Thursday, October 30, 2014

Census Bloodbath: Harry Lime buys a chainsaw


PIECES
Mil gritos tiene la noche (A Thousand Terrors Has the Night)

In the spirit of October masquerade fun, now comes the crossover between this here webzone and Brennan Klein's Popcorn Culture, just about the best blog you could ever read, and even better if you're a horror aficionado!  From now till Halloween, I'll be wearing the mask of someone who actually knows shit about the slasher genre, while Brennan will (far more ably) review some spooky 1950s science fiction!  Join us!  Or I'll be forced to use even more exclamation points!

1982 Espana/1983 USA
Directed by Juan Piquer Simon
Written by Dick Randall, Joe D'Amato (as John Shadow), and Juan Piquer Simon
With Ian Sera (Kendall), Linda Day George (Officer Mary Riggs), Christopher George (Lt. Bracken), Frank Brana (Sgt. Holden), Paul Smith (Willard), William Taylor (Prof. Brown), and Edmund Purdom (the Dean)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Census Bloodbath: The Ballad of Harry Warden


MY BLOODY VALENTINE

In the spirit of October masquerade fun, now comes the crossover between this here webzone and Brennan Klein's Popcorn Culture, just about the best blog you could ever read, and even better if you're a horror aficionado!  From now till Halloween, I'll be wearing the mask of someone who actually knows shit about the slasher genre, while Brennan will (far more ably) review some spooky 1950s science fiction!  Join us!  Or I'll be forced to use even more exclamation points!

1981
Directed by John Mihalka
Written by Stephen Miller and John Beaird
With Paul Kelman (T.J. Hanniger), Lori Hallier (Sarah), Neil Affleck (Axel), Keith Knight (Hollis), and Peter Cowper (Harry Warden)

Spoiler alert: severe

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Norman and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day


FURY

Fury is orchestrated misery.

2014
Written and directed by David Ayer
With Brad Pitt (Sgt. Don Collier), Logan Lerman (Norman Ellison), Shia LeBourg (Boyd Swan), Michael Pena (Trini Garcia), and John Bernthal (Grady Travis)

Spoiler alert: mild

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monsters Mashed: I thought what I'd do is I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes


THE MAN WHO LAUGHS

A muddle raised up as an all-time great because of the power of one simple image.  I'm here to tell you it was not enough then and it was not enough now.  This is not a good movie, damn it, though it easily could have been and that's even worse.

1928
Directed by Paul Leni
Written by J. Grubb Alexander, Walter Anthony, May McLean, Marion Ward, and Charles E. Whittaker (based on the novel by Victor Hugo)
With Conrad Veidt (Baron Gwynplaine Clancharlie), Mary Philbin (Dea), Brandon Hurst (Barkilphedro), Olga Baclanova (Duchess Josiana), Cesare Gravina (Ursus), and Josephine Cowell (Queen Anne Stuart)

The Monsters Mashed series intends to be a look back at the horror cinema of the Before Times.

Spoiler alert: severe

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Monsters Mashed: 10 IF cat THEN canary 20 IF canary GOTO 10


THE CAT AND THE CANARY

Garbage in, garbage out.

1927
Directed by Paul Leni
Written by Robert F. Hill, Alfred A. Cohen, and Walter Anthony (based on the play by John Willard)
With Laura La Plante (Annabelle West), Creighton Hale (Paul Jones), Gertrude Astor (Cecily), Flora Finch (Susan), Arthur Edmund Caruwe (Harry), and Martha Mattox (Mammy Pleasant)

The Monsters Mashed series intends to be a look back at the horror cinema of the Before Times.

Spoiler alert: moderate

Now, this is bat country


DRACULA UNTOLD

It's certainly better than Dracula, told by Tod Browning.  But that's not saying awfully much.

2014
Directed by Gary Shore
Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (based on characters created by world historical forces and also Bram Stoker)
With Luke Evans (Prince Vlad III Dracula), Sarah Gadon (Princess Mirena Dracula), Art Parkinson (Ingeras Dracula), Dominic Cooper (Sultan Mehmed II Osmanli), and Charles Dance (the Master Vampire)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wait... are racism, sexism, and slavery bad?


BELLE

Why, yesit turns out racism, sexism, and slavery are bad.  A+ one million for Belle.

2013 (the few)/2014 (the many)
Directed by Amma Asante
Written by Misan Sagay
With Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsey), Tom Wilkinson (Lord Mansfield), Emily Watson (Lady Mansfield), Penelope Wilton (Lady Mary Murray), Sarah Gadon (Elizabeth Murray), Sam Reid (John Davinier), and Matthew Goode (in the movie for like three minutes, which is kind of bullshit)

Spoiler alert: severe, though it is also sort of N/A

Sunday, October 5, 2014

In space, no one can hear you psychologically fracture


SPACE STATION 76

Are you ready for some wacky fun times in the stupid future our parents imagined?  It's got smoking!  And Valium!  And just look at that silly poster!  Ha ha!

2014
Directed by Jack Plotnick
Written by Jennifer Elise Cox, Kali Rocha, Michael Stoyanov, Sam Pancake (apparently), and Jack Plotnick
With Patrick Wilson (Capt. Glenn), Liv Tyler (Jessica), Marisa Coughlan (Misty), Matt Bomer (Ted), Jerry O'Connell (Steve), Kali Rocha (Donna), and Kylie Rogers (Sunshine)

Spoiler alert: mild

Dial M for Marriage


GONE GIRL

Or Dial M for Misogyny, if you'd prefer, because I certainly wouldn't argue with you.  But, bent toward satire, it's such fun misogyny.  Gone Girl can be all things to all people, if you let it: it can be the dark comedy with macabre laughs, or the psychological melodrama with teeth, or, maybe best of all, the kind of gnarly, plot-mechanical thriller Hollywood hardly ever makes since Brian De Palma stopped being good at his job.  Often it is all of these things at once, and it is one of 2014's best.

2014
Directed by David Fincher
Written by Gillian Flynn (based on the novel by Alfred Hitchcock)
With Rosamund Pike (Amy Dunne), Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne), Carrie Coon (Margo Dunne), Neil Patrick Harris (Desi Collings), and Tyler Perry (a reference joke so dated it's very mildly funny again)

Spoiler alert: mild

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cardboard Science: There seems to be a wind blowing in these willows


THE MAZE

A soggy mush of a tale, that erupts into a climax so balls-out bonkers that I almost recommend itbut instead I recommend watching the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes and ignoring the middle 40.  I assure you that you will be in no manner lost, because that would require SOMETHING TO HAVE HAPPENED.

1953
Production designed and directed by William Cameron Menzies
Written by Daniel B. Ullman (based on the novel by Maurice Sandoz)
With Veronica Hurst (Kitty Murray), Katherine Emery (Edith Murray), Richard Carlson (Gerald MacTeam), Michael Pate (William), and Stanley Fraser (Robert)

Spoiler alert: it would've been moderate, but it was just too hard, if not too pointless, to talk about The Maze without talking about its ending, so after the grade, a SPOILER SECTION begins