Sunday, December 28, 2014
This stock car driver becomes a rat for the police and goes undercover to stop a gang of bank robbing bikers called The Satan's Angels. The movie starts out wit a cool theme song but then the rest of the music they throw in it is disappointing in comparison. Although there is a pretty cool bassline that provides some groovy background music in places and the band that plays in the bar scene, The Birdwatchers, are pretty decent. The whole movie is kinda disappointing though since this bike gang consist of only four people(there are more bikers on the poster than ever appear in the film) and things go along in a pretty usual way for these types of exploitation flicks with very few surprises. So overall it's a pretty lightweight disposable sort of experience. I did dig that 'Wild Rebels' theme song though!
Do people consider a movie live-action if half the movie is computer-animated? I guess if you consider WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? live-action then this would qualify also. I can't help but feel while I watch this that I've seen the exact same plot in a bunch of different Japanime back when I used to watch that stuff in the 90's. Back then stuff like this was relegated solely to nerds and now nerds are the majority and apparently run Hollywood. What a silly world we live in. I'm sure there were better Japanese cartoons from the past but since this is a modern movie and I try to put the 90's out of my mind as much as possible I'll stick to comparing it with the few similar modern things I've seen. This was clearly better than THE TRANSFORMERS since I could mostly tell what was happening during the computerized/video-game action sequences and also better than that new GODZILLA movie/cgi-thing since you at least slightly care about the human characters unlike in that one. Of course the main problem like every other modern big Hollywood-ized action-film is that you're watching what appears to be a game but not given any controllers which seems like a strange form of entertainment for me to enjoy. This would be an interesting spectacle to remake with guys in rubber-suits and cool robot costumes or I could just go watch some old ULTRAMAN or MACH-BARON episodes for that kind of grooviness.
Robots fighting monsters was way cooler in 70's Japanese cartoons:
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Abraxas was the name of some ancient god or force who was a combination of all good and evil, or something like that, and having nothing to do with any of that mystical shit it's also the name of this crappy Jesse "The Body" Ventura sci-fi/action flick. The main problem with this is that the action scenes are really badly shot and that's never a good thing when it's your main selling point. That's not the only downfall though since the plot is convoluted and dumb at the same time, the acting is terrible and the whole thing is really dull and hard to get through. Also it's got a shitty TERMINATOR rip-off thing going on with an indestructible alien running around doing a Schwarzenegger impression. James Belushi shows up as a principal but I was never a fan of his anyway and I'm pretty sure this isn't supposed to be a comedy. You would think Ventura would be better in this having been good in PREDATOR and THE RUNNING MAN and having all those years of playing "The Body" in his wrasslin' persona but he doesn't get to wear a feather-boa or any psychedelic outfits in this and that's the way I prefer to remember him.
The one cool thing about this is there's this half-alien kid who makes bullies piss their pants and that's a pretty cool super-power.
I would be pretty pissed if I paid $90 for this, I'm even a little annoyed at the 50 cents I blew on the DVD:
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
OK, so the son of Hercules here is a guy named Argolese and he wrestles a lion, a bear(guy in a bear suit) and slays a dragon who looks more like a regular old dinosaur before ending up in the titular land of darkness which is a place ruled by an evil Queen and a bunch of servants who practice cannibalism. He also gets a stupid sidekick. This is the 2nd one of these swords n' sandals movies I've viewed where elephants are responsible for executing people. Here it's a couple of them that are supposed to rip our hero apart. Now the version I watched of this was an edited-for-television cut, that was cut into 2 parts for some reason, so it's obviously missing some bloodletting scenes which sucks. The original version is known as HERCULES THE INVINCIBLE and it also goes under the title of HERCULES AGAINST THE ELEPHANTS' EMPIRE but whatever you call it this one is strictly by-the-numbers without much of interest going on but it works as a good antidote for insomnia at 3a.m. or so.
Pretty snazzy themesong!:
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
You know you're watching a really crappy kung-fu flick when the most interesting thing is the background music. This one gives us a cheesey Muzak-version of The Beatles' "Obladi Oblada". It also starts out giving us a sorta midget-comedy where our Bruce Lee stand-in, who doesn't look or act like the real Bruce in the slightest, gets a little-person sidekick for a bit. The rest of the movie has to do with some romantic plot that I quickly lost interest in with some shitty fight scenes thrown in from time to time. There is one highlight where a bunch of gals grapple with each other on the beach and we get a brief flash of boobs.
The title is a take-off on the Jackie Chan movie SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW but it has nothing else to do with that film.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
"He's good boss, damn good. Fuckers fast man! I couldn't even touch him!"
I would think this title was meant to capitalize on the success of or confuse people with the comedy THEY CALL ME BRUCE except that movie didn't come out until 1982 so I'm, not sure how that works. Of course actual release dates are often a bit sketchy on these bottom-of-the-barrel kung fu flicks. The main character here is a guy named Jack Lee who looks nothing like Bruce Lee even when he wears the yellow tracksuit. Also the title has lied to me since no one ever calls him Bruce Lee. Besides this the main problem with this film is that there's very little fighting or action in it and a major portion of this is concerned with love triangle drama or maybe it's supposed to be a comedy. Either way it's not much fun. On the positive side sometimes people make Three Stooges noises when they get hit and for a few seconds they play a Muzak version of Jigsaw's song "Sky High" which might be one of the greatest ridiculous 70's pop songs ever! Unfortunately neither of these things make this movie worth a watch.
This Stooges short is mostly famous for having the "Niagara Falls/Slowly I Turn" skit in it where Curly gets smacked around. Abbot & Costello used the same bit in LOST IN A HAREM which came out the same year. Technically though the Stooges scene performing this was shot a year earlier for a film called GOOD LUCK, MR. YATES. It ended up getting cut from that film and inserted here. Since this is an old vaudeville routine that neither one actually originated it's hard to say anyone ripped anyone else off but I have read that Moe Howard was not a fan of Abbott & Costello and it seems odd that both groups had films in the same year with this in it. Classic Stooges' anyway.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I've seen the super -gory Italian sequel to this, 1980's PATRICK STILL LIVES, where a lady gets a poker jammed up her vagina, so I figured I should check this one out. This is probably not the optimal way to watch these two movies since this first one is like the complete opposite of it's Eurotrash follow-up. While technically a better-made film I probably woulda liked this way more if it wasn't so damn long. It's a slow movie which can be fine for building tension but slow and almost 2 hours is usually a bad recipe for my personal enjoyment(there's also a 140 minute director's cut that I don't think I need to endure). Also this movie has very little gore and no blood so basically it's just a psychological thriller about a creepy vegetable-guy with telekinetic powers(which were very popular powers to have in the late 70's thanks to CARRIE) falling in love with his nurse and I'm more of a trash-cinema aficionado.
There was a remake of this made in 2013 and if I know anything about remakes made in 2013 it's that none of them are ever worth a shit. It was actually made in Australia though so maybe that's a good sign??
Sunday, December 7, 2014
This is the 7th film in Hammer's Dracula series and while I like the idea of Dracula Vs. swingin' 70's British hippies, this movie, for the most part, is pretty dull. Many Hammer films are slow and talky and often the old-timey setting is pretty unexciting. This time they set it in the modern-day(1970's) so at least you get an acid-rock band and some partying acid-heads. The whole Dracula part though is so predictable and standard that it's really hard to get into the film on any level. It starts with a flash-back which wasn't in the previous movie(SCARS OF DRACULA) and then ends in a pretty similar way. Hammer couldn't have come up with something at least a little bit original here? Pretty disappointing despite the presence of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, some super red blood and a couple of scantily-clad English birds.
In Denmark this is known under the title VAMPIRE HUNTER HOTPANTS which might be one of the most amazing titles ever!:
In some European countries this didn't come out until 1973:
The 10th film in the Godzilla series and many people consider this to be the very worst of them all. It's hard to argue against that notion. The main problems here are that it's a kiddie movie, starring a little boy as our hero, which seems way more like a Gamera movie than a Toho film and it uses a whole bunch of stock footage from previous Godzilla monster bashes. Also all the scenes that take place on Monster Island are in the imagination of a little boy so in this reality none of these creatures even exist. If this isn't bad enough there's also a sub-plot about some annoying bungling bank robbers and the dubbed version has some of the most comedic-sounding bucktoothed Asian stereotypical sounding voices you might ever hear. The only positive thing I can say about this is when I was a very little kid I appreciated it as being a sort-of greatest hits package of Godzilla fights so it at least has nostalgic value for me but I doubt anyone who wasn't raised watching this movie multiple times would find anything that isn't cringe-worthy in it. Also the opening tune, in the American dub, is kinda cool in a wacky 60's kind of way. AKA MINYA: THE SON OF GODZILLA, GODZILLA, MINYA AND GABARA: ALL MONSTERS ATTACK and ATTACK ALL MONSTERS
The movies this pilfers footage from include GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER and SON OF GODZILLA
Released in 1971 in the U.S. on an unlikely double-bill with a British Christopher Lee sci-fi thriller:
And then later on re-released on a way more appropriate double-feature:
So is Argoman related to Superargo and what the hell does Argo mean anyway? While Superargo is more of an Italian Batman/Santo mash-up this one is way more James Bond but only if Bond had super-powers, wore a crazy outfit with new-wave/Devo glasses and then temporarily lost his powers after banging hot chicks. I probably prefer Superargo for it's outlandishness but this one's pretty cool also and feels like a not quite as stylish take-off of DANGER: DIABOLIK. There's an evil big clunky robot, goofy masked henchmen and lots of attractive Euro-ladies to ogle. The film does drag a bit in the middle and whenever our hero is in his civilian mode but overall a fun campy super-hero flick. AKA ARGOMAN, ARGOMAN THE FANTASTIC SUPERMAN, THE FANTASTIC ARGOMAN and HOW TO STEAL THE CROWN OF ENGLAND.
Here he is!:
Thursday, November 27, 2014
The only reason I've seen this film is because it's an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I think without viewing it being made fun of it's a pretty crappy kid's fantasy movie. There's puppets and a bird with a ladies head on it and honestly for special fx from 1953 they are pretty decent. There's also an added weird element in that this is a movie made in The Soviet Union that purportedly features a Russian version of Sinbad who's usually depicted as being Persian. Upon doing more research though I've found out that the hero here is actually named Sadko, which is also the original title, who's a character from Russian fairy tales and not supposed to be Sinbad at all.
This was released by AIP in the U.S. in a cut version, and there's supposedly also a black & white version, which Francis Ford Coppola had something to do with and the original uncut release is simply called SADKO, which according to those that have seen it is the only way to watch this. I'm not sure if I ever need to do this, I think I'll stick to those Ray Harryhausen movies if I ever find myself needing a Sinbad-fix, but it's good to know it's not actually as terrible a film as I thought.
I've avoided watching this for a long time because it just looked so very stupid, and while it certainly is very stupid it's also got a couple of cool things(at least to me) about it despite it's terrible stars that should really only star on the cover of cheesy hallmark birthday cards. For one thing it was directed by Ruggero Deodato, best known for his Italian cannibal flicks, so it at least has a smidgen of bloodletting even if it's no CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, secondly it features roles by Michael "HILLS HAVE EYES" Berryman and George "ANTHROPOPHAGOUS" Eastman which is cool to see and Richard Lynch as the main bad-guy who seems to be acting his ass off in a movie that doesn't really deserve that kinda conviction, and thirdly there's a couple of bare boobs on display. Besides all this though it's basically a semi-comedic rip-off of CONAN THE BARBARIAN with some annoying "funny"-bits and one large fake-looking dragon who bleeds green goopy blood. Probably only watchable by hardcore bad-movie appreciators.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
I have no idea what the actual title of this one is, or even exactly where it was made or when it was released, but I'm sure it's not KUNG FU COCKFIGHTER. That's the title they slapped on it in more recent times though so I guess I'll go with it. Most kung fu movies don't even have any nudity in them but this one features hardcore sex scenes which makes it a real oddity for this genre. The story concerns a wizard guy who has super powers that make his cock able to deflect swords, break boulders and shoot smoke out of his dick. There's also his evil master who's a sex-crazy rapey sort of fellow and a lady who can break poles with her pussy and shoot out pieces of wood like bullets. The film itself is packed with nudity, there's a torture scene where a gal gets here vag roasted and by the end it becomes a ghost movie. Needless to say this is a real bizarre watch and despite the title there's not really all that much kung fu'ing that goes on but still worth a look for admirers of the weird and might be the only actual graphic Asian-made kung-fu-porn I've seen so far.
This is listed everywhere as having come out in 1976 but the musical cues seem to be taken from 80's films so this is probably wrong.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
DEATH GAME is a strange psycho-sexual thriller/horror flick about an innocent man who's thrust into a horrible situation involving a couple of nutso gals (Sondra Locke who I know from dating Clint Eastwood and being in a bunch of his films and Colleen Camp who was one of the Playmates in APOCALYPSE NOW and featured in THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS) who seem to enjoy creating chaos and fear. The strange inclusion of kiddie music intercut with some maudlin dirge-like tunes makes for a pretty uncomfortable atmosphere throughout the whole thing. It also reverses the usual 70's rape theme and makes the females the aggressors in just about every way. I'm not sure if the film is as terrifying if you're not a man and if, like myself, you've not had your share of psychotic ex-girlfriend experiences but I can only speak for myself when I say this works to a pretty big degree in being unsettling. One of the things I was trying to figure out though is how the two crazy girls knew so much about the fellow who's house they were invading. I guess, as with many works of fiction that are more about exploring a theme than telling a detailed story, it's more about just going with what you're shown and not thinking too deeply about such questions. AKA THE SEDUCERS
Monday, November 17, 2014
I've never seen the first EXECUTIONER(except for the bits they show in the opening here) but I'm not sure if it matters very much since from what I've read this sequel is pretty different from the first movie. Apparently the first film has lots of sex and violence in it while this one goes for a really slapstick comedy vibe for a lot of the film. When I think of Sonny Chiba screwball antics and fart jokes are not what I would normally associate with him and they seem really odd here. Towards the end there is some pretty graphic fight scenes including Chiba ripping out what I think is a guy's liver and also knocking some teeth and eyeballs out which is more in line with what you would expect from Mr. STREET FIGHTER. It's hard to fully recommend this one unless you want to see what it would be like if The Three Stooges made a Japanese action/kung-fu movie in the 70's. AKA KARATE INFERNO
Sunday, November 16, 2014
When I think of heist movies I generally think of American and European movies of the 60's and 70's. I never associate them with the Shaw Brothers studio or kung fu at all but what you get here is a melding of a kung fu and a heist film. The obvious moral, which is hammered home constantly in this film, is that greed is bad. We see back-stabbing, double-crossing and various treachery amongst a group of basically four main characters who are all trying to become very wealthy after a carefully planned robbery. While this isn't my favorite Shaw film ever it plays pretty well and you get an arm and a leg chopped off in a bloody fashion towards the end so that's something. Also it has what is always my favorite ending where just about everyone dies. Not a bad watch for a cold Sunday afternoon.
Normally I don't care for overly long films and this thing runs for a little less than 4 hours! Despite this girthy runtime I did enjoy this whole thing. It's hard for me not to be a fan of a guy like Boyd Rice who's basically taken his obsessions with underground and bizarre popular culture and created a life for himself on his own terms. If I could figure out how to do even a 10th of the things Boyd has accomplished and make a career out of any of them I think I would be a happy camper. The people who call Boyd a Nazi or a racist or any other convenient term just don't get it and seem like the most simple-minded morons I can imagine. Unfortunately these people seem to compose the mass of humans roaming the planet today. Of course the other great thing about Boyd is his ability and proclivity to prank and anger these lemmings making them appear even more brainless than they already do. As shown here Mr. Rice also helped create noise rock and industrial music which aren't musical genres I listen to much these days but they were things that spoke to me back in the 90's. Also if one goes back to the early days of the punk movement before everything became codified and the rules were written about what's considered punk and what isn't, Boyd seems like more true to the original spirit of punk than anyone I can think of. This is an essential watch for anyone interested in the true history of underground art in America for the last few decades.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Outside of some of Brian De Palma's films this might be the most giallo-esque American film. This is, no doubt, due to it taking place in Venice and having to do with a mysterious killer that isn't revealed until the final shocking moments. In contrast to the somewhat standard plot it's filmed in a very unique style for a Hollywood film with lots of strange editing techniques with short cuts and interjecting different time sequences into certain scenes. The only thing really missing is the blood and gore you'd expect from a giallo but everything else from the haunting soundtrack to the look of the film is present. Of course the acting is a bit better with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie and there's a long-standing rumour that their sex scene here wasn't simulated. Not that it really matters much.
Director Nicolas Roeg is kind of hit or miss for me since his next film after this THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH I didn't care for much at all except for an a basic visual level, but based on this one I might have to check out at least a couple of other flicks from his filmography. The one thing about Roeg I find hard to wrap my head around is the way he presents themes in such an oblique manner that it makes it difficult to easily pick out what his message is. I've seen readings of this movie that call it a super conservative film and I'm not sure I get that at all. I know there's a religious message in there somewhere but what it exactly is I'm not exactly certain. His style does make for a film that you think about for a while though and that's usually a plus.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Besides something like EL TOPO this might be the weirdest spaghetti-western I've seen. It's so strange because it seems to have all the elements of your standard western but then put in a blender and all mixed about. Here's a few things that feel off-kilter about it: It starts out with a character who we would assume is the hero but he's not, the hero doesn't show up until about halfway through the film, people who seem to be main characters disappear at random times throughout the film, one of the bad guys(who I thought they referred to as Matalo while watching this but I'm probably wrong) looks like Joe Walsh, there's a crazy 70's classic acid rock soundtrack which goes really well with many of the 70's-looking hippie outfits many people are wearing, the camera shots at times are dizzying and there's moments when I feel like a ghost is getting ready to show up but maybe that's just cuz I watch too many horror films. Also the hero in this uses boomerangs but I don't think he's supposed to be from Australia.
Director Cesare Canevari went on to make the nazisploitation flick THE GESTAPO'S LAST ORGY and I give him props for making something so different in a genre that can sometimes be pretty by-the-numbers. AKA KILL HIM!
Monday, November 10, 2014
Off the top of my head I can't think of another movie where Richard Kiel plays a hero role. He's just so awesome as a giant menacing monster and, of course, that's what he's remembered for. But even in this Italian STAR WARS-rip-off flick where he's the hero for a majority of his screentime there is a big section of the film where he gets hit by a mutating bomb and becomes an evil rampaging monster(the titular humanoid). On the flip side I can't think of anything else where Barbara Bach is a villain and you get that here also. The movie itself is pretty standard for these 70's Italo-sci-fi things. This one steers so closely to the STAR WARS formula that they even start the film off with a very familiar underneath shot of a giant spaceship, that's looks very similar to an Imperial Star Destroyer, flying by and I guess they liked this shot so much they decided to show it twice. Also the main bad guy wears a Darth Vader-ish helmet and uniform, his minions look like stormtroopers who were painted black, there's a goofy little robot(though this one is a dog which reminded me more of the 70's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA show), and all the battles in space seem quite familiar. There's also a mysterious "force" that controls things but this seems to only be used by a strange little Asian boy who spouts groaningly pretentious feel-good slogans throughout the film.
It's hard to rank these spaghetti-space operas since they all kinda melt together in my mind and are only distinguished by their occasional stars. This one is definitely better than WAR OF THE ROBOTS but probably not as enjoyable as STARCRASH just because of all the unlikely stars that show up in that one including the great Joe Spinell as the main baddie.
The director here, Aldo lado, I know mostly for his giallos, like SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS, and this is about as different from those as you can get and still be an Italian film.
Space is a noisy place!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
This old Satanist dude makes a pact with the devil, whose hand even shows up for one scene, then kills a goat which allows him to die and return as a handsome young fellow. Then he does bad things and turns into various animals although he never actually turns into a minotaur or gets ridden by an almost-naked lady as the poster promises. Most of the movie plays more like a drama then a horror film with a love-triangle sub-plot but you do get a WOLF-MAN-esque ending and some spooky music. This was actually shot in 1958 but not released for 3 years. It not great but also not the worst low-budget thing I've seen and plays like some kinda weird marriage of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Amazingly back in the 70's big Hollywood studios made crazy monster movies. This is undoubtedly due to the success of JAWS. This one also has a little of that nature-run-amuck thing going on where some evil paper-mill is dumping chemicals into lakes causing some mutations to take place in animals including a big slimy mutant bear. There's also Native-American-exploitation going on with Armand Assante playing a militant Indian fellow. Oh and the monster also coincides with some myth(or prophecy!) about a protective spirit of the woods or something that the local natives are into. Probably my favorite scene here though involves Talia Shire, best known as Adrian from ROCKY, wrestling for her life against a rabid raccoon. It's also pretty humorous how our bear-monster swats people across the forest with a single blow a couple of times throughout this epic. Pretty good flick for a big-budget mainstream PG-rated movie. And speaking of the rating it's gotta be one of the few PG films with multiple decapitation scenes.
The closest thing to a nightmare that has ever been put on film. The perfect mix of soundtrack(The Goblins), amazing visuals and the closest thing a gory Italian horror film has come to being an art movie. The weakest thing about SUSPIRIA, as is the case with many of director Dario Argento's films, is the plot. Basically this is a tale of a gal who's sent to a dance academy that is run by witches. On paper it's the kind of movie that I should hate since nothing makes much sense when you think about it very hard but it's impossible to deny this film's power and catching a 35mm print of it last night just reaffirmed the ability this movie has to convey dread and horror as well as anything I've ever seen.
There are two sequels about some other witches. One of them, INFERNO, isn't terrible and the final one, MOTHER OF TEARS, is pretty awful.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
This one is definitely up there amongst some of the more fucked-up, crazy kung fu films I've seen. Running down the list of the characters that appear in this sounds like a fever dream. Watching this film so close to Halloween is actually pretty appropriate since many of the villains that appear seem to be wearing cheap-ass Halloween masks and outfits. The main couple of bad guys just have on silver and gold demon masks, hoods and homemade wings with which they zip through the air on. Then there's a bunch of these tiger-people who have painted-up faces, claws and tiger-hoodies on. In addition to this there's a couple of other animals in the form of a fuzzy bear?-man and an elephant-guy with big floppy ears, an elephant with a dicknose painted on his belly, and tusks that he fights with. Topping all this has to be the big rubbery kung-fu octopi that appear towards the end that spit out ink and baby octopuses during their big fight scene. There's also a dwarf named Vampire, who, along with his brother, fights using a big iron ball as a suit and on the opposing team a guy with a spiky football helmet that he rams people with. The title, I think?, refers to a little kid who's part of the good guy team but luckily his annoying ass isn't in a lot of the movie. Unfortunately our main character, who's a female who's always referred to as male and never reveals she's actually a lady, has a couple of henchmen that are even more annoying then your typical little kids in kung-fu movies and they get way too much screen time. Despite Lo Lieh being in this the kung-fu is pretty underwhelming. This is more of a spectacle for lovers of the offbeat and absurd cinema from Asia. AKA LITTLE HERO WINS THE MASKS
Epic squid fight!:
Friday, October 31, 2014
Not to be confused with BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR, which is what I usually do, this one is a slightly better horror flick from the swingin 60's. If I remember that one correctly there was some kinda monster in it but this one is concerned with psychopathic serial killing by regular humans(or I guess technically in this case, mentally deranged irregular humans). Much of what goes on here doesn't make a lot of sense. There's a twist ending which also doesn't seem to add up to what we saw earlier in the film. I will say for a movie shot in the 60's it seemed way more like a 70's film with it's gory axe murders and hands getting chopped off. It is seemingly riffing off of PSYCHO with it's deranged flashback-having main character and also there's a mom who gets involved in the proceedings. All in all it works as a curiosity but not very well as actual entertainment.
There was a gimmick employed when this was originally released where the filmmakers would give out $1000(or $2000 if it was on a double-feature!) to anyone who died of fright while watching the movie. Don't think they ever had to pay out.
This was released on a double-shock show with director Joy N. Houck, Jr.'s other horror flick WOMEN AND BLOODY TERROR:
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I watch this film about once a year. It didn't invent the slasher genre(BLACK CHRISTMAS is usually cited as being the film to do that) but due to it's success it did kick-off the 80's glut of stalk n' kill movies that followed. Probably the first few times I saw this was on TV which is a different cut from the original theatrical release so when I finally caught it on VHS it was strange to see all the little differences. Of course now having seen it so many times on VHS and DVD it's pretty ingrained in my memory.
Everything about this film is very iconic to the horror genre. Shots are framed with an amazing focus on detail, the camerawork is incredible, the music fits everything perfectly and the characters are about the best the slasher genre would ever see. Donald Pleasence was the only actual name actor at the time this was made but everyone does a great job and of course Jamie Lee Curtis would become a household name after this. This also started director John Carpenter down the road of making some great 80's horror flicks and unlike many of the other supposedly great horror films of the 80's his weren't all full of jokes, but actually scary movies.
There were 8 official sequels and then a shitty pointless remake from Rob Zombie.
HALLOWEEN posters from around the world!
One of the complaints I hear from people with no patience or ability to sit still for more than 5 minutes like human beings about old horror movies is that many of them contain long boring scenes of people creeping around old castles with nothing else happening. If you're also not a fan of that kind of non-action this probably will not be the movie for you since there are some long stretches where that goes down. It's your basic guy has to stay in a haunted house story and even the presence of Barbara Steele doesn't make this one all that special. A couple of unique things here are in the opening and closing segments you get Edgar Allen Poe just hanging out in a pub and being all goth-like and the ending is not a very happy one(unless you happen to be a ghost). This unfortunately is not enough for me to recommend this to anyone unless you're really into old slow-moving ghost movies. AKA CASTLE OF BLOOD
Adding to my negative feelings about this is that the DVD I have this on, and apparently the version that's on Youtube, has a bunch of scenes that are in French with no subtitles which seems like a stupid way to release a movie.
Played in the U.K. on this blood & dinosaurs double-bill!: