I just finished watching this Canadian thriller and I have to say I was very impressed! I bought the Blu-Ray because the film was recommended by a fellow podcaster and I am glad I did. This is a smart, well written and clever variation on the old idea of a suburban kid suspecting a neighbor of dire crimes. The cast is great, the period detail nearly perfect and the script avoids the plot problems such tales often fall into. And what a chilling ending. Wow. I'll not spoil anything and simply encourage you to seek this one out. Great film!
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Monday, November 26, 2018
With THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
and I finally complete the first year of
the decade in our look at the Universal Horrors of the 1940's. Released two
days after Christmas in 1940 it signifies the first time since DRACULA'S DAUGHTER that a female character top lined one of these movies. It also
represents the first time the producers sharply shifted the series' genre from
the established norm set by the previous two films. Yes, this is a comedy! And
a broadly silly one at that. As with all comedic films, your mileage will vary
with your enjoyment of the frantic antics being the only guide through this mad
tale of working girl revenge, slapstick gangsters and dotty old scientists. It's
a real mixed bag, folks. Troy
We start the show with a brief discussion of the newly released remake of SUSPIRIA and a few comments on the new HALLOWEEN film as well. Then we jump into a breakdown of what we liked and disliked about the third in the Invisible Man series from Universal. Since this film is such a departure from the first two we speculate on the possible reasons for changing the serious tone of the earlier entries. Then we delve into the farcical plot details and the high level of talent in the impressive cast. Our frustration with the story padding becomes evident right about the time we start talking about the faux Three Stooges running around as gangster minions. One of them is even played by Shemp Howard! And I am happy to report that both of us are able to refrain from pointing out that the film's eventual romantic couple are named Kitty and Dick! I suspect the scriptwriters had to find their amusements someplace.
We end the show with a fun, lengthy email from a listener and you can send your missives to us at email@example.com as well. This letter even included a beer review! We can reached over on The Bloody Pit Facebook page as well and we'll be glad to hear from you. The song at the end of the episode is from
band The Exotic Ones and is appropriate for this film. Thanks for downloading and
Saturday, November 24, 2018
With this trailer commentary Brian Trenchard-Smith reminded me of this excellent Argentinian anthology film. It's comprised of six revenge tales and manages to be funny, scary and (eventually) touching. The movie's vicious humor is as sharp as a well-honed blade digging into class differences, fidelity and societal expectations. I need to seek out more from director Damián Szifrón.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
This year I finally began reading the first few issues of this classic Warren horror anthology. I have to admit I was surprised it WAS an anthology! I expected it to only feature tales of the title character instead of one story about her per issue. Still, it's a solid group of chillers so far.
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Mickey Mouse has been around for ninety years as of today! Mickey was never my favorite Disney character but I've come to love him as I get older. Which is odd. He made his debut on November 18, 1928, so to commemorate the birth of the lovable mouse that was once a rabbit named Oswald here's a pretty good new cartoon.
Friday, November 16, 2018
Sometimes what you need in October is a straightforward, simple slasher film. HELL FEST (2018) fits that bill perfectly. It's not overly clever and it's not anything it doesn't need to be. It's just an uncomplicated thrill ride built on the bones established in the 80's for this type of story. The film starts by establishing it's slasher bona fides with a pre-credit stalk and kill scene that sets up the killer's modus operandi - killing random people he perceives as jerks on Halloween night - and then sets up more victims. This group of likable characters are introduced effectively and then we are off into the story. The basics of a slasher are tension followed by release and this film knows that very well. The story takes place over the course of one Halloween night as we follow these happy folks around a large, professionally run haunted amusement park. Needless to say, things don't end well for most of them. This isn't a great film but it is exactly what it claims to be and that is a good thing.
At this point why would anyone care about the timeline of the HALLOWEEN films? Before going out to see the new one I took it upon myself to verbally describe the various sub-lines and divergent tracks that this sad series has stumbled down. Short version - there is a classic film, a pretty good sequel, an excellent non sequitur, a bunch of pointless sequels, a new sequel that ignored the pointless ones, a terrible remake and it's even more idiotic sequel. (Trust me - that is the short version.) So where does the 2018 HALLOWEEN film stand? At about the midpoint, I guess.
By ignoring the original sequel (not to mention 1998's pretty good H20) the creators have set themselves a nice table. In the center of this table they have placed the excellent Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role for the fourth time. Here is the first problem. For this story to work her character has to be right about Michael Myers returning. But since this film posits that he has been locked up for the last forty years this is madness. She is basing her entire reason for living as she has on something that she has zero evidence for believing. In this timeline she has no history of Michael resurrecting himself multiple times or surviving being burned to death or whatever. She has held this insane belief for decades based on ...... nothing. In fact, without a specific spoiler I won't reveal she would have lived the rest of her life without ever seeing Myers again. In this film Laurie Strode is crazy. Not well prepared, not smart. She's off her rocker. Which is only a problem if you want to see a drama about an older woman's struggles with mental health and poorly handled grief. But we came here for a horror show, so...... how does it do?
It's not bad. There are some good ideas, some bad ones and a lot of style that effectively kept me entertained. The teenager characters are strong and their dialog is the best written of the series since the near perfect original. The interpersonal dynamics of the three generations of family are well done with some well crafted scenes for each actress. The script holds two nice surprises that are well thought out. I especially like that the first of these surprises solves one of the odder problems I had with the beginning of the film. I enjoyed this new film about as much as I did the last Jamie Lee Curtis return to the series H20. It's a shame they negate each other but what the hell. This is all just campfire tale telling stuff. Best to have fun seeing what new eyes can bring to this concept. It's miles better than the Zombie remake, that's for sure!
AND GOD SAID TO CAIN (1970) - 7 (rewatch)HELL FEST (2018) - 6
WISHMASTER (1997) - 6 (better than I anticipated)
THE CORPSE VANISHES (1942) - 4 (rewatch on Blu)
ISLAND OF TERROR (1966) - 8 (rewatch on Blu)
CAMPFIRE TALES (1991) - 3 (low budget anthology horror film)
CATHY'S CURSE (1976) - 2 (low budget mess)
ASYLUM (1972) - 8 (rewatch)
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1958) - 7 (rewatch)
THE STEPFATHER (2009) - 6 (not bad remake)
SWIMFAN (2002) - 6 (solid 'from-Hell' film)
THE SOUND (2017) - 6 (interesting paranormal story that gets weak near the end)
BRIDES OF DRACULA (1968) - 8 (rewatch)
CALLING DR. DEATH (1943) - 5 (rewatch)
BAD NIGHT AT THE EL ROYALE (2018) - 9
THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970) - 7 (rewatch)
THE PREMATURE BURIAL (1962) - 8 (rewatch)
THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942) - 8 (rewatch)
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994) - 9 (rewatch)
DEVIL'S DUE (2014) - 4 (late period found footage horror)
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III (1990) - 3
FRANKENSTEIN - THE TRUE STORY (1973) - 9
GHOST STORIES (2018) - 9
HALLOWEEN (2018) - 7
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING (2017) - 6
JIGSAW (2017) - 5 (well made but as silly as the rest of the series)
FINAL GIRL (2015) - 7 (interesting thriller)
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989) - 3 (rewatch)
BLACK NOON (1971) - 5 (horror western TV movie - a little too long)
OFFERINGS (1989) - 3 (terrible Halloween copy)
GHOULIES II (1988) - 5
WISHMASTER 2: EVIL NEVER DIES (1999) - 5
THE DEVIL'S CANDY (2015) - 6
PET SEMETARY II (1992) - 3
THE BABY'S ROOM (2006) - 7 (Spanish horror)
HALLOWEEN II (1981) - 7 (rewatch)
GRAVEYARD OF HORROR (1971) - 4
TERRIFIER (2016) - 6 (OTT gory evil clown tale)
THE MUMMY'S SHROUD (1967) - 7 (rewatch)
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012) - 9 (rewatch)
TALOS THE MUMMY (1998) - 7 (finally watched the full two hour version)
THE CONJURING 2 (2016) - 7
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
We do slip down a few odd side roads that were not on the original map. Besides a brief discussion of Dario Argento's late trilogy wrap-up MOTHER OF TEARS (there's a good reason) we also find creative new ways to relate the tale of Coffin Joe to modern stories of note. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this will be the first podcast to ever link the horror output of Jose Mojica Marins to the TV shows It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Better Call Saul. Visions of monsters might be universal across all cultures in some surprising ways. We do our best to not lean too hard into the Catholic criticism that seems such a vital part of the subtext of the world of Coffin Joe. We get a few Mormon jokes in there to level things out a little! Sorry.
If you want to contact the podcast the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or the FaceBook page is still a thing you can join. I try to post things of interest there and keep the talk fun. Thanks for downloading and listening!
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Saturday, November 10, 2018
Friday, November 09, 2018
"They were all collaborations. The filmmaking process is a team effort. A screenwriter cannot possibly do exactly what he wants, as if he was writing a novel. When I write a novel I am God at my own typewriter and there is nobody in between. But when I write a screenplay it must be a compromise because there are so many elements which are outside the writer's province."
That sums up so much of the mercurial nature of film-making and expresses the futility of being too precious about the work. James Cameron once used the analogy of 'Everyone pissing into the same bucket' to describe the collaborative process of screenwriting. Sounds like they were on the same page.