Saturday, October 6, 2012

Films 6 - October part 2

It's like I'm sayin'...

10 more for ya:

'City of the Living Dead' (aka 'Gates of Hell') - 1980
Lucio Fulci is notorious for making disgusting films, and this might be the crown jewel of his career. I mean, the movie starts with a priest hanging himself. It's got that early 80's hazy look that makes all the gore look more realistic somehow. This one's good for a party because the story is kind of hard to follow anyhow, and all that really matters are the crazy zombie scenes 'n shit.

'Re-Animator' - 1985
Stuart Gordon is responsible for directing some of the best Charles Band-produced 'Pit and the Pendulum,' 'Castle Freak,' and 'From Beyond.' However, he's most known for this adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Actually, come to think of it, a LOT of his work is adapted from Lovecraft, which is fine by me. That being said, don't expect the creep-out gothic alien weirdness of the author's work...this is 80's trash-cinema at its best. Hilariously violent and fast-paced, this is one of the all-time greatest horror movies. The scene with flickering lights towards the end is completely fucked.

'They Live' - 1988
If you haven't seen this one, I'm very very sorry. Now, go watch pretty much ANYTHING John Carpenter makes. The greatest thing about this is the anti-establishment message...definitely responsible for a slew of paranoid ideas among unstable people. I've met several people who actually believe in this film. That being said, it's more sci-fi/action than horror, but it's so great I couldn't NOT include it. Regardless of how you feel about 'Halloween' and Carpenter's more 'commercial' output, the man can direct a great film when he wants to. Also worth seeing are 'The Thing,' 'Prince of Darkness,' and 'Escape from New York.' Fucker even writes the music for most of his films!

'The Undertaker and His Pals' - 1966
I don't normally watch the 'older' cheesy stuff because a lot of it is bad-bad, not bad-good. Plus, older b-movies seen to be booooorrrring a lot of the time. I mean, I appreciate 'Plan 9' for what it is, but damned if I didn't fall asleep every time I tried to watch it. THIS, on the other hand, is incredibly entertaining. A shady undertaker and his restaurant-owning friends go out on motorcycles and kill people so that a) the undertaker gets more business and b) the restaurant guys can serve the bodies as their 'specials' each day. Yeah, not sure how the other characters keep from questioning the absence of limbs at funerals, but there you go. The soundtrack is primarily surf-rock drum solos. Yeah. It's bonkers.

'Cemetery Man' - 1994
I wrote about this'un a while back, but seeing as I have more readers now, I want to urge you to see this film again. It's a MUST for any fan of experimental cinema, and it manages to be completely unique while also flat out enjoyable. It's like a head-on collision between the Lucio Fulci school of Italian gore flicks and artsy 'Edward Scissorhands' type stuff. It's also incredibly funny, and has great acting. Probably the only splatter/arthouse/romantic comedy film in existence.

'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer' - 1986
Pitch-black biopic that's a lot more interesting than the hordes of 'serial killer' films made in the 80's. The character Henry is kind of like a composite of Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez, as far as 'actual-life' killers go...and yeah, he doesn't do a whole lot. He hangs out with a creepy redneck dude and his sister, and they get drunk, play cards, and sometimes kill people. None of them work, and they live in a squalid apartment. Henry DOES have a lot of morals, which seem to motivate his killings. This film reminds me a lot of 'Taxi Driver' because of its slow, meandering structure. Really artistic as far as grindhouse stuff goes. Plus, the soundtrack is cool.

'The Night Flier' - 1997
I saw this when I was really young, and don't remember much of it, but I do know it's the reason I'm always excited to see Miguel Ferrer in things. It's also based on a really cool Stephen King short story, but then again, what b-horror isn't? Guy's got a fucking monopoly on shitty films. BUT, some of the best horror films have also been adapted from his 'Salem's Lot,' 'Creepshow,' and 'Carrie.' I remember this being bloody and creepy, and a shock to my already-desensitized young mind.

'Fallen' - 1998
This is another one I saw when I was younger, but I've since re-watched it and found it to be just as terrifying as when I was a kid. While being a bit more mainstream, the story is really interesting, and there are some odd comedic moments. This seems to be an early example of the 'plot twist' horror genre that M. Night Shyamalan made everyone hate so much. Plus, Denzel Washington is in it and he's pretty cool, right?

'Brain Damage' - 1988
Another classic from Frank Henelotter, the weirdo who gave us 'Basket Case' and 'Frankenhooker.' This might be my favorite of his releases. To me, 'Basket Case' always seemed like he hadn't quite figured out how to make the film he wanted on the budget he was stuck with. This one uses low-budget to its advantage, and he doesn't attempt anything he knows he can't pull off. Sure, the acting isn't that great, the effects aren't that involved, and the plot's kind of silly, but I wouldn't call this a 'cheesy' film by any means. Aside from that, the underlying message about drug abuse is thought-provoking. Look for a cameo from the 'Basket Case' brothers on the subway.

'Parents' - 1989
Actually the first horror movie I ever saw, and the first R-rated film I was allowed to rent. I was pretty disappointed as a kid when I realized this wasn't so much a horror film as a black comedy, but having re-watched it, it's a solid flick. Basically, a kid starts to get grossed out by meat and ends up thinking his parents are cannibals....really cool analogy for fact, my girlfriend claims this is exactly how she felt before becoming a vegetarian as a child. At the end, you're still not entirely sure if the parents ARE cannibals, or if the kid is just delusional....very strange film.

...11 more films to come...

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