>58 KentonSem:

what is it about this film that makes it so compelling every time you watch it?

The flying monkeys, of course. Oh, and that hyper-real Technicolor still looks gorgeous.

Maio 7, 2014, 2:14 pm

Michael Powell's Peeping Tom and Hitchcock's Psycho both premiered in 1960 and feature handsome, personable young psychotics who murder women. Despite the delicious shocks and black-and-white charms of Hitchcock's classic, it's really Powell's color film that is the more disturbing of the two. It's pretty easy to see why this film, great though it is, killed Powell's career. I don't think anyone was ready for Peeping Tom in 1960. With Moira Shearer from The Red Shoes and Tales of Hoffmann as a victim. Not much more than a drop of blood in the whole thing, but it's creepy, maybe even repulsive too. I really liked the films-within-the-film spiral and the multiple layers of voyeurism which are addressed. Fascinating.

Nicolás Goldbart's 2011 film Phase 7 is a nifty Argentinian riff on the popular end-of-the-world scenario seen in similar films like The Crazies or 28 Days Later, but here the sick just die, period - it's the survivors you have to worry about. Excellently lit and shot, with a vibrant color scheme. You can stream it on Netflix.

Editado: Jun 10, 2014, 9:56 am

Beware of Mr. Baker (2012) is a really well done music documentary featuring iconic drummer Ginger Baker. You'll know him from classic supergroups like Cream and Blind Faith, but Baker is also a top-notch jazz drummer and was one of the first - possibly the first - white rock musicians to seriously study world beats, especially those of Africa. Trouble is, Baker's prodigious talent is counterbalanced by an aggressive, antisocial personality. Couple that with a tendency toward serious substance abuse issues and you're left with a ticking time bomb, more often than not. When he bashes the film's director in the nose with the metal handle of his cane, you know he's not the pussy-cat-disguised-as-a-tiger that most "dangerous" musicians turn out to be.

Maio 15, 2014, 7:43 pm

>61 KentonSem:

Sounds fascinating. I am a huge Cream fan - will have to keep an eye out for that one. 8)

Maio 22, 2014, 7:01 pm

As a decades-long fan of Godzilla, as the possessor of numerous Godzilla statues, figures, paperbacks, comic books, personalized posters of Big G fighting Pokemon (I kid you not), as a wearer of Big G t-shirts and as the owner of a pair of Godzilla-feet slippers, I feel that I can heartily recommend the new Godzilla film. Basically, the human drama in the story is crap on toast (even though the actors are so earnest) and Bryan Cranston models a distracting wig, but the explanation for the monsters' behavior is kind of neat, the massive destruction is violent and scary (and the tsunami scenes will no doubt be especially nightmarish for the people of Japan), and the M.U.T.O. monsters turn out to be pretty intriguing. What about Godzilla, you ask? Godzilla is FEARSOME! I miss the traditional cat-like qualities of his face, but otherwise this version is the real deal, turned up to 11. The film makers wisely keep Godzilla's screen time limited - it makes his appearances all the more compelling. When he roars in this film, it sends chills all the way down to my toes. See it in IMAX 3D if possible.

Jun 10, 2014, 9:41 am

In Neil Jordan's Byzantium (2012), Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are a centuries-old mother-daughter duo whose descent into the world of the undead is told in exquisite detail. Ronan is especially good as the eternal 16-year-old. While not as intensely involving as Let the Right One In (2008) or as fun as Twixt (2011), it definitely has its share of startling moments. I also found it refreshing that, instead of utilizing a Dracula-like master vampire, the film introduces an evil spirit residing in a remote location that "victims" deliberately must seek out in order to achieve soul-less immortality.

Jun 17, 2014, 5:33 pm

In the recent British found-footage film The Borderlands (2013) a team is sent by the Vatican to investigate claims of a miracle in a West Country church. The two Catholic priests on the team, each for his own reasons, wants to debunk the claims. Their tech support (who's lied on his job application and isn't even a 'believer'), on the other hand, has a post-religious superficial openness to 'phenomena'.

Of course, as events (largely captured on headcams that the investigators wear at all times) unfold, the phenomena are not easily dismissed and, it becomes clear, not from a benign source. It's a slow burn, and the film has a lot of humour in the early scenes (it's not a million miles away from Ben Wheatley's work). Some on-line reviews have found it low on action.

I found it pretty effective, however. The location is a genuinely unsettling medieval church perched on top of a steep hill (West Ogmoor church near Dartmoor, apparently), with the climax playing out in a real and claustrophobic cave system.

Editado: Jun 23, 2014, 6:42 pm

2013's World War Z is a barely ok end-of-the-world thriller, but as far as zombie apocalypse films go, it... rots. Forget the fast vs. slow zombie argument. These are null zombies due to bad lighting/rendering and mindlessly frenetic edits that allow the viewer only the briefest glimpses of a handful of the creatures, despite the many thousands on display from a distance. Isn't half the fun of a good zombie flick being able to linger over the shambling, decaying wreckage and maybe even find a few favorites to admire? Remember Bub from Day of the Dead (1985) or the obese monstrosity on the yacht in Fulci's Zombie (1979)? Nothing remotely like them in WWZ.

Plot? Brad Pitt is totally unbelievable as an ex-special forces superdad who gets drafted back into the military because.... well, supposedly he's REAL GOOD at whatever it is that he does. Now he has to fly all over the world to find out how best to battle the Z-virus! He's a super soldier of convenience who can suddenly fly a military transport plane when the going gets tough (or when the script removes the pilot). Or survive a jumbo jet crash. Or show just the right amount of acquired-from-absolutely nowhere science-savvy to... aww, forget it. Just watch for him to show up in in The Expendables XXVI. A vintage Kurt Russell might have salvaged this kind of role with a lot of cocky swagger, but Pitt? Make it World War Zzzzzzzz.

There is very little blood on display, let alone gore, and genre-dictated transgressive behavior on the part of our cast - living or undead - is nil, so this one is fairly safe for the kiddies. I was lucky enough to have to track down what we now call zombie cinema at drive-ins and occasional midnight movies in the late 1970's, when there was still something disreputable - if not downright taboo - about the genre. Recent Z-films like WWZ are at the sad tail end of things: absolutely sterile and by-the-numbers.

Jun 23, 2014, 1:45 pm

Did anyone in this group watch the series "The Returned" on the Sundance Channel? Or even on French TV? It is a French series (Les Revenants); Sundance aired the 1st season already, and apparently will air Season 2 later this year. I hope they have a marathon of Season 1 before kicking off Season 2, but what do I know? It's an eerie story in a really beautiful location. Here is the Sundance Channel's promo material:

I've mostly lurked on this list, and have hunted down some good movies because of suggestions here! But haven't seen any mention of this series (apologies if I missed an earlier conversation).

Jun 23, 2014, 4:09 pm

>67 MissPrudence:

I missed it when it was shown on British TV. I see it got some good reviews but also some online grumbles that the story wasn't going anywhere - would you recommend I get it on DVD?

There was a broadly similar series on BBC3 (a satellite/cable channel specifically aimed at 16-24 year-olds) called In the Flesh. I was going to ask if it's been shown in the US, but I see it's been on BBC America. This was another one I missed, but my 15 year old niece liked it.

Jun 23, 2014, 5:29 pm

> 68 housefulofpaper

I can see how there would be grumbles. I have a high tolerance for slow-moving stories, so that's not something that would make me stop watching. The story is slow - I've seen the full 8 episodes of the first season, and it's been mostly character background, and little about the mystery itself, other than how different characters are dealing with their individual issues. There was a cliffhanger at the end of the season, but no resolution of any kind. I don't know that I would recommend a DVD purchase - at least, not at full price. It was fun, though, and worth a look if it ever gets re-broadcast on British TV, or if you can find an inexpensive DVD.

I didn't see In the Flesh, but will keep an eye out in case it pops up again. I really enjoyed a couple of older BBC series: Strange and Jonathan Creek, both of which were shown on American TV. The lead actor in Strange is now on a pirate show with John Malkovich. I watched the first couple of episodes; not my thing, but it was great seeing that actor again!

Jun 23, 2014, 6:01 pm

>69 MissPrudence:

I can't quite believe Strange was shown in the US. It makes the BBC's decision to can it after six episodes - and on a cliffhanger - even odder. Still, they've got a history of being nervous/disapproving of supernatural drama (which doesn't extend to buying in US series or showing horror films, funnily enough).

Jun 23, 2014, 6:24 pm

>70 housefulofpaper: housefulofpaper

I would buy Strange on DVD - but as far as I can tell, it's not available anywhere...

Jul 1, 2014, 8:51 am

Uber-director Otto Preminger was soundly bitten on the ass by his 1968 film Skidoo. It flopped on release (star Jackie Gleason reportedly walked out of the film's premiere) and has pretty much been considered an unwatchable train wreck ever since. As train wrecks go, though, it's actually a lot of fun! It's not a good movie or a lost treasure by any means, but if watching Ralph Cramden fake an acid trip (badly) is your idea of a good time, then this film is definitely for you. Imagine It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) redone as a slapstick crime caper, but filled with Hollywood's strangely-out-of-touch 60's version of hippie culture. Besides Gleason, you get Mickey Rooney, Groucho Marx (as God!), Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, John Phillip Law (Diabolik himself!), Michael Constantine, Richard "Jaws" Kiel, Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero.... Plus bit roles by a thousand and one character actors that you know and love if your movie experience goes back further than the current century.

Entire film:

Jul 1, 2014, 12:39 pm

I love Skidoo.

Jul 1, 2014, 1:59 pm

>72 KentonSem: It seems worth a look. One of a zillion movies with Mickey Rooney. I would think's got to be close or at the top for the most movies on IMDB.

Editado: Jul 1, 2014, 2:45 pm

>73 paradoxosalpha:,>74 RandyStafford:

In a way, Skidoo is kind of like the unfunny, hopelessly squaresville sibling of Bob Rafelson's Head, starring the Monkees. Both comedies had a lot of star power, both tanked in 1968 and both are totally watchable now, in retrospect. Head has infinitely preferable music, of course, but seeing Carol Channing perform "Skidoo" is a fairly unique hallucinogenic experience that stands on its own.

Jul 6, 2014, 9:11 pm

I've been having a lot of fun checking out the special features on my Heavy Metal Collector's Edition DVD (, which I highly recommend to fans of the film. Den! Taarna! All hail Uhluhtc! 8)

Editado: Ago 16, 2014, 7:02 pm

Under the Skin (2013) is fine SF. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and based on the novel by Michael Faber, the film features a nicely etched performance by Scarlett Johannson as a predatory alien who begins to ponder more closely the humans she preys upon. In these days of flash edits which keep the viewer off balance and unable to focus on much of anything in a genre film, the long, mostly silent, lingering shots in "Skin" make the film itself seem alien. It's not quite the revelation that some of the hype might lead you to believe, but I find that it fits snugly in intent somewhere between The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Liquid Sky (1982).

Editado: Ago 29, 2014, 6:58 pm

Charlotte Gainsbourg gives a typically great performance in Lars Von Trier's 2013 film Nymphomaniac Vol.1. I was reminded of such Euro sexploitation films as Schulmädchen-Report from 1970, but with Von Trier-style weirdness. For instance, discussions of Bach's polytonal compositions and Poe's (unproven) delerium tremens before he died are intermingled with the near-hardcore shots. Still have to watch Vol. 2, but so far, so good!

After watching this film, I moved onto the top-notch HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Season 4, which features its own references to Poe and "William Wilson". It's a fine, weird world!

Ago 29, 2014, 4:39 pm

I liked part one of Nympho but part two quickly descended into violent abuse. I didn't feel like going through prolonged suffering, so I bailed.

Editado: Ago 29, 2014, 7:11 pm

Anyone familiar with the BBC Series Sapphire & Steel, and care to comment on (a) whether it's as good as its cult following alleges, and (b) there are significant aspects of Weird involved?

I was gifted a 6-DVD set, never having heard of it before. I'll watch eventually, but curious if I should make it a priority or not.

OOPS: Make that ITV, not BBC. Demonstrating my lack of familiarity.

Ago 29, 2014, 7:56 pm

Shades of Darkness by BBC, excellent horror stories by Wharton, Sinclair, Bowen, etc.

Ago 30, 2014, 1:46 pm

>80 elenchus:
I watched this series on its original broadcast...35 years ago. Just give me a moment for that to sink in...

a) is obviously subjective. You have to make allowances, not just for the age of the series but also it's low budget. Despite the "name" stars the budget and resources must have been much smaller than, say, a contemporary Doctor Who. This is reflected in several ways: it's all shot on video (but on PAL rather than NTSC so it avoids the blurriness and wayward colour signal that bedevilled that technology, and the studio lighting is commendably atmospheric where shadows are required), the casts of the six multi-episode stories are small-to tiny, and each story stays in one claustrophobic location/set. This is more often than not turned to advantage, though.

The stories, or some of them, are probably too long. One runs to eight half-hour episodes. Again, probably down to the budget.

There's not a lot of humour: it's all played very straight; and as the title characters are almost certainly not human (they could be aliens, or the personification of chemical elements as the title sequence seems to suggest (I know, steel isn't an element!)) there's no character development or emotional journey or arc...which might come as a relief.

The booklet to my DVD of the series also reveals that it was originally pitched as a children's serial, before it was felt the concept was too dark. I think it ended up being shown at 6:30 or 7:00 in the evening.

All that said, there are scenes, sequences that have stayed with me, although I wouldn't say I was ever scared by anything in this series. It does sit nicely as a capstone, if you like, to the "hauntological" 1970s. I understand this term originated with Jacques Derrida and it puns on the term "ontological" (if you say it in a french accent), but in the last few years it's been used as a catch-all term for the folk-horror, radiophonic music, high-minded (and/or alarming) public service broadcasting, and so on, that formed the media landscape for British children in the 1970's - or at least that's how some of us remember it in middle age.

b) it's definitely's also Weird. "Time" is unknowable but sentient in some way and malevolent. It can "break in" to the normal flow of events and steal people or haunt a location. "Elements" - agents or whatever they are such as Sapphire and Steel are assigned to stop these incursions. They have some superpowers very loosely related to the physical properties of the elements they're named after (or that they are...). Anyone caught up in these events may end up as collateral damage.

Each of the six stories or "assignments" is self-contained, so you could watch the first (six half-hour episodes, I think) without having to commit to watching all the others straight after in a "your next box set" way.

> 81
I was completely unaware of this series. A quick internet search shows that, frustratingly, it's not available in the UK. I also found out that it was made by Granada television for the commercial ITV network (like Sapphire and Steel, although that was from a different franchisee). The producer was June Wyndham Davies, who also produced the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series/one-off TV movies. There are a couple of clips of Shades of Darkness on YouTube, and the stylistic "family resemblance" to the Sherlock Holmes series is very marked.

Ago 30, 2014, 7:04 pm

>82 housefulofpaper:

Intriguing description! -- and makes me want to move it up in the queue. I'll have to see if I can persuade my partner to watch along with me, much more likely that way to find a time sooner than later.

Set 15, 2014, 10:13 am

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) is a halfway decent re-envisioning of the series. Andy Serkis does of great job of portraying Caesar, the leader of the ape revolution. I especially enjoyed his scenes of self-realization. All of the simians make a monkey out of James Franco, acting-wise. Disappointingly, I found a lot of the CGI to be sub-par and distracting. Movement often looks cartoonish. All in all, I still prefer the much more intriguing 1968 original.

Editado: Out 14, 2014, 8:52 am

I was really impressed by the new Showtime series Penny Dreadful. Some folks will probably note a similarity to A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but I find it does so comfortably and on its own terms. I'm actually reminded even more of such works by Tim Powers as The Anubis Gates and Hide Me Among the Graves. The cast, including Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, is really great but none stands out as much as Rory Kinnear, who creates a most memorable Frankenstein monster. His dialog is well-written and his entrance into the story is a stunner. You can watch the pilot episode here:


Seven episodes in, there is a bit of a loss of momentum, thanks mostly to a somewhat tedious subplot centered on a case of demonic possession. Additionally, the Dorian Gray storyline is pretty boring, but hopefully it will tie back in and prove to have some purpose. The most compelling character is still the Frankenstein monster, who is demanding much more screen time than he has been getting.

Mar 9, 2015, 11:53 am

I did get around to watching the recentish Solomon Kane movie late last year, and found it frustrating for the reasons enumerated by housefulofpaper. But I was just now burrowing around in in search of possible Deep Ones nominations, and I discovered that the novelization of the Kane film was by Ramsey Campbell!

Solomon Kane

Has anyone here read it?

Editado: Abr 28, 2015, 12:32 pm

I highly recommend the new horror film IT FOLLOWS, which has been receiving near-universal stellar reviews. I went to see it mainly based on a thumbs-up by trusted Video Watchdog and Sight & Sound regular Kim Newman. The movie is really a loving homage to the work of director John Carpenter (and HALLOWEEN in particular), from its suburban setting and absolutely perfect synth soundtrack right on down to a number of specific shots. It's no mere copycat, though. It has a definite look and feel of its own that keeps the viewer constantly off balance. For example, there is an unnerving lack of place and setting. Despite a near complete lack of modern technology, one girl is reading Dostoyevsky (and here we have a teen horror movie in which D. is quoted aloud several times - and it works!) on some kind of weird clamshell-shaped device. The make and year of most of the vehicles is all over the place, but "old" seems to be the main criteria. Nearly all the locations seem to be abandoned or run-down structures, from schools to homes. Now, this could be a modern Detroit suburb or its equivalent, but there is a sense of displacement, as if the characters are just a step out of time. Even the clothes and hairstyles don't necessarily apply. It all creates a very weird ambience. I won't spoil the central plot device, but it's creepy as hell. In a lesser film, this would just be another urban-legend yawnfest, but here all is despair and finely-tuned horror. To their credit, the entire cast of young actors are engaging and seem real. Great script, direction and acting. Especially Maika Monroe as the followed girl. Her big, expressive eyes reminded me a bit of Barbara Steele. Don't watch the trailer or read the reviews - see it first.


Nice to find that in this interview, director David Robert Mitchell confirms some of my notions above:

Abr 17, 2015, 3:25 pm

Another fantastic new horror entry is the Australian feature THE BABADOOK (2014). It's a really well-made tale of haunting and possession that has its own way with those time-worn tropes. As with IT FOLLOWS, in the hands of a lesser director it would have been just another take on a tired sub-genre, but here Jennifer Kent keeps it creepy and surprising. The lead performance by Essie Davis is an unnerving showstopper, the sheer physicality of which reminded me of Isabelle Adjani's harrowing contribution to Żuławski's POSESSION (1981). Another nice surprise is that the child in danger, played by Noah Wiseman, is a True Kid and not just not some cute little moppet inserted to attain easy viewer sympathy. As for the Babadook itself, well, you'll have to encounter it on your own. There is a lot of psychological depth here, along with some truly shocking scenes. You can currently stream it on Netflix

Abr 17, 2015, 3:40 pm

I've read enough about The Babadook to be (a) very impressed with the psychological aspects as well as how the director plays with expectations given the tropes of horror films, and (b) absolutely positive I will not watch it for fear of sustained night terrors.

In some ways, it reminds me of a book I've not read, but also have read about: A Monster Calls, though I don't anticipate being totally freaked by that one and intend to pick it up eventually.

Editado: Abr 17, 2015, 4:22 pm

>89 elenchus:

Oh, yes. THE BABADOOK is all about producing night terrors. Thanks for mentioning A Monster Calls.

I've been on quite a roll with viewing top-notch new films lately. Up next is Cronenberg's MAPS TO THE STARS (2014). I have high hopes for it.

Editado: Abr 20, 2015, 12:47 pm

David Cronenberg's MAPS TO THE STARS (2014) might not look like it at first glance, but it is indeed a horror film. The horror being the supreme, almost sociopathic, superficiality of some of the film industry's elite. A friend of mine is pretty sure the film's structure - and title - is referencing the incestuous tale of Osiris, Isis and Horus. He could well be right. I see a bit of Shakespeare too, with showbiz royalty being undone by their own heinous actions (or inaction), and with a couple of ghosts thrown into the mix for good measure. John Cusack and Julianne Moore are fantastic as a creepy self-help guru and a half -crazed actress on the cusp of a fading career. Mia Wasikowska is particularly fine as the girl with a secret (and burn scars). Her character somewhat echoes Edith Scob's Christiane in LE YEUX SANS VISAGE (1960), another heroine dealing with emotional and physical scars. One thing I like about Cronenberg's style that is on display here is his tendency for lingering shots. You can really study the actors' faces instead of being clobbered on the head with a bunch of quick edits. One of the masters of cinema contributes another winner.

Editado: Abr 28, 2015, 2:12 pm

A recent vampire-themed double feature produced two very different results.

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (2014) is an Iranian suburb-set vampire film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour that shows some promise as it's shot in gorgeous black-and-white and utilizes such a novel setting. After a while, though, you start to notice that there is no real build-up of suspense and a lot of dialog does nothing and goes nowhere. The vampire girl's obsession with Iranian versions of 1980's synthpop tropes is unexplained and her Kim Wilde "Kids in America"-era striped shirt is distracting. And couldn't we have some new variety of vampire mythology introduced? Same old stuff in Iran, I guess. Despite an extra feature with Roger Corman sitting next to Amirpour and raving about her film (isn't he 157 years old? Better check his teeth), this is a big waste of time.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2014) from Jim Jarmusch, on the other hand, is an a FANTASTIC vampire film. Every shot is gorgeous from the framing to the lighting, sets and color schemes. It's not really a bloody-minded fangs-in-the-neck kind of thing (although there is one "fangs" sequence that is superb). It's much more thoughtful and focuses on the mind-blowing age of the vampires. We've seen vampirism equated with heroin addiction before, but here here it's done with a charming offhandedness. With John Hurt as Christopher Marlowe (uh-huh - that CM). Tilda Swinton creates one of the most interesting-looking vampires I've seen in a long time. Oddly enough, this film has a fetish for vintage musical gear. Guitarists in particular will be oooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the eye candy. It also features a typically scene-stealing Mia Wasikowska and a freaking fantastic soundtrack!

Maio 14, 2015, 2:51 pm

Speaking of Mia W., I'm happy to learn of Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming CRIMSON PEAK, the highly gothic-looking trailer for which can be found here. Can Del Toro still unsettle us with such familiar trappings?

Editado: Jun 15, 2015, 12:08 pm

SPRING (2014)

It has been a good season for horror films. Superior, scary entries include IT FOLLOWS, MAPS TO THE STARS, THE BABADOOK and ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (see above for all of these). Add this one to the list. The dialog by co-director Justin Benson is intelligent and flows very naturally. I actually laughed out loud at several points as the realistically-portrayed boy-meets-monster relationship unfolds. The lead actors are really engaging, which produces at least one moment of pure, resounding horror. The relatively exotic Italian locations provide a breath of fresh air as far as horror goes (makes me want to watch DON'T LOOK NOW again) and some of the shots are really breathtaking. Best of all, the finale was a fine surprise to this jaded eye. In a way it's the mirror image of the brilliantly nihilistic end of Carpenter's THE THING but with... love?

And did you know about the new H.R. Giger documentary? It's called DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER'S WORLD. Hope to see it in the near future.

Editado: Jul 13, 2015, 11:40 am

If you haven't heard of Jen and Sylvia Soska yet, you will! You can easily Netflix-stream the Twisted Twins' AMERICAN MARY. I was pleasantly surprised by their 2009 debut DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. It's very raw and has all of the expected rough edges of a low-budget horror film but it's confidently shot and edited, has a lot of swagger and copious amounts of black humor, plus charismatic performances by the twins themselves and one or two sequences that will put you into full-on "WTF?!" mode. Don't agonize too much over the title. Truth in advertising!

Fev 25, 2016, 2:04 pm

THE WITCH (2016) is shining example in a relatively recent lineup of horror films for grown-ups that includes the likes of THE SAUNA, A FIELD IN ENGLAND, SPRING and KILL LIST. After the initial setup, it takes its time in allowing you to get into the minds of an isolated, devout 17th century family as it oh-so-slowly breaks down. Thankfully, the film remains just ambiguous enough to allow the possibility of plain madness to be at the root of matters, but even so, one scene in particular will absolutely take your breath away and perhaps lay utter waste to your initial preconceptions. The four young actors are amazing, especially Anna Taylor-Joy as doe-eyed Thomasin and Harvey Scrimshaw as the seemingly solid Caleb. The latter also contributes a stunningly effective portrayal of religious ecstasy (or is it ecstasy of another sort?). In another expertly handled scene, just as the situation seems about to head off into the snooze-inducing territory of THE CRUCIBLE, Taylor-Joy displays the subtlest hint of what just might be diabolical cunning, making you wonder if maybe the situation is even more dire than a case of satanic panic. Or is she just a smart 16-year-old girl reacting normally to a really bad situation? You’ll find out. First-time feature director Robert Eggers contributes a keeper. To top it off, the score by Mark Korven is perfectly unnerving.

Fev 25, 2016, 3:38 pm

>96 KentonSem:

Happened to catch a rave review of that one on NPR the other day. I'll have to keep an eye out for it when it comes out on DVD.

Editado: Jun 1, 2016, 9:44 am

So, I got hooked on Season 1 of the Guillermo Del Toro-created series THE STRAIN (2014). He directed the pilot episode, which is really pretty creepy. Subsequent eps aren't nearly as good, but the various subplots reminded me in a positive way of Robert R. McCammon's chunky novels. It fell apart towards the end (the curse of modern Hollywood), with characters doing idiotic things and spouting some really wooden dialog. Might check out Season 2 anyway. It's a fairly interesting take on vampires, none of which, thankfully, are even remotely attractive.

Ordered the AXE / KIDNAPPED COED blu-ray based on a recommendation from Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas. The extras alone on this special edition are supposed to constitute a mini-education in regional low-budget film making in the 70's.

The History Channel series VIKINGS is incredibly good! I love a good shield maiden!

Jun 5, 2016, 5:42 pm

This may be of interest - a round-table discussion that I half-remembered from its original TV broadcast back in 1990.

Participants Clive Barker, John Carpenter, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Tuttle, Roger Corman, Pete Atkins are tasked with devising the ultimate horror movie for the upcoming millennium.

Jun 5, 2016, 7:14 pm

>96 KentonSem:

Just watched 'The Witch', excellent acting and cinematography.
The slow realistic beginning sets up the ambiguous supernatural (?)

Jun 5, 2016, 8:34 pm

>100 tros:

Glad you enjoyed it. I recently picked up the blu-ray so I can watch it with English subtitles and possibly catch a few things I missed the first time around in the midst of all of that seemingly genuine, Puritan-era English. There's a director's commentary too.

Abr 24, 2017, 2:35 pm

I like reading about horror on screen more than viewing it. It includes reading about reactions from people who have seen a film or series.

I found this review of a J-horror release, allegedly inspired by HPL but not Chthulhoid.

Have you seen it or heard of it, KentonSem? Anyone else?

Abr 24, 2017, 3:04 pm

>102 elenchus:

I thought UZUMAKI was great. It seemed very much influenced by Lovecraftian ideals, although it certainly wasn't trying to adapt (or hijack) any particular story or sequence found in Grandpa's fiction. I liked the idea of spirals becoming a transformational vector and some of the creepy visuals are really inspired, most notably a memorable shot of the outside of a building swarming with snail-people. I think this film is an early example of that greenish color filter that would be so favored by David Fincher and others for a while. It works well here to convey an oppressed, sickly atmosphere.

Abr 24, 2017, 3:26 pm

Yeah, the overlay of spirals and snails struck me as an inspired reference point. I'm really wary of watching horror, it creeps me out in a non-pleasurable way, but this may be the kind of horror I could appreciate watching.

Abr 24, 2017, 3:28 pm

>102 elenchus:
I think Uzumaki is Higuchinsky's best movie: it's wonderfully creepy and expertly unsettling. He's directed two others that also try to capture that atmosphere of unnatural and unexplained Weirdness invading the Normal, but they do not "cohere" as well as Uzumaki, or are less even.

It's definitely worth a viewing. The other two less so.

Abr 24, 2017, 5:00 pm

>61 KentonSem:

Hey, I finally watched this! I was surfing around YouTube the other day and stumbled upon the link (, thinking I would sit and watch the first five or ten minutes of it; instead, ended up sitting hypnotized through the entire ninety minutes of the film. "Antisocial" (as in antisocial personality disorder) is definitely correct - holy crap, what a mean old bastard! This is truly the Crumb of rock documentaries - you don't have to be an aficionado of the art form under discussion to fascinated (and horrified) by this one (although it certainly doesn't hurt).

Abr 24, 2017, 10:46 pm

>106 artturnerjr:

Glad you got to see it, Art. I thought it was fascinating because, as crazy mean and antisocial as he is, Baker's still an awe-inspiring talent. Staying with music docs, the other night I finally got around to Some Kind of Monster (2004) on Netflix streaming. I'm not a Metallica fan, but it's really interesting to see this wildly successful band reach a point where they just become unglued and require group psychotherapy to keep from imploding.

Abr 25, 2017, 6:40 pm

>107 KentonSem:

I thought it was fascinating because, as crazy mean and antisocial as he is, Baker's still an awe-inspiring talent.

Oh yeah, definitely. As the film demonstrates, his fan club is like a Who's Who of great rock drummers: Stewart Copeland! Bill Ward! Neil Peart! Lars Ulrich (hey, Metallica again!)! Mickey Hart! And if that doesn't convince you of his greatness, those drum battles you see in the movie with jazz giants like Art Blakey and Elvin Jones certainly will. Strictly in terms of his contribution to music, the man owes nothing to anyone.

I think it's interesting how that form of mental illness (if I may play armchair psychiatrist for a moment) sort of empowers certain people to follow their own paths and, in the process of doing so, often blaze trails for others. I mean, if you really, honestly, truly do not give a flying fuck what others think of you (and Baker clearly really, honestly, truly does not), you can try things that others before you were too timid to even contemplate, and you can become the sort of pioneer that Baker clearly was.

Some Kind of Monster

That movie has actually received a fair amount of critical acclaim, iirc - somewhat unusually for a rock doc.

Like a lot of people who first heard Metallica in the 80s, I suppose, I prefer their records from that decade over their subsequent stuff, although I gotta say what I have heard from their recent Hardwired... to Self-Destruct did seem to me to be something of a return to classic form for them. Finally, can we here at the WT (yep, despite appearances, I actually haven't forgotten where I'm posting at!) really hate too much on a band that has spent as much time as they have evangelizing for the Gospel According to Grandpa?:

Abr 26, 2017, 2:23 pm

>108 artturnerjr:

I had forgotten the part with Baker holding his own with Art Blakey. Yikes!

Kirk Hammett gets bonus points for being a Monster Kid, His personal collection is detailed in the book Too Much Horror Business, which I'd love to page through some time.

Maio 17, 2017, 3:32 pm

Jordan Peele behind HBO's adaptation of Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country.

Jun 11, 2017, 9:58 pm

Conarium, video game based on HPL's At the Mountains of Madness, sort of, more of a continuation, haven't played it but the game play on youtube looks interesting.

Jun 11, 2017, 10:05 pm

Picked up Video trash and treasures, assorted trash including "creature features" and "occult occassions" sections, might be worth checking out.

Jul 8, 2017, 1:07 am

Just watched "Castlevania" animated, anime series that's streaming on netflix, first season is four episodes renewed for eight more next year. Haven't gotten "into" anime or animation for a long time but this was worth checking out. It really twists the old horror tropes, highly recommended.

Jul 8, 2017, 11:10 am

>113 tros:

Thanks for the rec - I'll check it out.

Out 5, 2017, 11:50 am

KING COHEN, a new documentary on the amazing Larry Cohen, looks fantastic. I'm not big on talking heads-style docs, but that's a pretty impressive lot to have showering you with accolades!

Out 11, 2017, 1:23 am

You can find a number of high quality episodes of Boris Karloff's Thriller on YouTube. Here's "The Weird Tailor". Story and teleplay by Robert Bloch.

Fev 25, 2018, 7:00 pm

Providence (1977) directed by Alain Resnais, screenplay by David Mercer. I taped this off a BBC2 late-night showing years ago but had never got around to watching it.

A terminally ill author (John Gielgud) imagines scenes for his latest novel during the course of a sleepless and pain-wracked night. The characters are - it transpires - versions of his own family: adult children, his late wife, etc. The final fifth of the film is a "real life" meeting of the family the next day. So what's Lovecraftian about it?

- The film opens with an old man discovered in woods by a group of soldiers, who is apparently transforming into a werewolf.
- The character played by David Warner seems to have some of the character traits and shortcomings that I gather were attributed to Lovecraft by L. Sprague de Camp's biography (that might well be coincidence, I admit).
- The first 10 or 15 minutes could be from a loose HPL adaptation or a "Shuttered Room" style pastiche (visually, I mean. The dialogue, although theatrically non-naturalistic doesn't sound like Lovecraft. The situation Warner's character is in, though, is not dissimilar to where we might leave one of HPL's narrators: on trial for murder - the mercy killing of the werewolf, in this case.
- The film's moments of visual lyricism conjure up those scenes where Randolph Carter remembers the Providence of his lost childhood (or indeed, where Lovecraft does the same in his letters).

Generally, the film seems to borrow from Lovecraft in some impalpable way to dramatise the Gielgud character's fear of personal annihilation. And indeed, the film's Wikipedia entry says that Resnais made the designer read Lovecraft before creating the interiors for Gielgud's character's house "in order to imbue it with the presence of death".

Mar 12, 2018, 6:30 pm

>117 housefulofpaper:

My reading of the HPL/CAS correspondence in Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill: the letters of H P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith just confirms my impression that the films borrowings from Lovecraft are essentially superficial and non-Lovecraftian. The great horror of the film is personal annihilation, there is nothing of the cosmic here (David Warner's character(s) interest in the Apollo astronauts (or in the "real life" segment, his career as an astrophysicist, only gesture towards it).

Mar 12, 2018, 9:18 pm

Speaking of "annihilation," I recently read VanderMeer's Annihilation, and despite many reviewers alleging that it is somehow Lovecraftian, I didn't much find it so. I did like it, though, and certainly see it as Weird. I've got a ticket to see the Alex Garland movie tomorrow, so I'll report back on that too. Word has it that it is good, but differs significantly from the book. (I think it would have to.)

Editado: Mar 13, 2018, 5:25 pm

So, I saw Annihilation. I thought the visual design/effects, the soundtrack, and the actors' performances were all very good. Jennifer Jason Leigh was particularly well cast. But the climactic plot tweak sucked a lot of the weird out of it, as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure I would have liked it better if I hadn't read the book, which created a much more vivid ambiguity about whether the real subject of investigation was Area X or the members of the expedition themselves. Also, while the dreams, flashbacks, and documentary video objects in the movie kept some of the mood created by the non-linear narrative of the novel, the relatively linear narrative sequencing (and the loss of the hypnotic control theme) eliminated the profoundly weird epistemological possibility that the protagonist's memories of her "normal" life were merely epiphenomena of the expedition.

Mar 13, 2018, 5:55 pm

I'd already decided that I should read the book before viewing the movie, and you're reaction doesn't do anything to dissuade me on that point. I wasn't likely to see it anyway, based on my frequency of visiting a cinema & the sort of film my fellow cineaste's are interested in seeing.

I wonder how much better seeing Tarkovsky's The Stalker would be for someone wanting to transpose Annihilation from print to screen?

Mar 14, 2018, 11:31 am

Still, I was impressed with the film on a variety of counts, and now I want to see the director's previous landmark work Ex Machina.

Mar 14, 2018, 12:08 pm

>122 paradoxosalpha:

I enjoyed Ex Machina. Good, thoughtful SF in an era when Dystopian Rehash has become a go-to Hollywood genre.

Ran across this in a John Langan FB post:

It's a pretty decent list of "Aickmanesque" films. I've seen 15 of them, several of which are all-time favorites. Have to get to some of the others!

Mar 14, 2018, 1:40 pm

Rocking Horse Winner is completely new to me and looks great.

I've seen several but not as many as 15, those I saw were quite good: Picnic at Hanging Rock is definitely an all-time fav for me.

Mar 14, 2018, 2:49 pm

>124 elenchus:

Rocking Horse Winner...

I want to see that one, too. Coincidentally, I'm expecting the new Centipede Press edition of Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner to arrive in the mail any day now. Also looking forward to the 2-vol Aickman set due from CP sometime this year.

I thought it a bit curious that Bunuel didn't make the "Aickmanesque" list. Especially for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie or The Exterminating Angel.

Mar 15, 2018, 12:40 am

ever watch blakes 7? in spite of it's low budget, still one of the best.

Mar 15, 2018, 3:16 pm

>123 KentonSem:

I've seen 16 of the films on that list, with a couple more I've got on DVD but have still to watch.

It doesn't feature anything directly based on Aickman's stories though. The TV version of The Hospice has been uploaded to YouTube. The version of The Cicerones written and directed by Jeremy Dyson (the non-performing member of The League of Gentlemen) is there too.

Mar 15, 2018, 10:31 pm

>127 housefulofpaper:

Thanks the heads-up on the YouTube Aickmans! I'll watch them soon.

Editado: Jun 28, 2018, 9:59 am

NOVEMBER is an absolutely enthralling film from Estonia/Poland/Nethlerlands. Do what you need to do to find it. It's at once uncanny, macabre, allegorical and funny. It also works as a tragic love story of the darkest sort (our hero is such an amusing idiot until it's too late). Some shots are reminiscent - and worthy - of Bergman. Witches, lycanthopy, the best personification of Death since Maria Casares (too briefly seen, but what a moment!), a fantastic musical score by Jacaszek, and an opening sequence that reminds me that real cinema can produce a kind of dreamlike awe that ladles of CGI can never come close to. Based on a novel by Andrus Kivirähk. Anyone here ever read it?


Just noticed that you can stream it on Amazon Prime.

Editado: Jul 26, 2018, 11:05 am

I still have to read the Ruff novel, but Jordan Peele's HBO series Lovecraft Country recently filmed here in Chicago. dukedom_enough 's review of the novel helped pique my interest.

Jul 26, 2018, 12:25 pm

I recently got wind of the fact that a television version of Joe Hill's terrific Locke & Key is in production with 8 episodes slated to drop in 2019 on Netflix. The "tagline" is underwhelmingly inaccurate: "Adaptation from graphic novel about kids killing people."

Jul 26, 2018, 1:54 pm

"Adaptation from graphic novel in which kids are born and ultimately die."

I've not read Locke & Key but it does look great.

Editado: Jul 26, 2018, 1:58 pm

GREAT news:

Both with Tim Lucas commentaries and some other nice extras. October 2 release date.

>131 paradoxosalpha:

And I recently canceled Netflix. Ah, well.

Ago 1, 2018, 11:58 am

Not a show, but game trailers are equivalent in my mind so thought I'd post here: a Lovecraftian close shave.

Editado: Set 25, 2018, 2:43 pm

Following on a few mentions of Supernatural Westerns in our brainstorming thread, this trailer for the upcoming film The Wind. (Another film I shan't be seeing, as it likely would only frighten me silly.)

Set 25, 2018, 7:57 pm

>135 elenchus:

It seems to share some DNA with the 1927 silent film of the same name (starred Lilian Gish, directed by Victor Sjöstrom). Jonathan Rigby includes the earlier film in his American Gothic: six decades of classic horror cinema.

Editado: Jul 18, 2022, 10:28 am

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Set 26, 2018, 11:01 pm

>137 frahealee:

Heh, I watched Kilmer last night in Real Genius!

Set 27, 2018, 4:02 pm

here's a short animation very loosely based on Arthur Machen's "The White People"

Set 27, 2018, 4:29 pm

>139 anjenue:

Quite good.

I've neither read VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy nor seen the film, but I was reminded of those based upon descriptions. (Perhaps I should clarify I've not yet read The White People, either.)

Set 27, 2018, 4:43 pm

>140 elenchus: I've not yet read The White People

Ah, you skipped out on our 2011 read of that one?

Set 27, 2018, 8:28 pm

The White People is one of my all-time faves, but it's quite polarizing!

Set 27, 2018, 11:23 pm

>139 anjenue:

That's really well-made. Thanks for sharing!

Set 27, 2018, 11:50 pm

>139 anjenue:

I liked that! It's certainly worth sharing around for the Hallowe'en season.

Set 28, 2018, 9:14 am

>141 paradoxosalpha:

I don't recall if I hadn't joined DEEP ONES with any regularity at that point, or if I just sat that one out for some reason. I've read enough about Machen later to know I want to read it eventually, and other of his work too.

Jan 23, 2019, 2:57 pm

Normally, I would be less than enthused. BUT...

a) I like Nic Cage. He seems to take big-budget trash roles that pay astronomical sums which allow him to coast a bit and take parts in smaller films that allow him to FREAK OUT!

b) Director Richard Stanley might just be crazy - and inspired - enough to pull this off. He has a very interesting history. Try to find this documentary to learn more!

Weird fact: the original cinematic adaptation starred another Nick!

Editado: Ago 21, 2019, 9:07 am

I highly recommend VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS to members of this group. This 1970 film is part allegorical vampire tale, part surrealist visual poem.

It's a Criterion release and is also available on their excellent streaming service.

Editado: Dez 26, 2019, 11:09 pm

THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019) should be of interest to a lot of WT members. Existential horror, subtle nods to Lovecraft, Poe, and related authors of weird fiction. Dialog culled from the writings of Melville & the journals of real-life lighthouse keepers. There is one stunningly powerful bit in particular which, as delivered by Willem Dafoe and coupled with the lighting, is unforgettable in its terrifying vehemence.The director, Robert Eggers, also did THE WITCH (2015), which I admired the first time I saw it, was amazed at what I had missed the second time around, and, while watching the director's commentary, realized is surely one of the very best horror films of the past decade. Eggers is currently working on a viking film called THE NORTHMEN and a new version of NOSFERATU, both with Anya Taylor-Joy (fantastic in THE WITCH). Where did this guy come from?

Dez 28, 2019, 11:40 pm

>148 KentonSem:

I found a few reviews in the past month or so that suggested I'd be interested, good to hear you found the same thing. Have not seen anything else by Eggers and though usually I'm against remakes if the original was good, I am curious what he'll make of NOSFERATU.

Editado: Dez 29, 2019, 1:42 am

>149 elenchus:

I was thinking Poe while watching the film, but it was only afterward that I recalled his unfinished tale "The Lighthouse", which Robert Bloch had eventually completed. I remembered reading it in Twilight Zone Magazine. When I looked that story up, its Wikipedia entry noted that it was the initial inspiration for Eggers and THE LIGHTHOUSE.

Editado: Jan 2, 2020, 6:13 am

>147 KentonSem:

I remember seeing Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and not being able to get the songs out of my head for days afterwards. Or the tunes, at least--I was very annoyed that the subtitles didn't cover the songs as I'm sure the lyrics had relevance.

ETA - 'Earworm'--that's the word I was looking for--some of the chants, hymns or whatever were real earworms.

Jan 2, 2020, 6:20 am

>151 alaudacorax:

Beautiful film, though ... and decidedly surrealistic.

Jan 8, 2020, 1:11 pm

Netflix adaptation of Joe Hill's Locke & Key gets its first trailer:

Jan 8, 2020, 4:28 pm

>153 elenchus:

Exciting! The comics were so awesome. I thought the adaptation was dead in the water for some reason.

The trailer makes it look like there's a whole season already in the can.

Jan 23, 2020, 11:51 am

THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE is getting it's US premiere this weekend. Here is a typically fascinating interview with director/anthropologist Richard Stanley.

Jan 24, 2020, 4:53 pm

And another, with a link to the trailer if you haven't seen it already:

Editado: Jan 25, 2020, 3:43 am

>156 elenchus: "Can You Tell an H.P. Lovecraft Story While Rejecting His Hatred?

Oh, of course not. The only purpose of literature is to serve as vehicles for ideological preoccupations, and we is all sagacious pundits. /s

Edited to add: My perseverance to the end of the article was punished with a parting "problematic" lobbed at Lovecraft. Did not like, sorry. Film may still be good though.

Jan 24, 2020, 6:30 pm

>157 paradoxosalpha:

I thought Stanley's discussion was not well-served by the click-bait headline. Nor was the interviewers, for that matter. SYFY has good stuff but are as prone as any to sabotaging their content in the editing / marketing process.

Jan 24, 2020, 7:06 pm

I'm interested in hearing what members of this group think of Stanley's film.

Editado: Jan 27, 2020, 11:57 am

>159 KentonSem:

I'll begin by saying that I really enjoyed the last 20 minutes or so very much. It conveyed the existential horror of the situation very well. Additionally, an earlier event in the film was quite dismaying and horrifying. Don't want to give anything away, but while I enjoyed it overall, it's still not quite Lovecraft. I think that since his greatest strength is achieved through the very words he chooses, it's hard for any film, which by its very nature is focused on the visual no matter how literate the script, to truly capture the essence of his work. Still a nice effort, in my opinion.

Jan 27, 2020, 12:11 pm

>160 KentonSem: it's still not quite Lovecraft.

That conveys my outlook overall with most HPL film adaptations, and so I'm generally disinclined. This one does look better than most, but I probably won't see it.

Jan 27, 2020, 4:23 pm

I finally got around to seeing Midsommar this week (streaming on Amazon Prime). Thumbs up: it's got the original Wicker Man folk horror thing going on, with a comparable misdirection for those inclined to search for damsels in distress. The psychopharmaceutical cinematography is solid, and the sets are great. Press had led me to think it would be somehow more innovative than it was. It's highly traditional occult/folk horror IMO, of a kind we just see too little of on screen these days.

Editado: Fev 6, 2020, 12:49 pm

>153 elenchus:

More here and here from Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez on Locke & Key, both the Netflix series and new comics.

I may have to get more active in searching the comics out. Up to now I've sort of let the comic find me, whether at used stores or the library. But I want to read three more Sandman installments this year (the collected reprints) so will wait until those are done.

Maio 29, 2020, 3:16 pm

Finally got a chance to see THE WHITE REINDEER (1952). It's like the documentary style storytelling of NANOOK OF THE NORTH (1922) mixed with your dead grandmother appearing to you in a dream and telling you a scary folk tale. Gorgeous black and white photography with some truly memorable shots. There was actually frost on my TV screen afterward. And now I have a pretty good idea of how to catch a reindeer BY HAND! I think Algernon Blackwood would approve.

Maio 29, 2020, 4:52 pm

At long last I saw Simon, King of the Witches (1971), which definitely belongs on the short list of first-class occult exploitation films. I suppose Anna Biller watched the crap out of it when she was cooking up The Love Witch (2016).

Maio 31, 2020, 6:04 pm

>165 paradoxosalpha:

The title wasn't even familiar to me, so I checked IMdb and found two descriptions that sounded like they belonged to different films:

1- Simon, a young man with magic powers, invokes the help of the evil forces in order to take revenge on a man who cheated him with a bad cheque.

2- Simon Sinestrari is one of the few true male witches that exist. His ultimate goal is to leave the earth to become a god, and the time for this event is at hand. Is Simon capable of fooling the gods, and will his normal friends be an aid or a problem to the process?

Editado: Maio 31, 2020, 6:11 pm

Yeah, they're both for the same movie, although the first one was probably written by someone who only watched the first 20 minutes of it, and that not closely.

Although Simon's magic is pretty effective, and there are some distinct supernatural manifestations represented with special effects, I found it easy to maintain some metaphysical ambivalence as a viewer. Are his "powers" real, or is he just a nut-case who is finding his niche in a California city? His ceremonial technique is primitive, but credible.

Fev 8, 10:27 am

Two recent FB posts I made about films which should also be of interest here:

Valdimar Jóhannsson's LAMB (2021) turns out to be a fine Icelandic folk horror tale. The story lulls you with it's gentle, if uncanny, fairy-tale nature until the reason for the "lamb" finally becomes clear. The very small cast, including Noomi Rapace, is excellent. This would make a great double feature with THE WHITE REINDEER (1952). I noticed that the genuinely idiotic official trailer truly doesn't seem to understand the film itself and gives much away, although the teaser below works well.

The M.R. James/BBC influence found in the first two stories in REWILDING (2022) is really welcome, and although I've seen variations of the third tale's denouement in other films, it still manages to be especially unsettling here. This excellent review by Dawn Keetley includes an interview with the director. The film is currently a two-dollar rental on Prime.

Nov 16, 12:29 pm

I just stumbled across some promotional journalism regarding the 2023 film Suitable Flesh, which is allegedly an adaptation of "The Thing on the Doorstep." Looks pretty good to me, anybody here seen it yet?

Editado: Nov 21, 1:36 am

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.