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Added by the giraffe on 4 Oct 2010 12:46
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October 2010 Horrorfest

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First viewing

As someone who has thoroughly enjoyed Romero's zombie films thus far, this was a huge disappointment. The character development gets cut too short to care about any of them; the zombies are almost an afterthought; and this time around the social commentary is carefully spelled out instead of left for the viewer to understand on his/her own. Pathetic. I did enjoy some of the zombie deaths, many of which were pretty creative. Too bad the same energies weren't focused in other, more important areas.
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I read the comic series for this film a couple of years ago, and at the time was mildly amused. The film wasn't much better. In fact, the movie is probably worse, or would be were it not for the comic elements provided by Ted Raimi, who delivers the best performance of the entire movie as Pavel. Pavel is a Bulgarian scientist's assistant who is obsessed with American pop culture (mainly hip-hop), and his incompetence brings to mind Marty Feldman's Igor in Young Frankenstein.

Bruce Campbell is OK as William Cole, but he's been better elsewhere. The plot is silly, and much of the acting is terrible, but that's what you get from B-movies apparently. Anyway, this was more entertaining than SotD, but still not something I'd highly recommend nor would I watch it again.
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First viewing

Actually this rates an 8 1/2 out of 10, earning a point and a half for a subtle 3 Stooges reference.

George Wendt is excellent in his role as a mild-mannered serial killer, and the tale is very well-told. His neighbors are adequately portrayed by a couple I'm unfamiliar with (and obviously I wasn't impressed enough to remember their names), and John Landis' direction helps elevate this to the higher tier of the Masters of Horror series (at least in my book). Worth watching? Yes.
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First viewing

Excellent documentary detailing the history of the slasher film. I find it interesting that even though Wes Craven didn't pioneer the style, he singlehandedly revived it twice so far. I like that they interviewed directors and special effects artists for this, as both are equally important in the success of any horror film.

If I had any complaints, it'd be that the doc should have spoiler alerts in case you haven't already seen any of the films they discuss...in most cases they reveal the plots AND endings, which is fine if you've already watched the movies but not so cool if you haven't. Regardless, this doc inspired me to revisit some films I haven't watched in a while and check out some I've missed.

Highly recommended.
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First viewing

I have a couple other versions of The Black Cat lined up to watch, so I'll probably revise this once I've accomplished that. For now I'll simply say that Jeffrey Combs is AWESOME as Edgar Allan Poe, and this may be my favorite Masters of Horror.
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First viewing

Silly. Entertaining. And Landis works in an An American Werewolf in London reference that awards this one extra points.

My favorite part though is the detective trying to imagine how the murders he's investigating could possibly be happening. Hilarious.
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First viewing

I really enjoyed this one, though May is far better. Pretty juvenile actually. I thought Misty Mundae and Angela Bettis were both really good in this, and the effects were sufficiently creepy.
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First viewing

Roger Corman + Vincent Price x Poe = excellence. I dug the way "The Black Cat" and "A Cask of Amontillado" got mixed together into the same tale, and the drinking competition is hilarious. This version of "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar" is excellently done too (especially after watching the film below). I enjoyed "Morella" as well, though it was my least favorite segment. Price is amazing in all 3 tales, and pairing him up with Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone works very well.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Two Evil Eyes (2003)
First viewing

You'd think Romero and Argento doing a film together would be awesome. Well, not in this case. One would also hope that since Poe is their source material that would help things along. It doesn't really.

Romero takes on "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar" and updates it to the 1980s...which of course means the hair and costumes are awful. He unfolds the tale at a snail's pace, and fails to accomplish in almost an hour what Corman does in less than 30 minutes. The special effects are OK, but not good enough to save it.

Then we have Argento's updated version of "The Black Cat" which also moves at a snail's pace (I fell asleep the first time I watched it). I like that it worked in pieces of other Poe tales, and the effects were far better in this half. Also, Harvey Keitel is excellent as Rod Usher, which helps make this tale more enjoyable. The dream sequence, however, is ridiculous, the hair/costumes are again awful, and as far as a reimagining of the original tale this one falls way short of both Corman's and Stuart Gordon's takes.

Overall, it's OK for what it is, but it could've been a lot better. Maybe if they'd shortened it down to fit an hour and a half the results would've been improved?
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An old favorite. Horror-comedy at its best.
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First viewing

I love the concept of a documentary about the living dead, and it could have been amazing. However, it stops short on delivering the bloody goodness that zombies generally promise. More gore and carnage would've made the whole thing better, so as it stands the best rating I can give it is 7/10.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Raven (2003)
First viewing

As stated above, Roger Corman + Vincent Price x Poe = excellence. Add to that Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and Jack Nicholson and it rises above the competition. The effects are silly and it hardly qualifies as horror, but this film is a lot of fun, especially the way it spins a new tale out of Poe's.

(BTW, I didn't watch this on any Region 2 DVD...it's just that Listal only offered it under that region.)
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

Dick Miller is excellent as Walter Paisley, a busboy who bumbles his way into recognition as a sculpture artist by accidentally killing a cat and turning it into a statue. From there the whole thing spirals out of control, and it's a hell of a fun ride. It's a great low budget film, and Corman treats it more seriously than his later, campier fare.
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People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

As anime vampire tales go, this is no Vampire Hunter D (either one), but it's pretty good. The tale is minimal and swiftly told, clocking in at 48 mins. There's enough carnage to satisfy, and it's an engaging tale. I feel like it'd be better, though, if they'd fleshed the story out a bit more and turned it into a full-length film.
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
I love how well this film continues to hold up, aside from the hairstyles and some of the clothes. De Palma expertly brings King's story to life, Sissy Spacek is awesome as Carrie, and I'm still impressed by Piper Laurie's portrayal of Carrie's mom.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0
Prom Night (2007)
First viewing

I put this one off for a long time simply because of what the title suggested...seemed like it'd be too girly of a horror film. But I came across a copy of it super cheap & bought it to finally check it out. (Its mention in Scream helped convince me to give it a chance.) Turns out it's pretty decent. The soundtrack is horrible, and the film is a little on the cheesy side, but I thought it delivered what a slasher should. Namely, a decent body count with some creative kills and a killer whose identity you're never entirely sure of until he/she is unmasked.
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People who added this item 123 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Still one of the best slasher films ever. Having Savini doing the special effects definitely helps (and they've stood the test of time).

I forget sometimes that Kevin Bacon is in this haha.
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First viewing

Wes Craven's first film, and it shows. It's an uneven mess, but it gets better as it moves along. A lot of the dialogue, especially in the first half of the film, falls flat or comes off as sillier than I'm sure was intended. The first few times you see blood you can tell it's fake, and there's a stabbing scene where silly sound effects are used, but some of the special effects do work very well. I especially enjoyed the last part of the film, even though it seems too unlikely that the villains would meet up with the girl's parents like they do. That part of the film made up for the fact that I spent the first 30 minutes or so of the movie wondering if I should turn it off & watch something else.

Turns out it was worth watching after all, though I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

If you want a horror film with lots of graphic violence and nudity plus a minimal plot, this one will do the trick. It's far too juvenile to take seriously, and if you just accept that there are some rewarding moments here. Seamus O'Brien is excellent as Sardu, the master of an off-off-Broadway theatre specializing in live torture shows. All of his victims are naked women he's abducted and broken the wills of. So it's pretty tasteless, but sometimes I enjoy watching a terrible horror film to help me appreciate the truly good ones. I did think some of the torture scenes were well done (especially for 1976), and the ending was rewarding for having sat through it all.

Wouldn't watch it again, but it was entertaining for what it was.
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First viewing

If you've never seen this movie, I HIGHLY recommend you do so. (Head to Netflix NOW) I've long been a fan of Vincent Price, and this may be his best performance...it's definitely the best out of his films that I've seen so far. He is AWESOME as Edward Lionheart, a theatre actor hellbent for revenge against the critics who slighted him. The pacing of this film is perfect, the rest of the acting is almost as good as his performance, and there are some surprises here as well. Plus I love any movie that encourages me to cheer on the villain, and this one does so partly due to the writing but largely due to Price's performance.

Adding this to my wishlist in hopes of owning a copy to watch every few years.
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First viewing

Stuart Gordon directs this excellent Poe adaptation starring Lance Henriksen, who plays the Grand Inquisitor as creepy as he can (and that dude's creepy). The acting is excellent all around, and the humor in it works well to offset the serious subject matter. The opening scene where they flog a corpse is especially hilarious, and the film occasionally made me think of Army of Darkness (though it's far less comedic). Definitely worth watching.
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First viewing

After watching them meet Frankenstein, I decided I should check this one out too. It's funny and entertaining, but not as awesome as the other film. I've enjoyed their brand of comedy for most of my life thanks to my dad, and it's as funny now as when I was a child. Definitely worth watching.
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

I've always been aware of this movie, but never got around to watching it before now. I was very pleased and impressed by the story and the acting (especially James Brolin). It's every bit as good of a haunted house movie as Poltergeist, so I'm surprised I don't see it on more best-of lists.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Crazies (2003)
First viewing

Finally, a Romero film I hadn't already seen that was worth watching. Not his best work, but I enjoyed the story and the social commentary in it. It succeeds as a horror film, but falls just short of being a great one.
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One of the Hammer horror films, this one's a sequel to Horror of Dracula. 100 years after Dracula's death at the hands of Van Helsing, a group of young adults holds a black mass & brings him back to life. It's an interesting premise, and the acting is pretty decent. I enjoyed it, but not as much as Horror of Dracula or Curse of Frankenstein (the latter being my favorite of the Hammer films).
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First viewing

This and the 2 that follow are Roger Corman/Vincent Price adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories. I'm not at all familiar with this tale, but I thought it was pretty well done. Originally I was going to give this 8/10, but then I noticed when I watched House of Usher that the burning building footage used here was recycled from House of Usher...that lost it a point.

Still, it's an entertaining film & worth checking out.
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First viewing

The first Corman/Price Poe adaptation, this one laid the foundation for all the ones that followed. It's slow at times, and the effects at the end are too obviously fake...both of which detract from my appreciation of it. Again, I was entertained by it.
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First viewing

Unknowingly, it appears I saved the best of the 3 for last. Price is excellent as Prospero, and the special effects rise above the previous 2. It's a solidly good old-school horror film, definitely worth watching & I'd watch it again.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
The Fly - The Fly
First viewing

I enjoyed this version about the same as the one starring Jeff Goldblum. The main difference is that the Cronenberg film is more grotesque, while this one focuses more on telling a compelling story. Both equally drive home the point of being careful playing god through science, as the consequences can be disastrous. Patricia Owens portrayal of the scientist's wife is excellent, and for 1958 the special effects have held up pretty well.

Very pleased.
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

An entertaining, solid slasher film with a bit of social commentary thrown in for good measure. I like that it doubles as a black comedy as well.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Monkey Shines (1988)
First viewing

A bit slow at times, but the ending really pays off. Made me want a monkey to take care of all my house chores...that'd be sweet. There were also some pleasant surprises among the supporting cast, including a couple of currently great actors.
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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
First viewing

...and the last viewed in the month of October. A good way to end the holiday: 4 short tales woven together and all taking place on Halloween. It was entertaining, but nothing that blew me away. And better yet, nothing that will be keeping me up late tonight. *evil laugh*
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Every year I end up watching a slew of horror films in celebration of Halloween. This year I've decided to make them into a list, which I'll update as the month goes on. Be sure to check back.

Also note that if it's my first time watching it, I'll put "First viewing". If I've seen it before, that designation won't be present.

Most of these were watched via Netflix Instant Watch, for those who might want to look into them. After browsing and adding films to my queue, the bulk of these will be focused on films inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's works.

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