Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What I Watched In October

A good month for horror films as is usually true of October. I regret only squeezing in one Hammer and one Universal creature feature. I also had big plans to make a run through a long list of Bela Lugosi films I've been itching to revisit but didn't get to any of them. Once again I got caught up in things I've never seen before instead of genre favorites I love. Not that I didn't rewatch anything all month. I was happy to see my beloved HALLOWEEN III again this year and increasingly impressive THE FOG proved as brilliant as it was unexpected when released in 1981. I think I've watched THE FOG once a year for a very long time.

Romero's SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD proved to be less good than his classic films but far from the disaster the majority of the horror press keeps whining about. Considering that every single Romero film since DAY OF THE DEAD in 1985 has been greeted as a piece of shit by these same dumb-asses I have no doubt that in ten years time they will be hailing this one as a classic. I swear I can pretty much write the standard reviews of whatever his next film might be right now. Morons!

On the other hand Dario Argento's latest film GIALLO is an unmitigated clusterfuck. I have no idea how he managed to blow this one so completely. While I think his output for the last decade has been very hit or miss this film is so bad I was simply stunned. The only thing I can recommend is the score but that is far from a reason to see this boring, slow waste of time. GIALLO is as bad as his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and THE CARD PLAYER and buddy- it doesn't get much more inept than those two travesties.

SHEITAN (2006)- 3 (failed French horror effort)
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943)- 9 (gets better every time I see it) (rewatch)
TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971) 8 (rewatch)
THE EMBALMER (1965)- 7 (Italian thriller that feels like a German krimi)
THE BLACK CAT (1989)- 6 (Luigi Cozzi’s unofficial sequel to SUSPIRIA isn’t great but is pretty darned good)
YOU WILL DIE AT MIDNIGHT (1986)- 6 (a.k.a. MIDNIGHT KILLER) (Lamberto Bava thriller)
WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? (1959)- 9 (excellent TV-movie adaptation)
RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE (2004) – 5 (rewatch) (not as bad as I remember but still the weakest of the series)
FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982)- 6 (good Corman trash)
THE TOOLBOX MURDERS (1978)- 3 (pretty bad but an interesting 70s time capsule)
FRIDAY THE 13TH VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1988)- 3 (rewatch) (possibly the worst of the series with a teleporting Jason and the stupidest ending imaginable)
THE DARK HALF (1993)- 9 (rewatch) (I remembered this being good but not this good!)
PHANTASM: OBLIVION (1998)- 5 (the weakest of the series but still interesting)
CASE 39 (2010)- 6 (pretty good ‘evil child’ tale)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)- 8 (well done and fascinating)
TWICE DEAD (1988)- 4 (meh)
FRAGILE (2005) -7 (a great Spanish-made English language ghost story)
SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2010)- 6 (Romero is working at a lower level than I’d like but not bad)
THE KILLER INSIDE ME (2010)- 8 (dark noir done well)
THE BOOGENS (1981)- 6 (rewatch) (pretty good monster movie)
WARLOCK (1989)- 8 (rewatch) (great witch film)
NAIL GUN MASSACRE (1985)- 1 (unbearably awful)
WEREWOLF SHADOW (1970)- 7 (rewatch)
LEGION (2010)- 7 (supernatural apocalyptic action)
I SELL THE DEAD (2008)- 5 (period horror/comedy- the humor is obvious and flat but the cast is fun)
THE TERROR (1963)- 6 (rewatch) (Corman’s nonsensical bit of gothic fluff)
THE MUMMY’S CURSE (1944)- 6 (rewatch)
GIALLO (2009)- 2 (Argento shits the bed)
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1995)- 8 (rewatch)
NO MAN’S LAND: RISE OF THE REEKER (2008)- 5 (OK follow up to the OK first film)
THE FOG (1981)- 9 (rewatch)
FEAR NO EVIL (1969)- 6 (made for TV movie with a great cast and a good story)
TALOS: TALE OF THE MUMMY (1999)- 6 (rewatch) (better than I remembered)
THE DESCENT PART 2 (2009) – 6 (effective but redundant sequel)
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)- 7 (rewatch)
JASON X (2001)- 7 (rewatch)
PIG HUNT (2008)- 6 (not bad backwoods giant animal film but lacks a great ending)
THE EVICTORS (1979)- 6 (low budget Louisiana period terror tale)

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