Banshee Chapter (2013)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 19 of 31

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Banshee Chapter  (Horror, Thriller,  2013) (15) D: Blair Erickson W: Blaie Erikson and Daniel J Healy P: Zachary Quinto C: Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillian,. 1h 27m. USA.

Synopsis : Journalist Anna roland explores the disturbing links behind her friend’s sudden disappearance, an ominious government research chemical, and a disturbing radio broadcast of unknown origin.

Darkly atmospheric and creepy as fuck, this insane nightmare of a movie really taps into your modern day life and shows you how to open the door into darkness! Yeah okay I killed the intro there, but this film is inspired by the legendary HP Lovecraft story From Beyond that was earlier made into a 80’s psychotropic film of the same name. Banshee Chapter does take things step or two forwards and really roots itself into real events, thus bringing the events of Lovecraft old monsters and madmen literally right to your doorstep.

wpid-wp-1445900825431.pngThe film kicks off in style, a couple of guys are filming themselves trying DMT for the first time. After showing footage of President Clinton; and other people announcing the existence of a government experiment Project MKUltra. The brand of DMT-19 is the same drug used in the testing. Then something goes terribly wrong, a weird sound is heard over the radio akin to Silent Hill (20??) and James becomes extremely anxious saying that something is coming towards the house and it wants to “wear them”, a large shadowy figure rushes past the window and the scene ends with a shot of James with all black eyes and a disfigured face standing in a pool of blood. A young journalist picks up the story with the help of Thomas Blackburn (Ted Levine) and she bravely searches for the bizarre drug and radio station, what she uncovers is truly terrifying and relentless. Continue reading Banshee Chapter (2013)

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L’ultimo Treno Della Note -Don’t Ride on Late Night Trains (1975)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 18 of 31

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L’ultimo Treno Della NoteDon’t Ride on Late Night Trains  (Horror,  1975) (Banned) D: Aldo Lado W: Roberto Infascelli (story) Renato Izzo + P:  C: Flavio Bucci, Mache Meril, Gianfranco De Grassi. 1h 34m. Italy.

Synopsis : A pair of psychotic hoodlums and an equally demented nymphomaniac woman terrorize two young girls on a train trip from Germany to Italy.

TAGLINE : Most movies hast less than two hours! This is one of everlasting torment.

A turbulent nightmare ride of pain and pleasure. Amplified by a past pace, daunting cinematics and a host of uncomfortable and grotty scenes. Seemly inspired by various other video nasties of the time, namely Last House on the left (1972) and Who saw her die? (1972). The film is more of a gore scare than anything really steeped in horror, it’s got that psycho edge as in Trip with Teacher (1975) where the crazy culprits have a lot of deep issues and sexual tension.

wpid-night-train-murders.png.pngThe film starts off so fucking happy, it’s Christmas time in Germany and school is out! Margaret and Lisa, high school friends, take the night train from Germany to Verona to spend Christmas with Lisa’s family. They flirt mildly with male passengers, including two randy delinquents in their 20s, Blackie and Curly. The four of them end up in a first-class cabin with a well-dressed woman of about 30 who has pornographic photographs in her valise. Egged on by the woman, the thugs and a male visitor to the cabin menace and then assault Margaret and Lisa. Meanwhile, we also see Christmas Eve and morning scenes at Lisa’s home, where her parents are polite to each other while discussing divorce. On Christmas morning, they go to the station to meet the girls. Will they be on the train?
Continue reading L’ultimo Treno Della Note -Don’t Ride on Late Night Trains (1975)

The Lodger (1927)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 17 of 31

lodger headerThe Lodger  – A Story of the London Fog  (Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller,  1927) (A) D: Alfred Hitchcock W: Marie Belloc Lowndes (novel) P:  C: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault. 1h 8m. UK.

Synopsis : A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in london.

A new style of suspense film that kicked off a long line of amazing thrillers from a sinister director. Loosely based around the horrific crimes of the notorious jack the ripper, the villain at large in this fog shrouded London is after a particular female instead, one close to the heart of the equally notorious director.

Taking all of the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper and balling it together with a whole new list of objectives, this film doesn’t attempt to answer any questions but instead gives an insight into the paranoia that was potentially suffered by Londoners, who can you trust, especially when you’re a landlady who rents rooms to strangers and have a daughter that fits the bill of the typical victim.

the lodgerWhen a landlady (Marie Ault) and her husband (Arthur Chesney) take in a new lodger (Ivor Novello), they’re overjoyed: He’s quiet, humble and pays a month’s rent in advance. But his mysterious and suspicious behaviour soon has them wondering if he’s the killer terrorizing local blond girls. Their daughter, Daisy (June Tripp), a cocky model, is far less concerned, her attraction obvious. Her police-detective boyfriend (Malcolm Keen), in a pique of jealousy, seeks to uncover the lodger’s true identity. Continue reading The Lodger (1927)

Srpski Film – A Serbian Film (2010)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 16 of 31

 

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Srpski Film, – A Serbian Film  (Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller,  2010) (18) D: Srdjan Spasojevic W: Srdjan Spasojevic, Aleksandar Radivojevic  C: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic. 1h 44m. Serbia.

Synopsis : An aging porn star agrees to participate in an “art film” in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.

TAGLINE : Not all films have a happy ending

One of the top contenders in the heavyweight division of disturbing and banned movies in the form of rare piece of transgressive art. Seemingly inspired by a range of political and sociological events in modern Serbia. Although mistakenly assumed to be an excuse for “just being a video nasty”.

Serbian FilmFunnily enough through all the grime and grot this film does address some fairly serious issues, I think in some ways it lets itself down by promoting them in such a vivid way, but to be honest and in the words of John Doe from Se7en (1995) ,Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore, you have to hit them with a sledgehammer and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention. Continue reading Srpski Film – A Serbian Film (2010)

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 15 of 31

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The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh  (Horror, Mystery, Thriller,  2012) (12A) D: Rodrigo Gudino W: Rodrigo Gudino  C: Aaron Poole, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Richings. 1h 22m. Canada.

Synopsis : An antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to discover that she has been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious cult. Soon, the comes to suspect that his mother’s oppressive spirit still lingers within her home and is using items in the house to contact him with an urgent message.

TAGLINE : Faith is Fragile

In the style of a gloomy atmospheric Gothic horror shrouded in religious iconography and dogmatic beliefs, this slowly developing quiet movie has a dark sinister horror literally running through it.

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The story seems heavily inspired what appear to be personal events, childhood fears of the dark and a mother’s (domineering) love, it’s hard to imagine that it’s all been fabricated from nothing, but obviously I have no proof of this. Binding together guilt and fanaticism gives the film many dual meanings, and many people have interpreted it in many ways.

A son, Leon (Aaron Poole) returns to his mother Rosalind’s (Vanessa Redgrave)  house after her death and struggles with a lifetime of emotions and oppression and heartache as he learns more about this mother after her death than when she was alive. The mansion of a house that he’s now in charge of is filled with religious icons and is in fact a shrine, but as he learns more about the  cult that his mother had joined he also becomes very aware that something else has been left behind and is stalking him in the house.  While this entity starts to become more apparent the film takes on a darker and more sister atmosphere and starts to loose its drama edge for a terrifying creature feature.

Seaping with sentimental drama, the film is set within a large home crowded with statues and curious. As Leon moves from room to room with a constant overture from Rosalind, the film comes across as being quite subdued and quiet.  It’s far from that! While you’re presented with visuals of the almost silent young man in this strange environment, with his mother’s thoughts being vocalised, there are often many shocking truths revealed.

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What really sells the movie is presentation of its more shocking and terrifying scenes. As its so quiet, it could literally be silent at times, when you’re presented with a jump scare it packs a bigger punch and is never expected, so beware.

[SPOILER]
One such scene has a superb delivery, while Leon is watching a video that his mother recorded in her church/cult there is some praying and commotion, he recognises one of the statues that they group is praying to as one that’s in the house, then it opens its eyes! I know it’s not the most terrifying movie scenario but it’s freaky as hell and i hope I’ve not spoiled the effect for anyone, but it’s not the highlight and is just an example of the style of horror in this movie.

tlwatorl4From the beginning despite being filmed in the day time, the film is fairly dark and moody, this remains through the movie and it deals with lots of issues of being left in the dark. Darkness and lonely pretty much rule the atmosphere.

As the film has a teeny cast, in fact it’s pretty much just Leon, his mother’s voice is prevalent and a key feature but that’s almost all we have of her. I presume it was deliberate, after all she is deceased from before the start of the movie and all of her memories are her last will are simply vocalised rather than acting out his entire childhood, it’s all covered while he is coming to terms to his mother’s death.

Rosalind is an interesting character and it’s a shame that we don’t officially get to meet her, but the voice acting from Vanessa Redgrave is quite a powerful performance in itself. The script is extremely tentative and there a lot that can be read between her lines. The film is too quiet to discuss music but what it does impress with is the amazing cinematography, arranged by Samy Inayeh, and it really enhances the frequent scenes of bleeding statues, stalking creatures and curious visitors to the property.

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Leon (Aaron Poole) the main person in the film has to go through a very deep roller coaster of mixed emotions, not only dealing with the suicide of his mother and getting to grips with who she became in his absence. He has a trunkload of childhood nightmares and attrition to come to terms with. The more he learns the harder his strife.

The Catholic upbringing of director Rodrigo Gudino  and Stanley Kubrick are both huge inspirations. The Kubrick connection can be seen in the pace,  filming locally and possibly how the film is set in two distinct halves.  The catholicism permeates heavily until near the end of the film. But it’s always fascinating when a director makes a project out of something heartfelt.tlwatorl3

Rosalind Leigh works for me,  I adore re watching this movie, it digs at the brain and tangles up the thought patterns. I’ve never had any religious guilt trips placed on me but I can identify with the characters, they are very so very real, this is why it brings the horror home to nest. The only let down, if I was pushed to find something, would be the lack of a soundtrack. Now while it’s very interesting that film doesn’t boom music at you constantly it could have enhanced some of the horror and drama scenes.

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The way I see things is that the driving force behind the movie is this “Religion can drive people apart” Now I’m not saying that this applies to everyone who considers themselves religious, after all most religions aim to pull people together and to help one another, but there are always fanatics who get things messed up, how many parents drive their children away for not conforming? This just illustrates what “can” happen and how devastating it can be for both parties.

I think adapting the catholicism into this unnamed cult, is an attempt to stop viewers at pointing the finger at this known religion, instead to help them lump the blame with “religion” as a blanket term. I suppose if your uber religious then you’ll be better off avoiding this, if you have been outcast due to religious differences then this might dig up a reason to go and see your therapist. Otherwise if you’re a fan of gothic horrors, or if you just prefer something a little more mature and refined that will shock the cerebral without the use of gore then this will entertain and shock.wpid-https%3a%2f%2f36.media_.tumblr.com%2f37ce2b29a4cbe95a767917525e783baa%2ftumblr_mwlvylpt6o1qbwn9co6_1280.pngV: While the movie is not lacking in substance, it doesn’t untap all of it’s full potential but it’s still a thrilling horror movie, the atmosphere is perfect, the house itself and the setting is both claustrophobic and very unsettling. While the CG involved with the creature is a little low budget it doesn’t deter from the sheer horror it does create, and is heavily enhanced with great cinematography and very terrifying sound effects. I can’t recommend this movie enough, it’s hard to work out why it scores so low but it’s not a gore movie and I think there has been a shift to gore instead of horror lately. but it’s definitely something for true horror fans with a solid story and great acting.

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Rating –  8/10
R: The Facts in the case of  Mister Hollow (2008) , The Possession (2013) , The taking of Deborah Logan (2014) .
5B : Vanessa Redgrave
L: Haunted Houses, Selected Ghost movies, Haunted houses, Angels
PD : Post Discussion to come

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The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 14 of 31

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The Hills Have Eyes  (Horror, Thriller,  1977) (18) D: Wes Craven W: Wes Craven  C: Janus, Blythe, Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Dee Wallace, Robert Houston, Martin Speet, James Whitworth, Michael Berryman. 1h 29m. USA.

Synopsis : On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

TAGLINE : Wes Craven’s classic original!

As one of the more memorable exploitation movies from the 1970’s , bringing together fears over nuclear weapons and our beloved bloodthirsty rednecks.

Crazy head hunters stalking people in wilderness may seem like a fictional story, this is actually based on true events. Sawney Beane and his family who were a feral clan  who roamed the highlands of Scotland in the early 1400’s, where they captured, tormented and ate several transients. The execution of the family involved such brutal tortures that inspired the Carter family’s vicious revenge. Family and the lack of a family,  plays a huge part in this film.

Hill Have Eyes (1)Almost leading on from Last House on the Left (1972), it seems that Wes managed to fine tune the plot a little and reverse some roles, whereas the family were pretty remote, he moves this family to an off the map location where help in totally impossible. Everything is just a step further away from any sense of security. While the movie is still just as raw and unsettling it does push a different set of limits and still has very little disregard for the family.

The Carter family go on a road trip and things are pretty easy going, but then suddenly the film takes a curious turn when their car breaks down, they camp up thinking that it’s just a minor delay and a simple fix, but the tension starts to grow in the movie until a huge pivotal scene where the family are soon descended upon by a group so violent savages who have had practice in stalking and attacking in this way before. As the movie continues the most vulnerable members of the family soon have to man up in order to overcome their worst nightmares and be fearless in order to survive.

Hill Have Eyes (3)The theme of this movie is quite similar to some of the olde headhunter stories often presented in comic books, the styles, even though it’s very much all in the same taste as any early Craven movie has a lot of influence from Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and it even uses from of the props from that movie set. As a majority of the film is quite heavy bearing it is lightened, there are some great family comedy moments that almost cushion the blow, strangely there are tons of references to “Human French Fries” and other cannibalism quips.

At times it feels like there is almost an age old family feud going on (as old as those hills),  you’ve got the well to do family, with all their airs and graces who are suddenly encroached upon by some revolting peasants (so to speak). Obviously due to the chronic differences in the characters of each family they visually appear different, but also the scripts for each has vast contrast. Scenes with the mountain family are much more dynamic, louder and more energetic.

Hill Have Eyes (4)The lack of a decent soundtrack is disturbing but a decent score on the low budget makes up for that, but it would have taken a similar route as Devils Rejects (2005) with a strong country based OST.

There is a lot of solid acting in this movie, considering some of the costumes and effects for the feral family were a little tacky. It was all managed really well; Dee Wallace was radiant as the older daughter (Lynn) and didn’t have to act when face to face with a tarantula as she was genuinely petrified. The film had the added bonus of having Michael Berryman playing the role of Pluto with his distinctive features and versatility, while the role almost finalised his typecasting it did raise him to the horror icon that he is today. The leading roles were mostly masculine with Bobby (Robert Houston) looking after his sister while the supposed weakling Doug (Martin Speer) changes from modern day metro into primal bad guy while out hunting to save his baby daughter.

Craven has always has this immense edge in his story writing and direction that can cause a lot of people to feel uncomfortable. This film is very unsettling and very raw with it’s approach. It’s quite odd to think that the version we know and love today has the happier ending, if you can call it that, but Wes did have even more upset in store for us.As this frightening esert trip has to be put together on a shoestring, Craven and his team had to improvise where they could, running around the desert chasing down rattlesnakes and collecting road kill to pose as dead animals.

This certainly was a pioneering movie into putting a lot of people of travelling on the unmarked roads. Definitely a nail in the coffin for hillbillies and rednecks alike. Hill Have EyesBeing slightly more of a tea time terror as far as the effects and violence is concerned, the film is littered with unsettling themes, without trying to give too much away, they are regarding the loss of family members and having to use their corpses as props in order to survive. Otherwise it’s a pretty fun flick.

The films works as a terrific violent horror, the only let down would be the abrupt ending, now I’m not discrediting the ending at all it’s a primal burst of energy that is well deserved, but I think there could have been a little more fiennes.

V: While it will always remain one of the granddaddies of video nasties that has inspired a host of movies, including a rare decent remake. I always love watching this film for it’s  direct no shits given approach to gorey horror. There are a few scenes that will never be easy to watch, and after all these years it really does stand the test of time.

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Rating: 8/10

R: Deliverance (1972) ,Hills Have Eyes ®(2006), Last House On The Left (1972), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) Timber Falls (2007).

L:Hillbilly Horrors, Desert Films
5B: Wes Craven,
PD: POST DISCUSSION TO COME

L’aldilà – The Beyond (1981)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 13 of 31

L’aldilà – The Beyond  (AKA Seven Doors of Death) (Horror,  1981) (X) D: Lucio Fulci W: Dardana Sacchetti (story/screenplay)  C: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John. 1h 27m. Italy.

Synopsis : A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural “accidents”, she learns that the building was build over one of the entrances to hell.

TAGLINE : … and you shall live in darkness for all eternity.

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A profound blend of everything horror, iced with an amazing soundtrack, superb cinematography and detailed and painstakingly orchestrated special effects, including using drunks covered in sand as corpses, time paid for in alcohol (heck I’d do it for a bottle of vodka).

Taking inspiration from many old school horror sources, such as Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith the film that is heavily laced with the occult, also includes zombies, deadly spiders, haunted paintings, vanishing grimoires and a dog called Dickie.

The introduction is pretty awesome, the locals all decent upon a warlock Schweick who is renting room 36 in a lonely hotel, they distract him from his painting and nail him to the wall and continue to destroy him before he gets to open the gates of hell while voice the details of a chilling curse “You ungodly warlock! Because of you  this hotel and town will be cursed forever!. Cut to modern 1980s and Liza (Catriona MacColl) has inherited a hotel and despite her best efforts, help from her friend, two housekeepers Martha (Veronica Lazar)  and Arthur (Gianpaolo Saccarola) she strains to restore the hotel to it’s former glory but mysterious occurrences hold back the development and she is drawn slowly towards the horrors of room 36 and the curious book of Eibon. The films has a healthy pace with frequent grisly happenings throughout even if not directly attached to the main plot (and sometimes it seems to be done for the fun of it). But it just keeps serving up the gore.

TheBeyond (3)There is distinct style to this movie, it has the look and feel that you’d expect from a deep occult charged 70’s Italian horror, the beautiful and iconic Cinzia Monreale  who plays the blind and mysterious stranger Emily has perfect features like a Boris Vallejo femme fetal. Supposedly The Beyond is set in New Orleans was actually filmed there but finished in Rome, the genuine atmosphere  more than the dubbing is part of the charm. The strongest theme is the occult and forbidden knowledge, like an absinthe charged Dennis Wheatley novel, and has strong influences from Fulci’s hero Antonin Artaurd who’s unique approach to filing added an avant gaurd style to Fulci’s work.

Enhanced with cunning special effects and makeup to enhance the horrible deaths that really being the horror alive, supplied by a team (Penta Studio) who deserve a lot of praise and especially Germano Natali, who obviously crafted many meticulous props with great attention to detail. He delivered flesh eating spiders, acid melting heads, and his stereotypical eyeball gouging. There is an awesome scene with Dickie and a fragile neck that is ripped open in slow motion, and to top it all off there are a few zombies creeping around and a spooky as fuck red head child.

TheBeyond (4)One impressive aspect of The Beyond is the atmosphere that is created and is maintained right through. It’s also full of little quips of cool horror facets, some can been seen coming a mile off, others are pretty new but all enjoyable, one example is when a mortuary assistant positions a heart monitor onto a cadaver and leaves the room, then as you’d expect the monitor starts to beep… beep… beep! Oh no zombie! But then it’s off onto something entirely different, but it’s this technique that keeps the movie flowing and fresh.

It’s hard to comment on the script as there is the whole badly dubbed and roughly translated side to take into consideration, but it’s in the same vein as any other Italian to English translated horror epic, like House by the Cemetery (1981), Profound Rosso (1975) etc. A curious point is how many people actually attempt to put on a New Orleans accents, and that’s one, she works in a bar and was probably a local who had the accent anyway!

TheBeyond (4)Fabio Frizzi provides the title track for this multitalented horror epic, there is something demonic and majestic about this track called, L’Aldila, the entire soundtrack is well crafted with tones of mystery and esoteric goodies.

Catriona MacColl stand out in the lead role, giving a great all round performance, the stunning charismatic Cinzia Monreale looks perfect as the blind muse. A friendly companionship is found in David Warbeck as the dark haired, strong doctor who’d character transforms into a Fulchi James Bond. Gianpaolo Saccarola returns with a small part as a simple stalkerish porter, and Fulchi himself even turns up as the town clerk. I love how the maid Marta really doesn’t give a shit about anything until “Joe” turns up and she couldn’t wait for him to come over and to get him down in the basement to sort out her plumbing, sadly it’s not as dirty as it sounds and not the start of some retro porn scene, in fact there are no boobies to see here.

TheBeyond (7)As much as I don’t want to come across as a fan girl here. Fulchi is one of my all time favourite directors and this is one of my all time favourite films, for me it’s really his crowning glory. Definitely a accomplishment on many scales and dare I say it.. Perfect. There is clear evidence of exploration of the occult within the film, boundaries are pushed to include some fascinating horror effects (yet again back to the melting head) and these scenes are so detailed that they are closely focused in on and are quite lengthy scenes. Usually when the effects can’t be afforded they are flashed over and soon forgotten but you can clearly see how much work went into them as they are stressed over and make up a healthy part of the movie.

TheBeyond (10)While a lot of other movies of the era deal with each of these horror aspects individually, not only does The Beyond cook them all together without the distraction of jubblies, through it’s masterful story telling an elaborate story is laid down.

V: I can’t really sum up just how much this movie thrills me each and every time I watch it, I’ve got several copies and one amazing t-shirt from Rabbit in Red  I’m looking into getting a few more because I just can’t get enough. There really is something that conjurers up lots of amazing ideas and this film has influenced me for some time. It has some amazing quotes like “and you will face a sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored” along with superb music, ‘THAT’ painting and everything just moves me.

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Rating –  10/10

R: City of the living dead (1980), House by the Cemetery (1981)
5B : Lucio Fulci
L: My top 30 movies, Selected Horror Movies, 1981,
PD : Post Discussion to come

TheBeyond (9)

The Lost Boys (1987)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 12 of 31

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The Lost Boys  (Comedy, Horror,  1987) (15) D: Joel Schumacher W: Jan fischer, James Heremias +   C: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne West, bernard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Keifer Sutherland, Kami Getz, Corey Fieldman, Jamison Newlander, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Alex Winter. 1h 37m. USA.

Synopsis : After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.

TAGLINE : Sleep all day, Party all night, Never grow old, Never die, It’s fun to be a vampire.

A slightly peculiar and spectacular vamp flick that drags the cloak off the old count and turns the charismatic seductive vampire of the past into a hot sexy leather clad hunks.

It’s hard to avoid linking this movie to the classic Bram Stoker novel that gave us huge insight into what we understand as Vampire folklore, but it’s also impossible not to mention the many similarities to another classic novel, Peter Pan. The boys are lost and will never grow up and are looking to invite other young hopefuls to be part of their little gang, the lost boys. The major difference is that these guys hang out in an amusement park and eat people.

While the attempt here is to be a horror movie, there is also a strong comedy element but really what the film achieves is updating the vampire ideology and making vamps sexy again for a new generation. No more counts trapped in castles riding in horse drawn coaches, these outcasts ride motorbikes and listen to the all the best tunes.

Starting out with a backdrop of Santa Cruz accompanied by Echo and the Bunnymen People are Strange, the film introduces the family that are now moving into the pleasantly daubed Murder Capital, Michael (Jason Patric) his little brother (Corey Haim) and their lovely mother Lucy (Diane West) move in with the rustic taxidermy enthusiast Grandpa (Bernard Hughes) makes friends with the Frog Brothers who run a comic shop, mum gets a job at a video store owned by Max (Edward Herrmann) and Michael falls in love with Star (Jami Gertz) and gets involved with the Lost Boys then things take a turn for the worse. Michael gets infected by the vampire virus and has to  save himself and his family from a coven of vamps and the curse.

A lot of the movie just literally sets the scene of the coolest place on earth for any teenager, all day sun, comic and video stores on an amusement arcade and hot guys, great music and parties all the time, this place is literally never never land. But obviously there is something very sinister here, the hot guys just happen to be literally on the wild side.

Along with all the cool attractive attractions the next biggest theme is the father figure, the boys are lost, the new kids on the block are moving with only their mother from what seems a messy divorce and everyone is lacking a father. See this is what happens to single moms your kids will fall in with a crowd of vampires! You’ve been warned.

If i had to sum the movie up in a few scenes one would be the epic montage of the frog brothers and the young Corey arming up to fight the blood sucking vampires. The Frog Brothers have suspicions that their are vampires active in the town and are self proclaimed vampire hunters, gaining most of their knowledge from comic books. They assume to have found the leader of the vampires and aim to kill them to free Michael from the curse so they arm up with super soakers filled with holy water from the local church during a christening and lots of other amusing makeshift weapons in a Goonies style.

Another scene that really captures the essence of the movie is when Michael first falls in love with Star at a gig on the beach one night, while following her and trying to get his love thang on he’s suddenly confronted with the lost boys who are all lush and fine looking, asserting their dominance over Star and using peer pressure to shaming Michael into joining them.

Where are the police? throughout the whole film, you’ll notice missing children either on the boardwalk or on milk cartons and there is one brief altercation with a fat officer near the  but all of the sleuthing and justice is all dealt with by the Frog Brothers with help from everyone.

For some reason the name Michael is said 118 times..  Now i know he’s one of the characters and is quite pivotal but FFS!

Music plays a huge part in this new chapter of blood suckers, while the theme track Cry Little Sister is haunting with a choir backing the rest of the soundtrack is from the MTV alternative including Run DMC, the Doors/Echo and the Bunnyman and INXS to name a few, songs that pretty much go with the look and feel of the boys themselves.

Everyone comes across as a kool kat, there will be no oscars for the acting here but it will suffice. For me the best actor award would go to Grandpa as his scenes are probably the best, short but so very sweet. The best try awards would go to Kiefer and Jason. The development of these two pivotal characters was enhanced by these two talented young actors. This was the first film that the two Coreys did together and kicked off their lifelong friendship.There seems to be four generations at battle, Corey and the frog brothers,  trying to be grown ups and dicking around, Michael,  star and the lost boys

Joel Schumacher directed this horror soon after St Elmo’s Fire (1985) where a group of college kids are trying to deal with being young adults fresh out of school, this twins with other films such as the Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink. (1986)  The lost boys is a darker and more sinister group of individuals who are trying to deal with their own personal dilemma in a group. Despite taking on a horror movie after something as jovial as St Elmo, its no wonder that Lost Boys isn’t all that scary, in fact its hard to be scary where there are so many hot guys on the screen most of the time.

Moral of the story… I dunno.. don’t stray with the wild boys? Definitely don’t drink from an unmarked bottle and when it doubt always take advice from comic books! On a serious side the movie deals more with the tragic effects of broken families and the need to be within a group or family. I have to say that’s bullshit but the message is there.

Lost boys is definitely the horror film that your girlfriend is bound to know and be willing to watch, if you’re a fan of the 80’s it will bring back some memories and thrill you throughout.

The film works on many levels, the dynamics between the two brothers the rivalry with Michael and the gang, the motherly care and all of the “cool” stuff too, even the little twist at the end is pretty neat, but what doesn’t work is the horror. The film isn’t really all that scary, the kill scenes are a little lame but they get the story across and are more enjoyable than anything freaky.

VThis was one of those films I grew up with and it probably influenced me more than I will admit. It’s almost an unwritten law that to be one of the goth kids you have to appreciate this film. It really did open up the modernization of a lot of the old style gothic tales, sadly no one manages to make it this hot and this perfect again but it’s good to aim high, every now and again someone comes close.

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Rating: 8/10

RFright Night (1985), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) ,Near Dark (1987) , Skinwalkers (2006), American Werewolf in London (1981), Streets of Fire (1984) , The Crow (1994)

L:Selected Vamp Films, Modern Vampire movies

American Werewolf in London (1981)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 11 of 31

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American Werewolf in London  (Horror, Comedy,  1981) (18) D: John Landis W: John Landis C: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher. 1h 37m. UK/USA.

Synopsis : Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

TAGLINE : John Landis – the director of Animal House bring you a different kind of animal.

An american werewolf in London is a superb movie not just because of the witty script,  amazing effects and great acting but it’s also everything  that’s usually missed in all other werewolf movies. The inspiration seems to stem from three main sources, firstly the very old and traditional myth and legend of the werewolf in olde English folklore, secondly John Landis’s outlandish american amusing humor (try saying that three times in a row) and thirdly all the fears of problems that occur when an outsider meddles in local affairs. Continue reading American Werewolf in London (1981)

Hellraiser (1987)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 10 of 31

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Hellraiser  (Horror,  1987) (18) D: Clive Barker W: Clive Barker P:  C: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Oliver Parker, Doug Bradley. 1h 34m. UK.

Synopsis : An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

TAGLINE : It will tear your soul apart.

Hell and it’s luscious playground of pain was once thought to be ruled by the devil and probably is, but what Hellraiser does is takes a sidestep to another dimension what is Hell on Meth and gives us a new dark lord of painful pleasures.
Created by the king of horror (or the runner up… ) Clive barker during this wild youth, we’re given a brand new hero and horror icon and his fellow cenobites, there have been lots of speculations on where Clive came up with his bizarre sadistic creatures clad in leather and bloody and akin to his other 1980’s creation RawHead Rex everyone assumes it comes from the bad boy gay clubs who play on the fringes of society, but none of this has been confirmed. Encapsulating man’s need to open the pandora’s box and to discover the unknown, this film wraps up the worst case scenario and wades through flesh and hooks to detail what could happen if you dance with the devil.

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Continue reading Hellraiser (1987)