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Nordicdusk 26th October 2020 01:10 PM

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30 Days Of Unseen Horror

Day 26

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In a remote part of Romania a nun is found hanged outside the Abby doors suicide is seen as the ultimate sim within the Catholic faith so the Vatican swiftly sends s priest and a novice nun who has yet to complete her vows to investigate what happened. The Abby has a history of strange goings on and the church is worried the Abby is no longer a holy place.

The Nun gets off to a great start its shot well its very creepy and the Abby has a very sinister bibe to it. The forests around the Abby have tons of crosses hanging from the trees and in thr ground keeping evil in rather than keeping it out and that along with the constant rolling fog creates the atmosphere. The acting is solid the story starts off well but the Frenchie character didn't sit well with me is he a potential love interest for the novice nun before he completes her training is he the hero or is he the comic relief like the film needs that at all. To me i think they half arsed it and he is supposed to be all those things but they didn't commit to any of them and its quickly brushed aside plus any comic relief he is supposed to bring fell flat everytime.

After a great start for me it started to go down hill using cheap loud jump scares to get the audience going but they are do predictable. In films like this less is more let the atmosphere you build give the scares what i love about spirits hauntings or religious horror is the creepy feel knowing there is something dark lurking you make your own unease but when its just suddenly repeatedly thrown in your face its ruins it. The nun herself is underused really and when she is its to cartoony to have any effect.

They missed a trick here promising start but quickly went off the rails.

The score is for the first half of the film.


Frankie Teardrop 26th October 2020 05:26 PM

MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD – This overlooked Jess Franco number is pretty crazy. Four swingin’ German women, about to embark on a holiday shagfest, think the big, deserted hotel they’ve just booked into is a bit strange. Not content to wait around until they can snare some other hotties, they pair off and get into a little softcore action themselves. On taking a breather between all the gymnastics, a couple of them find that the ruined monastery next door just happens to host a cult of Blind Dead-esque zombie monks, who give some spiel about how slutty the girls are before brutally raping them! It’s all Franco, but ‘Mansion of the Living Dead’ is like a forbidden hybrid of Benny Hill, Bunuel and JG Ballard. It’s so dreamlike that it passes over into surrealism, the tone drifting from whimsy to nasty with the lazy ease of an afternoon on a sunbed (laid out next to someone in a white cowl and a skull mask). It’s a film where throwaway comedy with a lecherous gardener-type pulls back to reveal chained up nudes in bleached-out chalets, twilit passageways flooded with eerie light, and the miasma of unease blown in by that ever-howling wind and the bell’s distant toll. As always with Franco, there is a sense of something a bit metaphysical teetering on the verge of silliness. If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s always Lina Romay in a blond wig.

MrBarlow 26th October 2020 06:16 PM

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House Of 1000 Corpses. 2003.

Four friends embark on cross country looking at roadside attractions and are told of a legend by Captain Spaulding, they decide to try and find it and pick up a hitch-hiker which leads them to a house they may never return from.

A new style of vision horror flick from Rob Zombie, there is plenty of good colours and split screen with slow motion shots. Sid Haig and Bill Moseley steal the show with their style of acting, Haig being the lovable quick comeback clown that provides the laughs and Moseley for being the total psychotic nut job with Sherrie Moon who seems the quiet type and she is just as bad with their Mama played by Karen Black. Plenty of gore and nice atmosphere blends in well with some good background music.

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bleakshaun 26th October 2020 06:25 PM

The Prowler

In 1945 a couple are brutally murdered during a dance, the killer was never found. 35 years a series of murders take place.
It's been years since I saw this and it still stands as a favourite in the bleak house.

MrBarlow 26th October 2020 07:34 PM

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976-Evil. 1988.

Hoax, a young bullied teen who lives with his over bearing religious mother and tough boy cousin Spike, finds a number to receive a horror scope but gives him supernatural powers.

Freddy Krueger star Robert Englund takes his turn in the director's chair for this decent 80s horror, yeah it is a cheese fest but decently done. Sandy Dennis plays the religious mother to Hoax that fish from the sky and she thinks god is speaking to her. Stephen Geoffreys plays the young Hoax who seeks the help of the supernatural to get even with those around him. Robert Picardo plays Mark Dark who created the phone scopes. The picture quality is alot better for this release and sound is sharper so Eureka did a decent job from the VHS era only small problem i had is one scene has been shortened and at least we get to see a hand getting cut off a bit better.

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Demoncrat 26th October 2020 07:59 PM

The Witchmaker (1969, William O. Brown)

An academic and his entourage visit some swamp looking for trouble it turns out, see there's this local sort called Luther, who has an interesting take on hospitality, and what with one of their number being "attuned" to the otherwordly, so when the tour guide dumps them at ... a cabin in the woods, I settled back to bathe in the madness.

Of which there is little, due to the period (and budget) though it ticks all the regional US horror boxes etc.
When our titular ne'er do well hooks up with the local "herbalist" Jessie, things shift into top gear, and the mind games begin in earnest.
Unlike the lifeless clods in Scream, this lot at least have some gumption and take the fight to the Fisher Price Lon Chaney Jr at the head of this coven.
Needs the non binary musical remake this one :skull:

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 26th October 2020 08:08 PM

Witchcraft (1988) ★★½

This was a film I last watched many years ago when I bought a cheap release of the DVD which, like this 88 Films Blu-ray, is entitled Wichcraft. Like then, I was drawn by the unlikely pairing of Linda Blair and David Hasselhoff in an Italian horror film, one where the cover art promises some lip stitching action, a sinister house, and a busty woman in a négligée.

With many different titles, from Witchery to Witchcraft, Evil Encounters to Ghosthouse 2 and La Casa 4, this is a film which offers a lot to prospective audiences, and even one of the taglines "A nightmare possession, horrific satanic rites and a gruesome sacrifice" seems enticing.

Although this isn't a film which anyone would describe as a horror classic, a great example of genre filmmaking, it's one which shows us some fairly likeable characters, puts them in a situation which is fairly easy to follow and with, in Hildgard Knef's Lady in Black, has a threatening supernatural entity.

Also, although not all of the acting is Oscar-worthy (Linda Blair has been much more convincing in other films, David Hasselhoff is Baywatch-standard, and Catherine Hickland Annie Ross show why they aren't household names) and the plot is a bit of a mess, the film is entertaining and very watchable. It can loosely be classified as 'dumb but fun', and I have plenty of time for films like this.

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 26th October 2020 08:08 PM

Beyond Darkness (1990) ★★½

The fifth instalment in the La Casa series of films (following The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Ghosthouse and Witchcraft, this has a slightly ludicrous central premise in which a catholic priest, his wife and two children move into a house built on the area where 20 suspected witches were burnt to death.

Putting aside the notion of a catholic priest having a family (I'm under the impression that priests are supposed to be chaste and unmarried), this is a film where the approach is one of 'throw everything to the wall and see what sticks'. This explains why there is an Amityville Horror-style possessed house, a child exhibiting signs of demonic possession necessitating an exorcism (cue Tubular Bells) and an executed serial killer taunting another priest with the souls of her child victims, almost a precursor to Gregory Hoblit's 1998 thriller Fallen.

Although this does come with the 'from the director of Troll 2' baggage, Claudio Fragasso has easily made the most coherent and accomplished film if his career. Without any prior knowledge, I'd be hard pushed to tell you this was made by the same person who appeared to be completely inept, incapable of incorporating sound and image without it becoming laughably absurd.

Beyond Darkness looks good, has an interesting and fleeting soundtrack, and has scenes which are genuinely atmospheric. The star is David Brandon, whose alcoholic defrocked Father George is the most interesting and engaging character in the film; he's almost like the equivalent of Rod Steiger's Father Delaney, but not played in a way which is aggravating the hammy, embarrassment to the actor's reputation and talent. The film might be a bit of a mess, but it's an enjoyable mess.

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 26th October 2020 08:11 PM

Frankenstein (2015) ★★★★★

I bought this without knowing anything about it – it was in a 2 for £4 offer online and I noticed 'From the director of Candyman' on the cover, so that was a good enough reason for me to add it to my basket.

Bernard Rose's adaptation of Mary Shelley's famous story relocates the action to present day Los Angeles, telling the story from Monster's perspective. As the film begins when the creature, called Monster in the credits, is brought to life, we know nothing about how he was created and, with the film cutting to black when he loses consciousness, the gaps in his knowledge are shared by the viewer.

This is a really interesting way to tell the story, making you fully invested in the main character, shifting the focus away from Victor to his creation and making Victor secondary to Elizabeth, his wife and laboratory assistant. Showing what happens to Monster when he encounters members of the public, police, and particularly a blind, homeless man (Tony Todd) makes you acutely aware that people are products of their environment.

The film is emotionally and intellectually interesting and involving, the central performance from Xavier Samuel is superb, and it's a thought-provoking and affecting film, one which mixes melodrama and extreme violence in a way which few others have managed so effectively. It's possible that this is Bernard Rose's best film, one which should be seen by everybody with an appreciation for Mary Shelley's timeless classic and other films based on the novel.

Nosferatu@Cult Labs 26th October 2020 08:14 PM

Screamers (1995) ★★★★

As an adaptation of a Philip K Dick story, it's almost impossible not to compare it to Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau, and Total Recall (1990), all films I rate highly and very much enjoy. When placed against those, it's not a huge success. However, when compared to Paycheck or Next, it's positively brilliant.

The crux of the film is how it takes the idea of what it means to be human, the importance of consciousness, and incorporates some impressive world building with a very good central performance from Peter Weller

The film could be a little clearer with the story – events and motives are occasionally a little unclear – though for the most part it's a well-designed, atmospheric, and exciting watch. It's major failing is the lack of a likeable protagonist because there isn't anyone in whom we can become fully emotionally invested and through whose eyes the major events are told to the audience. Joe Hendrickson is a hard-bitten and suspicious soldier, though not someone who is, like Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard or Arnold Schwarzenegger's Quaid, particularly engaging. He's not even someone I desperately want to see survive and live until the end credits roll.

Despite the characters, many of whom are clichés, I really like Dan O'Bannon's screenplay (Miguel Tejada-Flores with a rewrite) and the intelligent, sensitive handling of Philip K Dick's short story. Director Christian Duguay will never be mistaken for a filmmaker with the calibre of Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, or Paul Verhoeven, but then George Nolfi has a similarly underwhelming résumé yet I love what he did with The Adjustment Bureau.

For people who aren't familiar with Second Variety and want an action-sci-fi film which is interesting and entertaining, they could do much worse than watch this – I found each viewing more enjoyable than the last. The less mental energy you spend on the major plot points, the more you have for the themes within the story, the aspects which make it timeless.

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