24 November 2010

LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN

LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN

Original Title:
Una lucertola con la pelle di donna

Alternate Titles:
Schizoid / A Lizard In A Woman's Skin

Italy / France / Spain, 1971
Director: Lucio Fulci

9/10


  
Holy reptile, that was brilliant! Undoubtedly one of the best gialli I've ever seen and now officially my new favorite Fulci-flick. "Lizard In A Woman's Skin" is actually so fucking great, it totally makes me forget about all the crap he made in the late 80s.
It's incredibly suspenseful, incredibly creepy, incredibly atmospheric and packed with incredibly remarkable and breathtaking scenes (wonderful dream sequences, a terrifcally gory kill and the infamous and disturbing scene with the dogs cut open, their hearts still pulsating).
The cinematography is mostly absolutely fantastic (lots of great shots, fantastic-looking visuals...), the psychedelic score from Maestro Ennio Morricone is stunning, the editing is splendid and the cast is largely very superb.
I daresay that this is Fulci's best movie.

22 November 2010

REYKJAVIK WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE

REYKJAVIK WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE

Alternate Titles:
Harpoon: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre / Harpoon

Iceland, 2009
Director: Júlíus Kemp

5/10







Imagine some kind of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" on a whaling ship - that's "Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre", one of the very first horror movies from Iceland; a decent but sadly quite underwhelming gorefest.
Tense and entertaining in the first half, boring and stupid in the second half. The cast is awesome (great performances from Pihla Viitala, Helgi Björnsson and Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen), sadly most of the characters are absolutely unlikable, especially the annoying Frenchman and the unbearably ferocious blonde girl.
The soundtrack from the great Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson is beautiful, cinematographically it's mostly very satisfying and the kills are all terrific (slit throats, decapitations, harpoon kills, gruesome burnings...). Unfortunately the script is really, REALLY bad, including loads of completely illogical plot points, unnecessarily tedious scenes, large plot holes and one of the most stupid endings I've seen in a looong time.

21 November 2010

PET SEMATARY 1 & 2

PET SEMATARY

German Title:
Friedhof der Kuscheltiere

USA, 1989
Director: Mary Lambert

8/10








I read the terrific novel ages ago but for some reason I never managed to watch the movie - a shame because "Pet Sematary" is definitely one of the better King-adaptations: eerie, suspenseful, thrilling and thankfully it never gets boring. 
It's packed with great acting performances (most notably Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby and the awesome child actor Miko Hughes), haunting and creepy-looking settings (the pet cemetery looks so absolutely awesome!), some super-scary scenes (the opening scene, the spinal meningitis girl, the zombie kid, the walk to the burial ground...) and even some superb gore. The script is tight and perfectly paced (written by King himself), Elliot Goldenthal's soundtrack is wonderfully haunting and the camera work is just excellent.
A beautiful and timeless horror movie, thumbs up!

Wiki ~ Imdb



PET SEMATARY TWO

Alternate Title:
Pet Sematary II


German Title:
Friedhof der Kuscheltiere 2

USA, 1992
Director: Mary Lambert

2/10




My goodness, that was awful. What were Mary Lambert and the script-writer (of course not Stephen King) thinking? Part 2 is so unbelievably bad, it's incredible. 
Lots of extremely annoying and/or unlikeable actors, unimpressive-looking settings, a boring soundtrack (of course not from Elliot Goldenthal) and poor dialogue. The pacing is terribly tedious, the plot is beyond stupid and I totally hate the fact that they wanted to turn this into some weird kind of horror-comedy.
Apart from 2-3 nice gore scenes and an ok ending, this is an insult to Stephen King and all of his fans.

BLOODY MARY

BLOODY MARY

USA, 2006
Director: Richard Valentine

3/10











What I expected of "Bloody Mary":
A decent low budget adaptation of the Bloody Mary legend which is hopefully way better than the horrid "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary".

What I got:
A stupid and boring low budget adaptation of the Bloody Mary legend. Ok. it's better than "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary" but it's still very far from being a good movie.

What I liked:
Not much. 2-3 ok scares, some decent gore, some eerie-looking settings.

What I disliked:
Pretty much everything else: horrendous acting, awfully bad dialogue, superlame CGI, a megaboring soundtrack, absolutely no suspense or tension and a totally shiftless plot.

Overall:
an unenjoyable and unnecessary lamefest.

Wiki ~ Imdb

SAVAGE WEEKEND

SAVAGE WEEKEND

Alternate Title:
The Killer Behind The Mask


German Title:
Killer hinter der Maske


USA, 1976/1979
Director: David Paulsen

4/10





A promising but eventually pretty disappointing low budget slasher-forerunner. The plot is beyond stupid (a couple of people spending the weekend in a rural community only to watch a boat being built??? Come on!), the ending plot twist is super-lame, it's filled with loads of horribly slow and/or unnecessary scenes, the kills are all extremely underwhelming and there are so many boom mics visible, it's absurd.
Nevertheless there are also several things I really like about this movie: the killer's mask which looks terrific, lots of eerie atmosphere in the first half, a couple of weirdly entertaining scenes (the violent branding, the udder scene...) and I totally love the soundtrack which ranges from Deliverance-esque banjo music to some fabulous tango.
Nothing of importance but at least quite enjoyable.

20 November 2010

SODOMA'S GHOSTS

SODOMA'S GHOST

Original Title:
Il fantasma di Sodoma


Alternate Title:
The Ghosts Of Sodom


German Title:
Sodoma's tödliche Rache


Italy, 1988
Director: Lucio Fulci

1,5/10



What the fuck was that? Seriously, this is undeniably the worst thing Fulci has ever done. A horrible haunted house / soft porn / nazisploitation mish-mash including some of the worst acting I've ever seen, some of the worst dialogue ever written, a plot that doesn't make any sense and loads of scenes that are so absolutely fucking boring, it's laughable. Ok, the nudity is nice to watch and the soundtrack is mostly quite enjoyable, but apart from it's just totally uninteresting and forgettable z-grade trash.

17 November 2010

STIR OF ECHOES

STIR OF ECHOES

Alternate Title:
The Secret Sense

German Title:
Echoes - Stimmen aus der Zwischenwelt

USA, 1999
Director: David Koepp

8/10


 

One of the very few 'big' horror movies from the end of the 90s that I haven't seen yet; thanx again to The Girl Who Loves Horror who kinda called it back to my mind with her glowing review - and fortunately I enjoyed it almost as much as she did.
"Stir Of Echoes" is an absolutely great horror-thriller, very tense and gripping, extremely well written and perfectly paced - in fact it's the brilliant up-and-down/fast-and-slow-pacing I liked the most about it.

Furthermore:
* a pretty good cast; great performances from the beautiful Kathryn Erbe and the talented child performer Zachary David Cope, plus a really, really fabulous Kevin Bacon (the scene where he's "supposed to dig" and nearly goes bonkers - hilarious!)
* lots of scary and/or highly suspenseful moments
* visually it's often extremely stunning (the fantastic hypnosis scene, some great neighborhood shots...)
* some brilliantly entertaining dialogue (f.e. "She's a witch. She took one look at me and guessed. Well, say something!" - "Bummer." - "Something else.")
* a very effective soundtrack

Wanna get scared, thrilled and entertained at the same time? Well, then you immediately have to watch this wonderful film, especially when you're also a fan of movies like "Mothman Prophecies" or "The Return".

THE INITIATION OF SARAH (Original & Remake)

This review is part of the film club
from Final Girl, the blog of all blogs!


THE INITIATION OF SARAH

USA, 1978
Director: Robert Day

5/10











A mediocre made-for-TV movie about a girl with telekinetic powers, pretty much in the vein of "Carrie".
Full of tense and suspenseful or simply impressive moments (piano scene, prank) but also filled with many slow, tedious and dull moments. The lack of scary or thrilling horror is also pretty disappointing.
Plot and script are well-written, the soundtrack is decent and the cast is quite entertaining (especially the performances of Kay Lenz, Tisa Farrow and Morgan Fairchild, but overall it's a rather underwhelming flick that definitely didn't fulfill my expectations.

Imdb



THE INITIATION OF SARAH
(Remake)

German Title:
Im Bann der dunklen Mächte

USA, 2006
Director: Stuart Gillard

1,5/10






The only good thing about this horrendous made-for-TV remake is Jennifer Tilly's performance. Everything else in here just sucks: it's extremely boring and extremely tedious, the acting is lame, the dialogue is dumb and every single CGI effect looks plain terrible. Avoid this piece of crap at all costs!

16 November 2010

CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS

CURSE OF THE BLUE LIGHTS

German Title:
Blue Lights

USA, 1988
Director: John Henry Johnson

3/10








Boy, that's one weird and silly movie! "Curse Of The Blue Lights" is an obscure and completely forgotten 80s cheesefest, full of fun-looking ghouls and creatures in the vein of "Neon Maniacs" and "Spookies", and hordes of goofy zombies. The plot is terrible, the acting is dull and the dialogue is mostly horribly stupid. It's pretty much never tense or thrilling and definitely way too long.
The opening scene is great (Scary scarecrow!) and the monsters all look great, but aside from that it's plain rubbish. Recommended only to people who need to watch every single piece of crap from the 80s - like me :-)

15 November 2010

EMPIRE OF THE ANTS

EMPIRE OF THE ANTS

Alternate Title:
H. G. Wells' Empire Of The Ants

German Titles:
In der Gewalt der Riesenameisen / Killer Termiten / Angriff der Nuklear-Monster

USA, 1977
Director: Bert I. Gordon

2/10



The super-schlocky follow-up to the super-schlocky "Food Of The Gods" from Bert I. Gordon, one of the sloppiest directors in history; a trashfest so bad it's ridiculous.
ALL special /make-up effects are horrible, absolutely horrible: lots of laughable-looking ant puppets, badly edited stock footage of real ants in glass ant farms and some extremely silly-looking ant POV shots.
The settings all look quite lame, the acting is mostly dull (Joan Collins must have been desperately in need of money), the camera work is often horribly annoying (especially the excessive shaking during the ant attacks), the score is a brazen rip-off from the Jaws score and the story is just nonsense, especially because of a outrageously stupid plot twist in the last third.
At least 2-3 of the ant scenes are enjoyable and there's even some ok suspense in the first 20-30 minutes.

14 November 2010

List-o-Mania #3: Underrated gems

Inspired by Final Girl's "Heart List",
I decided to do something similar - my personal kinda-heart-list
a Top 10 list of known / unknown horror gems that are TOTALLY underrated and that no one really seems to like ...but me!

Yeah, I totally dig all of them (even "Halloween 5"!). 
They are all not perfect, but there's something about them that makes me love them almost unconditionally (ok, exaggerating :-)

Ready? Here we go!


10. Nightmare Man













One of the better Horrorfest flicks; a flawed but highly entertaining old school slasher, highly recommended to 80s fans!

9. The Slayer 













It's beyond me why so many people who adore crap like "Madman" or "Humongous" hate this beautiful little suspense-fest. Sooooo underrated!

8. Halloween 5 - The Revenge Of Michael Myers













Part 5 is definitely way better than its reputation: ignore the lame acting, the dumb plot and the 'new' Myers house and instead concentrate on all the excellent suspense scenes (car chase, laundry chute hideout, barn scene etc.) - you'll love it!

7. Maya













Undoubtedly the most underrated Italian horror flick ever made. You like Soavi? You love Fulci? Then go and watch "Maya" asap.

6. The Guardian













Call me nuts but I totally prefer this absolutely wonderful 90s gem over Friedkin's overrated "Exorcist".

5. Final Exam













I love, LOOVE this completely forgotten 80s slasher. Totally rips off "Halloween" but in a really entertaining way.

4. The Dentist / The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself











Are you a fan of Brian Yuzna? Do you dread dentists? Do you understand the meaning of exploitation? Well, then you'll absolutely adore these 2 hilariously brilliant dentist flicks.

3. Laid To Rest













Terrific gore, wonderful 80s atmosphere and one of the coolest looking killers in history - still there are many, many horror fans out there who hate it with passion. Why? Well, I totally don't know.

2. The Dark Side Of The Moon













A movie about spaceships, satanism, the moon, the bermuda triangle and female-looking computer-robots. Do I have to say more?

1. Pulse













Imagine your average 80s slasher, add loads of suspense and creepy atmosphere and replace the masked killer with electricity - that's "Pulse", one of the greatest and best-looking horror flicks from the 80s.

11 November 2010

KILLER PAD

KILLER PAD

USA, 2008
Director: Robert Englund

3/10











20 years after the terrible "976-EVIL", Robert Englund decided to direct another movie. This time (for whatever reason) it's a really ridiculous kinda horror/teen-comedy - though it's more teen-comedy than horror.
It's quite entertaining in the first half but gets extremely stupid in the second half. The acting is ok but nearly every single character is so unbelievably stupid, it's often almost unwatchable. Some funny one-liners but also plenty of really tasteless and tacky humor.
If you like movies in the vein of "Dude, where's my car?", you'll definitely like this one too.
If you like Englund as an actor, then just skip this rubbish.

09 November 2010

GHOSTS OF MARS

GHOSTS OF MARS

USA, 2001
Director: John Carpenter

2/10








 


Oh my goodness, what the heck was that? I mean, John Carpenter is undeniably my favorite horror director of all time and I adore most of his movies - but "Ghosts Of Mars", his last feature film before his temporary retirement, is just plain bullshit and pretty much everything about it sucks:
The plot is dumb and the script's and uninteresting mess, badly written, badly paced. There's hardly any suspense or atmosphere. Most of the acting is extremely dull (including terrible performances from Ice Cube and Jason Statham). The Mars-settings all look horribly poor, large parts of the soundtrack are simply annoying, the possessed people are absolutely laughable and the CGI looks mostly quite cheap.
Ok, the cinematography is pretty cool and there are a few decent scenes, but aside from that it's definitely the absolute low-point in Carpenter's career. Sigh...

ALTITUDE

ALTITUDE

German Title:
Altitude - Tödliche Höhe

Canada / USA, 2010
Director: Kaare Andrews

2/10






 


One of this year's biggest disappointments. I was sooo excited about "Altitude" because the trailer just blew me away - sadly this movie is actually a horrid and mindless snoozefest. The acting is lame, the 5 main characters are horribly annoying and almost unbearable. The dialogue is so stupid, it's ridiculous. The script was probably written by a 3-year-old. It's boring, tedious and stupid.
1 point for the awesome-looking monster and 1 point for the scene outside of the plane. The rest is just bullcrap.

07 November 2010

BURIED

BURIED

German Title:
Buried - Lebend begraben

Spain / USA / France, 2010
Director: Rodrigo Cortés

9/10









Initially I was quite skeptical towards the idea of a movie that shows a man in a coffin for more than 90 minutes and I never thought that this could work - but now that I've seen it, I truly can say:
YES, it works! It really, really works! Everything about "Buried" works!


~ Ryan Reynolds delivers the performance of his life. Extremely believable and mindblowingly emotional. Almost oscar-worthy!
~ The script is just awesome: perfectly written, perfectly paced, full of terrific ideas, great plot twists and brilliant dialogue.
~ Rodrigo Cortés' excellent direction makes the movie unbelievably tense and suspenseful.
~ It's absolutely never boring!
~ The camera work is simply outstanding.
~ The score is powerful and always sweeping.
~ The claustrophobic set design is fantastic and all the colours look just beautiful.
~ The ending is a super-stunning shocker that left me speechless and perplexed in my seat.


Undoubtedly one of the most impressive movies of 2010 and one of the most original movies of the last years.

01 November 2010

List-o-Mania #2: The Best

 - 15 BEST HORROR MOVIES -

15. SOCIETY














One of the most underrated movies in history. Highly disturbing, highly thrilling, highly, intelligent, highly entertaining + some of the most shocking and disturbing special effects I've ever seen.

14. THE BLOB (Remake)














The stupidest but also most hilarious movie in this list. A terrific 80s classic full of brilliant effects and top notch kills - remember the sink drain scene? the phone booth scene? Ah, they don't make movies like this anymore...

13. INSIDE













French Terror #1: a film so violent, so brutal, so uncompromising - totally shocks and scares the shit out of me, no matter how often I watch it.

12. THE RING (Remake)













The greatest horror remake in history and actually the only US remake of an Asian horror-flick that actually works.

11. SUSPIRIA













The absolute masterpiece from Argento, the Italian master of horror. The most colourful /most beautiful horror movie ever made.

10. SHAUN OF THE DEAD













As much as I love the zombie films from Romero, there can be no doubt that this is definitely the greatest and most amusing zombie movie in history.

9. MARTYRS













French Terror #2: a movie that hits you like a hammer blow; so brutal, so disturbing, so mindblowingly violent - but at the same time so powerful, touching and emotional. Outstanding.

8. BRAINDEAD













The gorefest of all gorefests, the splatter orgy of all splatter orgies, the bloodbath of all bloodbaths. Who needs Lord Of The Rings anyway? ;)

7. THE EVIL DEAD













The cult classic of all cult classics, the low budget debut of all low budget debuts. A movie so imperfect, it's perfect!

6. THE FOG













A movie so unbelievably scary and haunting, it's incredible. Despite countless views, I still feel a bit uncomfortable when I have to go through fog.

5. JU-ON: THE GRUDGE













The only movie that totally scares me shitless and gives me nightmares everytime I watch it. The most impressive Asian horror film of all time.

4. HIGH TENSION













The most impressive French horror movie of all time. The best and most suspenseful slasher of the last 30 years.

3. THE SHINING













Visually the most stunning movie of all time. Better than every other Kubrick-masterpiece (2001, Clockwork Orange...) and of course way better than the good but overrated novel.

2. HALLOWEEN













The best and most suspenseful slasher ever made, incl. the greatest-looking slasher mask, the most terrific 'final girl' and the most outstanding film music.

1. THE THING













The greatest horror movie ever, ever, EVAAAAAHH!!! Nuff said.

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