Friday, October 21, 2011

The Three Museketeers

If anything this review proves why I hate star star ratings but love Milla Jovovich.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 9, 10 & 11

Well, there was a good run for a while there. Unfortunately, tryptophan won in the end this weekend and now it's catch up.

Day 11: The Fly
Because it's a quarter of a century old and has aged as well as Jeff Goldblum. That is to say well. Very well.

Day 10: Resident Evil: Afterlife
Because it's the highest grossing Canadian film of all time...the horror.

Day 9: The Hills Have Eyes
Fuck the Aja version.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 8: The Craft

As far as witching movies go this one is pretty vanilla. There are some manipulation spells, a few animal sacrifices and a bit of wrist slitting. Oh, and that levitation scene that forever changed sleepovers in the late 90s. But with everyone talking about Portishead all week here in Toronto it seemed impossible to not think of this goth-lite, teen flick.

Set in a Catholic prep school (therein an excuse to shoot Neve Campbell and Fairuza Balk in slowmo wearing school girl uniforms) new girl Sarah (Robin Tunney) falls in with some wannabe (on the other end of the 90s music spectrum) witches. But those dark arts aren't to be taken lightly. Admittedly, watching The Craft is not so much about the scares but for nostalgia's sake. But so be it. Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

Movie stuffs for the AV Club Toronto.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 7: Hausu

Though one can be glib about this film and describe it as "Criterion's biggest boner" ultimately it's pretty hard not to love. Vengeful ghost brides, evil sparkling eyed white cats and a killer rapist piano, Nobuhiko Ohbayashi Hausu has a lot to give.

Somewhere between a bad acid trip and the best cinematic ride of your life, Hausu follows a group of Japanese schoolgirls (whose names should have inspired a generation of "Gorgeouses", "Fantasies" and "Melodies", not to mention "Kung-Fus") who take a trip to an aunt's home and get picked off one by one. A visual cacophony of sweeping soft-lit chiffon and streaming blood alike, Hausu is perfect in its imperfections. Rounded off by an incredible score by Godaiko (and this killer love song) the 1977 oddity turned art house horror flick is a home run.

Halloween Horror Day 6: The Dentist

Not to make this about me, but I once spent 24 hours in Regina, SK with Corbin Bernsen. He had shot a movie there, I was sent to drive him around to press stuff. Because there's press in Regina. There is. But being that I grew up (illicitly) watching The Dentist this was, if not cool, at least amusing on several levels.

Since I wasn't allowed to watch commercial television until I made a strongly articulated case for Buffy at the age of eleven, The Dentist seemed pretty extreme. I suppose now it's rather tame, but the inherent horror in screwing around with someone's teeth stands the test of time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 5: Werewolves on Wheels

Truth be told, this isn't a good movie. But then what were you expecting? Werewolves? On wheels? Unfortunatelyand here cometh a spoilerthis promised apparition of utter glory doesn't occur until the film's conclusion, and even then all too briefly.

Basically a biker gang (aptly named The Devil's Advocates) gets sidetracked after some acid dropping good times near a monastery where they encounter serious Satanist activity. Though they save one of their old ladies from becoming a human sacrifice she ends up possessed, turning into, yup, a werewolf. Despite the above lackluster intro, the film's overall concept and its Satanist sequence (complete with robed monks and animal blood) is a howl of a time.

Halloween Horror Day 4: The Innocents

Sure, there's no blood splatter or spilled brains (it is based off a Henry James novella after all) but The Innocents remains a pinnacle of the ghostly gothic haunting genre. With the triple threat of a governess, creepy young children and an isolated mansion—plus the added bonus of the repeated use of a musical box's eerie tune—The Innocents still spooks.

Its style is the opposite of the Hammer horror films prevalent in the 60s, as director Jack Clayton creates an oppressive environment with lighting, deep focus and other nerdy film tricks. But most importantly, when Peter Wyngarde's ghostly apparition suddenly looms towards Deborah Kerr there's a good chance you'll pee your pants.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 3: Bug

There are crazy delusional men then there is Michael Shannon playing crazy delusional men. His role as Peter Evans in Bug is a delightfully chilling portrayal of psychosis (complete with self mutilation) played alongside a perfectly worn down Ashley Judd.

Bug descends rapidly and viciously into the horror of the mind, warping perceptions of reality and exploiting notions of paranoia. Though Bug attempts to capture the state of mental decay director William Friedkin doesn't forget how this effects the body. In a pacing similar to The Exorcist, the film vacillates from scenes of conversation, seemingly calm and steady, which are then interjected with graphic violence. Complete with a eerie motel setting and a threatening Harry Connick Jr, you'll be sure to be bugging out by the end.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 2: Drag Me To Hell

The past few years have seen a proliferation of recession movies, but arguably none capture the absurdity and terror of the October 2008 market crash like Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell. Written off as spoof by many, there are layers to this film which merit more than a quick laugh or simplifying it to the scene where Christine Lohman gets her face gummed by the gypsy curse lady. (Though that is awesome.)

Great splatter factor aside, Raimi knows what he's doing and and getting dragged along during this film is a diabolically good time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Halloween Horror Day 1: The Vampire Lovers

This time last year I pitched an idea to my then editor at The Mark News: "Lemme write about horror movies for the month of October? K, thx."

Blown away by my mastery of syntax she said yes, therein giving me the best excuse to watch horror films all month. This year between grad school and grad school I don't have the time to write up each film, but to neglect the month's inherent horror potential would be remiss. So, everyday in October (that's 31!) I'll be posting a horror pick as we lead up to the greatest holiday of the year.

The Vampire Lovers (1970)

There has been no greater lesbian vampire, nor will there ever be, than Ingrid Pitt. In fact, there has been no greater woman than Ingrid Pitt. That might be a leap, but in any case The Vampire Lovers is a Hammer Films Production directed by Rob Ward Baker (the man who made Titanic years before James Cameron with A Night To Remember). This delightfully messy period piece is filled with heaving bosoms, dry ice and rapy cats. But it's the tragic conclusion that will cause you to fall in love with Pitt...for all know, like a vampire? Get it?