also rewatched it.
Speaking of horror films and Spagvember, does anyone know if there are some scary/creepy spaghetti westerns? Or any kind of western combined with horror?
That’s a great freaking doc BTW, I rarely give high ratings to documentaries, but this one really deserves, genuinely well-made.
The Prowler 1981
Savinis stunning special effects makes this suspense slasher whorth watching.
Doctor Sleep (Flanagan, 2019)
Enjoyable follow-up to The Shining, and plenty of fan serivice in the 3rd act for all the Kubrick nerds.
Bone tomehawk is a western with horror elements
The Invincible Broithers Machiste (1964), a fun Peplum from near the end of that genre’s cycle, starring Anthony Steffen as Prince Akim. Building a temple so the gods will bless his upcoming wedding, a collapse reveals an underground realm run by an evil, banished queen. Akim pops down for a visit along with his building contractors, the super-strong Machiste brothers.
Queen Thaliade (Claudia Lange) then kidnaps the future Mrs Akim and the impressively-chested elder Machiste broither (Iranian actor Iloosh Khoshabe), then tries to marry Akim. The Peplums were getting quite whacky by this point, which made them quite good fun, and it’s intersting to see Steffen before he became a spaghetti western star. The younger Machiste brother is played by Mario Novelli, and gets even less to do than big brother.
It’s directed and written by Roberto Mauri, who went on to direct Sartana in the Valley of Death, Wanted Sabata and He Was Called Holy Ghost.among others.
In the last few days I re-watched four films, very different from one another, about Movie Reality Crossover
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Last Action Hero (1993)
Circuito chiuso (1978)
Today I saw for the first time
The Running Man (1987)
Loved this one as a kid … only identified the movie being played in the cinema, years later 'E per tetto …
The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2017, Alexandre Aja)
Louis Drax is a 9-year-old boy who survived various near-fatal accidents; after the last one, a fall from a cliff, he is pronounced dead, but in the morgue he suddenly returns to the land of the living … What caused all these near-fatal accidents and what happened exactly on that cliff? Has somebody been trying to kill him? His ‘father’ maybe, who is not his biological father and has a history of drinking and aggressive behaviour?
Visually this is an interesting movie and there are also a few good performances (notably by Aaron Paul as the ‘father’ and Jamie Dornan as the doctor who is in charge of Louis’ case), but what is this? A whodunit? A supernatural thriller? A horror movie? It’s a bit of everything but at the same time nothing in particular. It’s also a movie that seems to work towards a bravura finale but fails to come up with one (the finale is rather anti-climactic). I haven’t read the source novel (by Liz Jensen) and maybe the jumps back and forth in time and the mix of supernatural and realistic elements worked better on paper. Disappointing (but some may like it better than I did).
** (out of 5)
Fat City (1972).
California Split (1974).1/2
The Valley of Gwangi (1969).
’Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ … some amusing moments for film buffs, but I can’t imagine a mainstream audience getting much out of this. 7/10
PS: Spotted tons of factual errors regarding the timeline, but I’m guessing they’re deliberate, just to keep the nerds talking ?
Factual? It’s not supposed to be a documentary.
Of course not … but when you see the ‘Sharon Tate’ character going to the cinema in February 1968, we see multiple posters for ‘The Mercenary’, which hadn’t even gone into production at that time.
Why give specific information on screen and then contradict the historical accuracy of that time period ? … as I suggested, just to piss off the cinema historians
Yeah, it’s a Tarantino timeline. I bet they’re deliberate, kinda small hints that this is not going how’s it supposed to be.
’The Irishman’ (2019) Martin Scorsese
Big disappointment - right from the opening moments, I felt I was watching a parody of a Scorsese movie. As though some young ‘upstart’ who’d studied ‘Goodfellas’ frame by frame was attempting to honour their favourite director.
I’ll be brief … this doesn’t work. The CGI faces are completely unbelievable, and if it looks unconvincing now - wait 10 years when it’s so badly dated, it’ll get belly laughs from an audience of ‘bad film’ enthusiasts.
Even if the technical side wasn’t an issue … you still have a very long boring film, which is only getting attention because of what it’s makers did decades ago … decades … decades!
Munich (2005) - Director: Steven Spielberg - 5/10 - There is no doubt Spielberg aspires to something great and impactful with his epic opus here, the thing is he fails to endow his work with a sufficiently sturdy structure in order to warrant the exceedingly expansive scope of the narration; he doesn’t succeed in reining in all the different motifs and narrative strands and his attempts at forming some kind of cohesive whole ultimately come to nothing. The movie undoubtedly looks gorgeous and boasts a tense and fairly redolent atmosphere, however, these upsides cannot sufficiently mitigate the structural disarray brought about by the lax storytelling and the tenuous portrayal of time passage. No matter how well certain parts of the motion picture are executed, these merits are partially obscured by the inconsistency of the pacing, which makes the whole affair look like a bit of a mess really, whereas moral shadings the motion picture sets out to investigate simply get lost in the tangle of compositional chaos.
Physical Evidence (1989) - Director: Michael Crichton - 3/10 - A completely inconsequential and utterly forgettable dud from Crichton. Reynolds enacts his routine part of a jaded cop who gets suspended on account of him being the prime suspect in a murder case of one of local crooks. He is completely disinterested in the conventional police procedure and needless to say, eagerly engages in battery to get his own way. Not to waste any more time trying to describe this movie (it definitely doesn’t deserve it), there is no disguising the fact that the film is cobbled together in a saliently haphazard fashion and conspicuously suffers from a number of issues, namely, rather embarrassing performances, the slovenly narrative, some plot holes, the astonishingly slipshod direction and the general structural decomposition entailed by the aforementioned factors. The entirety of the picture just doesn’t jell completely, drags forever and turns into this tiresome, hackneyed and pointless marriage of thriller and legal drama, eventually becoming one of those big studio productions no one really remembers and nobody really wants to have the faintest recollection of.
The Nature of the Beast (1995) - Director: Victor Salva - 7/10 - An intriguing and genuinely prepossessing neonoir bolstered by killer performances by Roberts and Henriksen, the absorbing premise as well as the veritably pensive, sinister atmosphere. It’s hard to say why this opus doesn’t achieve the same resplendence as other preeminent genre examples, which is not to say the movie doesn’t have any engaging qualities; in point of fact, the venture exhibits a number of idiosyncratic touches such as meditative, foreboding dialogues between the two leads, the leisurely pacing and the steady flow of the narrative, but all of the mentioned components leading up to the denouement are partially squandered by the rather ordinary and cartoonish resolution. In other words, my complaint is that the resolution seems to be immoderately simplistic for such an unconventional and foreboding psychological thriller, which simply calls for a more unorthodox approach indicative of something a lot more ambiguous than what we ultimately get here.
Parasite (2019) - Director: Bong Joon Ho - 7/10 - A flawed, but remarkably amusing and scathing social satire which gets sapped by its somewhat precipitate pacing, the immoderate loquacity and its ultimately schizophrenic aspirations. While the basic storyline delineates the shenanigans of predatory paupers, who insinuate themselves into the household of a well-off family and then gradually take control, in actuality, the whole vision predominantly seems to touch upon the overall status quo of the South Korean society, which is something a lot of highly perplexing situations enacted throughout this picture seem to indicate. Ambitious as it might appear, a large portion of this effort feels somewhat out of focus on account of its slightly precipitant rhythm and one may argue the tale is resolved in a rather hackneyed and uninspired fashion. All of a sudden, the flick devolves into yet another Korean family drama by attempting to add some human element to the equation and invoking usual drama formulas when it’s way too late in the game. This stroke goes against the primary dynamics of the hitherto established tone and inadvertently defuses and eventually debilitates the previously erected machinery of sardonicism. With that being said, this stroke doesn’t prove particularly destructive to the overarching narration, which still manages to overcome some of its internal stylistic inconsistencies and present a fairly intriguing story.
Scanner Cop (1994) - Director: Pierre David - 3/10 - The motion picture seems to have all ingredients for a well-rounded flick, but it ultimately fails to translate those into the overall narration and instead, resorts to employing typically trashy platitudes, thereby getting submerged in the general cinematic indolence. Not only does this array of cheap tricks and repetitive gimmickery prove quite tedious to watch, but also the overall execution verges on pure ludicrousness owing to the immoderate indulgence in preposterous narrative devices and the mind-numbing recurrence of the same cheesy shticks. Although it gets intriguing at certain points, especially in its sporadic emphasis on the supernatural elements in certain segments of the work in question, most of that turns out to be merely fascinating en passant, so to speak, and promptly becomes obscured by its own core stupidity. I guess this turkey likewise shows what the original Scanners movie could’ve turned into if it hadn’t been for Cronenberg’s dexterous direction and his stylistic aptitude.
Neon City (1991) - Director: Monte Markham - 6/10 - This one is genuinely exciting and stimulating for something that’s supposed to be essentially a simple Mad Max rip-off. There is no disguising the fact the picture had a small budget at its disposal and its story is basically a fairly straightforward reformulation of all post apo tropes we’ve all come to learn and appreciate. Nevertheless, it needs to be said that all of the miscellaneous ingredients composing this particular outing still coalesce into a genuinely agreeable film viewing experience. Yes, the script might sporadically feel a little mechanical in the way it unfolds, it’s exploitation filmmaking after all, but the film is largely executed in an enticing manner, interjects a number of highly successful narrative embellishments and even goes as far as to throw in a couple of emotionally stirring and redolent scenes without diverting the narrative from its due course too much. Last but not least, the characterization proves to be astonishingly nuanced and interesting for such a modest project, hence apart from several deftly crafted action sequences, the screenplay makes you invested in the whole concept by furnishing the apocalyptic wasteland with a handful of fairly well-delineated characters you’re able to root for. Certain technical deficiencies aside, let’s face it, this one is as good as it probably gets in this area of filmmaking.
Kiss or Kill (1997) - Director: Bill Bennett - 6/10 - A somewhat Godardesque Aussie indie exercise in neonoir filmmaking with a bit of social commentary thrown on top of it as well as a few turnabouts injected for good measure. The reason why I’m bringing up Godard is because the movie is strikingly reminiscent of Godard’s shticks in the way it’s edited and additionally, the plot itself kind of reminds of Godard’s À bout de souffle to some extent; hence, certain similarities and other comparisons just tend to come to mind throughout the duration of this flick on account of the way it is generally pieced together and what it essentially recounts. The venture itself is kind of peculiar in that it feels rather subdued in nature, rarely picking up and remaining fairly low-key for most of its running time. The resolution likewise turns out slightly anti-climatic. Although the film appears rather lax in the storytelling department, I did not find it particularly out of focus and interestingly enough, this particular quality comes to be a prevailing characteristic endowing the whole opus with its particular feel and defining the general tone. Overall, this is an odd, but fairly diverting little flick that’s well worth checking out if you’re looking for something slightly different.
Carnosaur (1993) - Directors: Adam Simon, Darren Moloney - 3/10 - I fancied some rubber dinosaurs, so I decided to give this one a shot. Regrettably, instead of being trashy and fun, it’s just trashy and gory. The gore looks admittedly good and suitably disgusting, but apart from that, the flick has little to offer in terms of coherent storytelling, compelling acting or anything other than rubber dinosaurs roving around, mauling people and tearing them to pieces much to the delight of VHS-scavenging maniacs. I have to confess I found little of it diverting enough and regrettably, a large portion of the whole venture is shot in an exceptionally unsightly manner, winding up looking as slovenly as the rubber T-rexes themselves. There is not a whole lot to recommend here and although subsequent installments of this ‘epic’ series are said to be of higher quality, I think I will take that assessment with a pinch of salt and think twice before tracking them down, as they likewise appear rather shoddy in their execution.
The Dark Side of the Moon (1990) - Director: D.J. Webster - 7/10 - Probably one of the best obscure sci-fi horror flicks I have ever come across. It’s hard to deny film’s somewhat perfunctory attitude towards its rather simplistic story and the crude way it attempts to blend supernatural with science fiction, but what the movie lacks in terms of scripting ingenuity is largely compensated by its singularly infernal atmosphere and fairly dexterous rendition. As a matter of fact, the film is very reminiscent of Event Horizon as far as its general tone and subject matter are concerned, thus if you happen to cherish that movie and can disregard certain technical deficiencies whilst scouring cinema archives for hidden gems, you might find plenty of interest here as well.
The Blob (1988) - Director: Chuck Russell - 7/10 - What this film excels at are the redolent presentation of the general cultural aura of the 1980s era as well as the extensive characterization neatly intertwined with film’s central themes, which largely detail the cold war mentality and the youth rebellion among other things. Interestingly enough, the amply delineated cultural milieu turns out to be a rather indispensable component of the narrative framework and the instant it gets displaced by more formulaic genre calculations, the work loses a lot of its initial inspiration and seems to be going through the motions for the rest of its duration. That is not to say the latter part of the movie is not executed in a prepossessing fashion and admittedly, film’s special effects still look quite impressive even from today’s standpoint, however, there is no disguising the fact that the introduction leading up to the final showdown happens to be a lot more absorbing than the fairly straightforward resolution.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) - Director: Chad Stahelski - 4/10 - The script is just too goddamn run-of-the-mill and preposterously tenuous to sustain viewer’s interest for the entirety of film’s length. Yes, action sequences are impeccably lighted, choreographed and staged, but what’s the whole point of even filming those if they’re not accompanied by a sufficiently immersive story to generate adequate tension and some narrative momentum. A lot of the usual shticks here just feel completely tiresome as well as utterly played out at this point and what is worse, the extensive stylization invariably rings hollow, looks extremely cheesy and predominantly serves as a contemptuous pretext for concealing film’s internal narrative vacuity, stylistic featurelessness and tastelessness. Most of the camerawork here is strikingly reminiscent of a video game decor which does not help the whole project at all and effectively deprives the venture of any visual identity it might’ve, could’ve and should’ve had to make this two-bit affair any good.
Millennium (1989) - Director: Michael Anderson - 3/10 - An odd and ineffectual marriage of environmentalist critique, romance and time travel science fiction. Interesting as this peculiar mixture might sound, this melange never really comes to form a particularly coherent or stylistically compelling vision, becoming a rather tawdry affair with very little to offer outside of its excessively corny and cheesy attractions. Prescinding from its shoddy production values, the romance portion doesn’t work because neither of its characters are fleshed out to an adequate degree; the environmentalist commentary feels largely superfluous and is never really explored adequately, while at the same time, the time travel ingredient of the motion picture simply ends up prolonging something that’s essentially pretty paltry and crass by virtue of aforementioned shortcomings. There is little order or forethought in the way the whole narrative is organized and the structural disarray entailed thereby renders the whole endeavor even more unsavory as well as bothersome than it would normally be.
Lords of the Deep (1989) - Director: Mary Ann Fisher - 2/10 - Albeit extremely trashy and wretched, the flick initially is kind of reminiscent of a trashier version of Bava’s Terrore nello spazio (1965), except that it’s set underwater. Not that it matters all that much, since at a certain point, the movie just begins to disintegrate before your goddamn eyes both storywise and actingwise. Soon enough, Lords of the Deep devolves into this singular, one-of-the-kind bad trip of a motion picture verging on being a mind-boggling self-travesty. Actors blurt out nonsensical lines when they’re not reacting hysterically or getting assaulted by spooky scary polyester skate fishes (or whatever those fucking contraptions are supposed to embody), characters enter some kind alien egg or something and then they throw a swell party there at the end… and you just go what an actual fuck, but not the good kind of what the fuck if you catch my drift. The venture is sometimes so incredibly out of whack you legitimately can’t tell whether performers are taking the piss or their acting is simply this painfully bad. Most of it is pretty bad, kind of fun, kind of intriguing, but ultimately just bad. Very bad. Recommended for heavily intoxicated viewers only.
Complex of Fear (1993) - Director: Brian Grant - 5/10 - A passable little thriller with some additional depth applied to its characters. Not only does the movie dedicate an appreciable amount of time to developing its protagonist, his wife and the nature of their relationship, but also the whole filmic environment and the location where the flick is set likewise happen to conduce to the suspense and the gradually unfolding mystery. The film dexterously outlines consequences of the sexual violence, which constitutes the prime theme of the work, through showcasing its impact on the community of this particular locale. Hence, despite being fairly simple in the way it develops and what it presents to the viewer, the story encompasses a number of fairly interesting subplots and provides a moderately engaging outlook on its topics without ever feeling excessively fleeting or superficial in its treatment of the subject matter. Nothing special, but it delivers I suppose.
Star Crystal (1986) - Director: Lance Lindsay - 4/10 - This is one of those rare cases in which a movie starts out really bad, but then progressively improves along the way. This is quite possibly one of the cheapest science fiction flicks I have ever viewed, but then again I haven’t seen that many low-budgeted affairs of this sort, so take my statement with a grain of salt. The pic initially focuses on encasing some really awful jokes, but fortunately it picks up in the second half once the alien enters the equation and starts massacring the crew of the spacecraft with its shapely tentacles. Truth be told, gore scenes don’t look too bad for such a modest project and they’re easily the best thing that can be said about this enjoyable little piece of crap. Conspicuously, I could concentrate on dissecting its numerous technical shortcomings, but what’s the point, everybody knows what to expect the moment they smash that play button and see for themselves what they’re in for. Yes, it’s a cheapo, no shit Sherlock, if you don’t like the melting booger of an alien or the ET-lookalike creature from outer space, whatever, then just get out, just leave, shoo. It’s decent for what it is I suppose, but definitely far from being perfect. Plus I have a soft spot for those 1980s FM e-pianos, I am afraid I can’t help it, sorry.
Project Nightmare (1987) - Director: Donald M. Jones - 6/10 - There are three types of weird movies: moderately odd flicks, genuinely weird flicks and then shit like this. Despite having been released in the 1980s, this thing was most definitely shot in the 1970s, it just looks like it. Other than that, it’s hard to talk about it really because everything about its story, acting and content in general is puzzling and enigmatic. From what one can make out, it is a film about a man stuck in a computer simulation and I will stop here not to spoil things, as it’s better to approach this movie by just jumping into it and enjoying the wild ride without knowing too much about it. One thing is for sure: if you take interest in esoteric cinema in general and love exploring really outlandish obscurities no one really knows of and no one has even heard of, this one is for you and you have to track this thing down because it is a must-see in this regard. Not saying it’s necessarily all that absorbing or all of it invariably qualifies as excellent filmmaking, but what I do know is that this is one of those weird basement dwellers’ delectations which are fun to unearth and in whose unhinged craziness you may want to immerse yourself. I don’t think it’s mind-blowingly spectacular, but I’ve got to say it was fairly absorbing in its singularly deranged nature. Probably gonna re-watch it soon, possibly tomorrow.
Mutator (1989) - Director: John R. Bowey - 4/10 - While I cherish the idea of casting Brion James in the lead role and adopting the quasi-arcade-game premise, regrettably, the story doesn’t really go anywhere and sort of dissolves along the line without fleshing out the whole array of half-baked claims it pelts its audience with. It’s quite conspicuous the motion picture attempts to make some kind of anti-corporate statement and warn us against perilous consequences of genetic engineering, but none of these assertions are elaborated in any way whatsoever and all of them end up being merely snippets of subplots, which ultimately get lost in the jumble of scripting inconsequentiality. What is worse, however, is that the screenplay likewise proves to be quite deficient on a purely functional level in the sense that it even feels excessively spartan in its portrayal of the monster assailment. All in all, although I still hold the opinion that it’s fairly entertaining for what it is, there is no getting around the fact that it’s a heavily flawed monster pic in need of a much better script to jell all of its miscellaneous ingredients and really make it work. Well, at least the poster looks great.
Moontrap (1989) - Director: Robert Dyke - 3/10 - Although the general premise happens to be quite intriguing in and of itself and offers a great point of departure for an original and captivating science fiction film, most of this potential is completely squandered by virtue of the shlocky direction exclusively preoccupied with framing cheap thrills and shoddily framed action scenes; to add insult to injury, the tenuous storytelling virtually pays no heed to the rhythm of the narration and brushes off any adequate portrayal of time passage, directing its attention to predictably trashy deliberations at the expense of structural consistency. What is interesting is that the motion picture does not even succeed in entertaining on a purely trashy level on account of being too serious in tone as well as failing to substantiate its characters or any other imperative components. Instead of shooting for something relatively accessible in consideration of its limited resources, the flick essentially sets out to achieve something that’s stylistically and narratively completely beyond its reach owing to the minuscule budget, lazy writing, slipshod storytelling and lackluster staging of action sequences.
Strays (1991) - Director: John McPherson - 3/10 - If you wish to see feral cats getting microwaved and electrocuted, then this is a movie for you. It’s somewhat hard to deny the overall good production value and the fairly decent technical execution irrespective of its underlying idiocy, nevertheless, it is simultaneously pretty difficult to treat this film seriously by virtue of the remarkably preposterous premise and progressively accumulating campiness. The pervasive sense of cretinism is additionally compounded by the ever-recurring meowing and screeching probably intended to sound minacious. At a certain point, the movie seemingly comes to embrace its pervasive ridiculousness and begins to go with the flow with cats punching through doors, penetrating ventilation systems and hurtling through time and space and shit, other than this feline turmoil though, there is hardly anything of interest here, as the story is quite rudimentary and does not provide an adequate background to this bewildering showcasing of ubiquitous stupidity.
The Vindicator (1986) - Director: Jean-Claude Lord - 5/10 - An astonishingly entertaining little sci-fi venture with a suitably grungy aesthetic and sufficiently rugged direction. Although the movie appears to be an unabashed rip-off of Robocop, it is, in point of fact, its own thing altogether and was apparently developed independently of that motion picture, which is an interesting coincidence well worth noting. While there is nothing particularly remarkable about what it sets out to recount and how it goes about its central story, quite often becoming somewhat formulaic and kind of shabby in its rendition, the flick ends up being surprisingly engaging and absorbing despite its fair share of flaws, which ultimately drag it down a little bit, demoting the effort to the stature of a second-tier, trashy sci-fi outing.