Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
The story zigs and zags finding smart ways to pull new scares out of the genre tropes that horror fans know so well. Having the attacks center on Halloween makes for the perfect setting to both hide the killer in the open and make chasing him difficult. Situating an attack in a haunted maze that makes it easy to hide and even easier to disguise fresh costumed corpses is even smarter. The script is also clever enough to factor in a lie being told about the first attack that doesn’t pays off until the third act giving the attentive audience another reason to be curious about how things will play out. The movie has a good cast as well, meaning that the dialog is delivered with the right nuance to make things work when doubts start to surface and questions start being answered. I would suggest that new viewers not learn too much about the film so that the fun surprises can have maximum effect.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Joining me to discuss this amazing film is author Troy Howarth, the writer of many books on various film directors and actors including The Haunted World of Mario Bava originally published nearly twenty years ago. We delve into the film’s haunted palace imagery with an eye to the use of manikins and statues and corpses that seem to trade places randomly. The time-slip nature of the dream-like story is examined along with the possible ways to read the underlying meaning of what Bava was saying with this rumination on death and decay. The cast is amazing with a scene stealing turn by a grinning Telly Savalas as both family servant and devilish observer. We also note the origins of the wonderful Carlo Savina score and the producer’s feelings about being sold used goods!
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Filmmaker Jaume Balagueró made the big time when he co-directed 2007’s REC but he is a much more accomplished than a found footage zombie film would imply. His feature film debut THE NAMELESS (1999) managed to both brilliantly adapt a Ramsey Campbell horror novel and find a smart way to darken the wrenching finale of the tale. Over the last twenty years he has become one of Spain’s hidden masters of taut thrillers and smart horror tales. The only complaint I have with his career is that I wish he had more completed films released but I continue to hope for more excellent cinema from him in the future.
SLEEP TIGHT (2011) is both a thriller and a character study of a deeply unhappy man named Cesar. As the concierge of a Barcelona apartment building, he presents a pleasant face to the upper middle-class residents but behind this mask he seethes with rage at their contented lives. Since he is incapable of being happy, he staves off his suicidal ideation by finding ways to make the people he serves in the building miserable. In both small ways and large he wages a one-man war to make them uncomfortable, embarrassed or inconvenienced in any way he can imagine. But he reserves his most vicious attention for Clara, a beautiful single woman of such sunny disposition as to seem angelic. She is the focal point of Cesar’s most persistent activities aimed at making her life unbearable. His repeated failures to change her optimistic outlook seem to only enrage him further until he finally resolves to escalate things to violence. But will circumstances allow his plans to succeed?
Troy and I dig into this film and its themes but we do our best not to spoil the final act’s shocks and surprises. Indeed, we begin the show with a discussion of several recent viewings to get the Halloween season off to the right start. We touch on THE GHOST AND MISTER CHICKEN, THE OPEN HOUSE, THE CHANGLING, the remake of THE BLOB and our plans for 2020’s indoor October 31st. It’s been a strange year, folks. We end the show with a listener email that prompts a series of interesting horror icon mash-ups.
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