Since I have fallen behind so much for the last week and I can barely remember all that I watched, I’m just going to spurt out some movies I saw and give a brief sum of my thoughts.
Dracula A.D. 1972
Another entry in Hammer’s Dracula series, this one sees Dracula brought back to life in the “modern age”. A group of dirty British hippies bring back Drac during a black mass ritual, not knowing it’d actually work. Unfortunately, Dracula only kills Caroline Munroe, and ends up enslaving the rest, which I guess is fitting as well. Peter Cushing plays a descendant of Van Helsing and has to claim his destiny as he is forced to do battle with the ultimate evil.
Half horror film, half documentary, this effective gem is about the strange and shared phenomena of night terrors. Nine people narrate the problems that plague when head meets pillow. Some have sleep paralysis, some have monstrous visions of demonic entities. What makes The Nightmare compelling is the re-enactments of their plights that accompanies their narrations. The creature effects are chintzy, yet effective, especially for the strange mood The Nightmare brings with it. As someone who has encountered quite a bit of these things over the years (and friends with others who have as well), it’s described phenomena taps into something that can be chalked up to the supernatural or chemical reactions in the brain depending on your perspective.
Drew Barrymore plays as a little girl named Charlie, who has the unfortunate ability to be able to light things on fire with her mind. Based on the book by Stephen King and starring George C. Scott as brutal son of a bitch, Firestarter is one of the best King films ever. I can’t speak to how faithful the adaption is as I’ve surprisingly never read the book, but I’ve grown up with this film and it’s always been a favorite.
Night of the Living Dead
George Romero’s classic, and also a film I’ve tackled in the past.
The film that launched Full Moon on VHS back in the late 80s. Focusing on a group of psychics brought together after the death of a colleague, they find themselves under attack from a group of killer puppets. It may or may not be as dumb as it sounds, but I’ve always enjoyed this flick. With a new film with an actual story on the horizon, we can hope the series regains it’s footing from the travesty it has become. One day soon, I’ll do an actual review of this film and series (at least up till part 5 — I will go no further).
Another Full Moon/Empire series I grew up with that became horrible as Full Moon’s partnership with Paramount Pictures dissolved. After the fun of parts one and two, this one is really depressing. The joy of the first two was the romance and eventual marriage of futuristic law man Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) and Lena (Helen Hunt). This one opens up with them having a divorce, most likely because Full Moon and Helen Hunt knew the two were parting ways as Hunt’s career took off, and so the series could move forward without her. I’ll give Full Moon props for having the foresight to do this, and for having one series in their catalog that maintains some degree of a consistent narrative. Also, this one gives Deth a robot shark man termintor robocop partner, so that’s pretty cool. Oh, and Andrew Robinson is in it as a creepy government agent creating Trancers. It’s not as bad as it should sounds (or is it). Deth ends up with his characters ex-wife and 90’s babe Megan Ward so I’d say he broke even.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
“Nine killed you! Nine shall die!”. Dr. Anton Phibes is on an epic quest of Biblical vengeance against the surgeons who failed to save his wife in this 70’s classic. Vincent Price plays the lead character, and what he said is one of his favorite roles. Watching it, you can understand why he felt that way. This is one of my introductory films to Price and it’s always had a special place in my heart. Its got a very dark, mischievous sense of humor as Anton destroys the surgeons by inflicting Biblical plagues upon them when not spending time listening to his clockwork band.
Gingerdead Man III
This is a lot more fun than it has any right to be.
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