What horror/sci-fi films have you been watching?

What horror/sci-fi films have you been watching?

William S. Wilson
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 20:18

06 Mar 2006, 17:44 #1

Stealing a page from Marty's long running cult thread, I figured we could start one over here on this board for horror and sci-fi flicks. Here are two of my latest:

THE CHANNELER (1990) - A teacher and a group of college students head up to a mountain area to do something I can't remember but end up fighting demons that somehow escaped from a mine. Along the way they receive help from Dan Haggerty and Richard Harrison (who isn't even credited at the IMDb). Man, this is one bad movie. Somehow everything Haggerty starred in during this time period (this, REPO JAKE, ELVES) just drags and drags and drags. The plot is relatively simply but director Grant Austin Waldman does his best to fudge it up. Seriously, by the time it ended I need a notepad to figure out the entire thing. The best scene has Haggerty finding out something about someone's blood and racing to tell the others on his motorbike. He gets knocked off and killed so we never learn what he found out! There are some bad effects and one nude scene that can't help cover the taxing cost to one's brain from the entire film. Also starring FOR alum Jay Richardson.

DREAM DEMON (1988) - A British stab at the popular dream subgenre in the 80s that ends up coming off like A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET mixed with REPULSION. Virginal Diana (Jemma Redgrave) is preparing to get married when she begins having a number of vivid dreams that end up having effects on the real world. Directed by Harley Cokeliss, DREAM DEMON does have one thing going for it in that it perfectly captures the surreal nature of dreams. I can't tell you the number of times I have dreamt of pushing my hand through someones pus filled face, only to fall down a pit a few seconds later and have a guy on fire run out of nowhere (seriously). The film also attempts to have a mystery involving the house where Diana lives but it is put together so haphazardly that little of it makes sense. Is the house evil? If so, how is the house evil? Is Diana possessed? We never really know. Regardless, it is worth checking out once if you are starved for some of the bizarre dreams and visuals.
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Steve Monaco
Fledgling Mobian
Joined: 26 Feb 2006, 23:08

07 Mar 2006, 04:02 #2

I've only seen one recently, and it was a bad one:

Un Delitto poco comun (1988) aka Phantom of Death, directed by Ruggero Deodato and starring Michael York. York plays a concert pianist who contracts a rare disease that turns him into a mad killer while it simultaneously makes him grow older and uglier, until by the end he looks like Nick Nolte's mug shot. Donald Pleasance plays the police inspector investigating York's murders and he goes through a gamut of emotions, from stunned to frozen to comatose. The English version is dubbed oddly, with the actual voices of the English speaking actors recorded on film and all other, non-English actors dubbed in. Skip it.
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William S. Wilson
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 20:18

07 Mar 2006, 04:38 #3

Since you mentioned PHANTOM OF DEATH, maybe we can get Mobius poster Jon Barnett to relay his Michael York/PHANTOM OF DEATH story?
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Eric Cotenas
Mobian
Joined: 01 Nov 2004, 08:26

07 Mar 2006, 10:08 #4

DREAM DEMON (1988)
Odd film. I didn't know what to think of it at the time. I rented it with another teenage dream horror film, the Australian STONES OF DEATH which was considerably less imaginative.

The only horror film I've watched recently was FUNERAL HOME, one of those "slasher" films from the eighties that was actually professionally shot (though the transfer makes this hard to appreciate) with cinematography by Mark Irwin, production design by Roy Forge Smith, and a score by Jerry Fielding. Love the last shot.

I actually haven't seen a lot of horror movies lately. I've got the two Luciano Ercoli gialli, the new UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING and SARABAND to get through before I can watch anything else.
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Alan Maxwell
Mobian
Joined: 04 Nov 2004, 22:11

07 Mar 2006, 21:24 #5

Lately, I've taken a break from the ever-expanding pile of DVDs and decided to pluck a few unwatched items from the VHS pile. And the latest is...

DR BLACK & MR HYDE - wow. I love blaxploitation but this is bad! It has a Jeykyll and Hyde origin, then turns into a black horror version of Jack the Ripper and then finally finishes with an ending right out of KING KONG. Terrible film, but needless to say I loved it. And the make-up effects were by Stan Winston?!?

Yesterday I splashed out a whole 99p on an old VHS of HUMANOID WOMAN which, if I'm not mistaken, is an edited-down-then-dubbed version of an old Russian sci-fi movie. It looks absolutely awful, so I look forward to viewing it.
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Chris Barry
Mobian
Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 22:35

07 Mar 2006, 21:47 #6

Does THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN count?
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Marty McKee
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 22:44

07 Mar 2006, 23:31 #7

Alan Maxwell @ Mar 7 2006, 03:24 PM wrote: DR BLACK & MR HYDE - wow. I love blaxploitation but this is bad!
Once you get past Stan Winston's silly Hyde makeup, I think William Crain's film is actually a pretty good one. The makeup in and of itself isn't so awful, but Larry LeBron's screenplay insists that everyone who encounters Hyde believes him to be a Caucasian, even those who see him up close. Since Hyde really looks like Bernie Casey with a layer of flour covering his face and some white around the bottom edge of his Afro, illusions of Casey actually transforming into a white man are immediately shattered.

However, Casey works hard at pulling off the illusion, and his performance is an excellent one, lending his character a kindly, dignified manner that contrasts harshly with the animalistic Hyde. LeBron and Crain work hard to establish the racial metaphors in Casey's transformation; instead of the class divide present in Robert Louis Stevenson's story, DR. BLACK is about the "evils" of selling out to white society. It's too bad Dimension didn't pony up a few more bucks that would have honed the rough edges, since the script and Casey deserved better.
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Mike Thomas
Mobian
Joined: 31 Oct 2004, 16:37

08 Mar 2006, 01:52 #8

I recently watched the Aussie "horror" film THIRST -- a modern-day (1979) vampire tale which deals with a international vampire cabal, complete with human "blood cows" that are used to feed the elites that make up the vampire community.

It was interesting, though padded-out, and not at all scary.

I have a question if any of the board members have seen this: it's never explained what the benefits of being a vampire are (eternal life, super-human strength, etc.) in the context of the film. Did I miss something?
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Marty McKee
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 22:44

08 Mar 2006, 03:06 #9

Mike Thomas @ Mar 7 2006, 07:52 PM wrote: I recently watched the Aussie "horror" film THIRST -- a modern-day (1979) vampire tale which deals with a international vampire cabal, complete with human "blood cows" that are used to feed the elites that make up the vampire community.

It was interesting, though padded-out, and not at all scary.

I have a question if any of the board members have seen this: it's never explained what the benefits of being a vampire are (eternal life, super-human strength, etc.) in the context of the film. Did I miss something?
I've seen it, but not recently. Were the vampires immortal? I know they really wanted Chantal Contouri to join, but I don't remember why. I do remember Henry Silva's cool death scene though.
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Don May Jr
Mobian
Joined: 20 Oct 2004, 10:44

08 Mar 2006, 04:22 #10

I just watched:

VENOM: Not nearly as horrid as many reviews would have you believe, but it wasn't all that great. A decent time-passer/rental. Good attempt to try making a franchisable (is that a word?) character [a la Freddy/Michael/Jason]. Guy gets trapped underwater in an upside down car with a suitcase full of snakes in which many evil souls are trapped (nope... not kiddin')... gets bit and becomes a super-villain filled with the evil of all the snakes. Cue the senseless teenage death, massive house destruction and silly tomb-voodoo-hoosywatsis. The super-smokin-hot Agnes Bruckner makes this one worth a watch.

SKELETON KEY: Another one that I enjoyed, in a PG-13 sorta way. I liked the atmosphere and pacing and I did kinda dig the uber-twist at the end. I got a good chuckle outta the ending. I'm a sucker for movies dealing with voodoo (or, in this case, hoodoo). Kate Hudson isn't bad to look at, either. Peter Sarsgaard redeems himself here after the absolutely unwatchable FLIGHTPLAN (which I watched a few weeks ago... bleh... does that count as "horror" or just "horrible"?).
Regards,
Don May, Jr.
President, Synapse Films
www.synapse-films.com
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Mike Thomas
Mobian
Joined: 31 Oct 2004, 16:37

08 Mar 2006, 04:26 #11

Marty McKee @ Mar 7 2006, 09:06 PM wrote:
Mike Thomas @ Mar 7 2006, 07:52 PM wrote: I recently watched the Aussie "horror" film THIRST -- a modern-day (1979) vampire tale which deals with a international vampire cabal, complete with human "blood cows" that are used to feed the elites that make up the vampire community.

It was interesting, though padded-out, and not at all scary.

I have a question if any of the board members have seen this: it's never explained what the benefits  of being a vampire are (eternal life, super-human strength, etc.) in the context of the film. Did I miss something?
I've seen it, but not recently. Were the vampires immortal? I know they really wanted Chantal Contouri to join, but I don't remember why. I do remember Henry Silva's cool death scene though.
SEMI-SPOILERS
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.
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They never say! The reason the cabal is interested is because she's descended from E. Bathory, but if that were important, then why didn't they recruit her parents?

I kept waiting for one of the characters to reveal why someone would want to join the vampire society, but it never comes.

On a side note, about halfway through I realized that I had seen this before -- during the first days of cable TV (at least in the suburbs of Detroit). THIRST, along with THE LONG WEEKEND and TOURIST TRAP were in heavy rotation at that time.
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Marty McKee
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 22:44

08 Mar 2006, 05:28 #12

I just watched BLOODY MOVIE based on John Charles' semi-positive review in VIDEO WATCHDOG. Curse you, John Charles! This late-'80s slasher movie is pretty awful, presenting six youths prowling around the deserted mansion owned by long-missing silent-movie star "Lance Hayward" and getting picked off one by one by someone re-enacting death scenes from Hayward's old films. Every once in awhile, a past-his-prime B-level actor pops up like Sammy Davis, Jr. peering through a window at Batman and Robin walking up the side of a skyscraper on the old TV series, but just for about two minutes--long enough to get whacked in a bloody manner. Alan Hale ("Skipperrrrrrrrrr!") gets to live, but Dan Haggerty (GRIZZLY ADAMS), Aldo Ray and Cameron Mitchell get smoked in a hurry. John Ireland figures in the ridiculous and confusing climax, and Michelle Bauer has a full-frontal nude scene (so it ain't all bad). The sets are cheap and the sound is crummy, and I'm not surprised to read claims that it never received any kind of release until Retromedia's recent DVD.
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John Charles
Mobian
Joined: 19 Oct 2004, 18:55

08 Mar 2006, 05:40 #13

I just watched BLOODY MOVIE based on John Charles' semi-positive review in VIDEO WATCHDOG. Curse you, John Charles! This late-'80s slasher movie is pretty awful

Well, I had just finished watching LAS VEGAS SERIAL KILLER right before this one...

Seriously, I think BLOODY MOVIE is fun for what it is and, having seen many far, far, far worse slasher films over the years, I've certainly got the background.

John Charles
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Marty McKee
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 22:44

08 Mar 2006, 05:53 #14

John Charles @ Mar 7 2006, 11:40 PM wrote:
Well, I had just finished watching LAS VEGAS SERIAL KILLER right before this one...
Yeah, OK, next to Steckler, BLOODY MOVIE does look pretty damn good.
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William S. Wilson
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 20:18

08 Mar 2006, 06:49 #15

but Dan Haggerty (GRIZZLY ADAMS), Aldo Ray and Cameron Mitchell get smoked in a hurry.
Woohoo! A dozen posts into the thread and we have TWO Dan Haggerty films.
Well, I had just finished watching LAS VEGAS SERIAL KILLER right before this one...
Are you implying that LAS VEGAS - S.K.U. (SERIAL KILLER UNIT) is not a classic? Well, you're probably right if you are. And for such a cheap film, here comes my cheap plug for my review:

http://s8.invisionfree.com/MHVF/index.p ... topic=4843
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Scott Crossland
Mobian
Joined: 28 Oct 2004, 07:17

08 Mar 2006, 14:16 #16

I just watched The Fog remake...I shouldn't have done it...you all warned me, but I watched it anyway. I was suitably punished. What a terrible movie.
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Don May Jr
Mobian
Joined: 20 Oct 2004, 10:44

08 Mar 2006, 14:29 #17

Scott Crossland @ Mar 8 2006, 10:16 AM wrote: I just watched The Fog remake...I shouldn't have done it...you all warned me, but I watched it anyway. I was suitably punished. What a terrible movie.
Oh wait... HAHAH... I watched the remake of THE FOG too and completely blocked it out of my mind! I totally forgot to mention it in my post above, which should be a clue as to how memorable it was.

Worst horror film I've seen in quite a long time. A useless remake...
Regards,
Don May, Jr.
President, Synapse Films
www.synapse-films.com
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William S. Wilson
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 20:18

08 Mar 2006, 16:39 #18



THE CURSE (1987) aka THE FARM

"Nathan, what is wrong with your chickens?"

I've got to admit THE CURSE is one of the best comedies I have seen in a long time. Too bad they wanted it to be a serious horror film! A meteorite lands in a small farm in Tennessee and soon poisons the well water. This in turn creates a virus that starts driving everyone mad as their skin beings to peel off. Hey, its another movie Eli Roth ripped off! An uncredited adaption of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour from Outer Space," this film is only noteable for three things. First, it marks actor David Keith's directorial debut. Second, it stars a young Wil Wheaton and his sister Amy. Third, it may be the only film in history to feature a hot woman trying to get it on with Claude Akins only to have him yell, "No!" Keith is actually a decent director but the film yearns for a widescreen release. If one wants to look deeper into the film, it can be seen as a battle between religion vs. science. When Akins wife gets sick, his plan is to keep her locked up and pray until she gets better while the local doctor wants her to get medical help. But I doubt Keith and co. wanted that much. They wanted to show a movie where people turn gooey and maggots spew characters. And they do that with fine color (interestingly, Lucio Fulci worked on the film in aiding Keith so maybe this is his influence?). For some reason the film opens with what should be the movie's punchline. A fine dumb viewing for late night and not much else.
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Marty McKee
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 22:44

11 Mar 2006, 05:17 #19

BEGINNING OF THE END (1957)--Directed by Bert I. Gordon. Stars Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Morris Ankrum, Thomas B. Henry. I have a soft spot for this film simply because it’s set in my hometown. All the references to (real towns) Ludlow, Rantoul, Paxton, Champaign and Urbana are fun, even though Gordon forgot to hide the Southern California mountain ranges. This ridiculous movie is obviously based on THEM! and stars Graves as a government scientist who engineers a radioactive pesticide that creates giant crops. Unfortunately, it also creates thousands of giant locusts. They destroy Ludlow, Rantoul and Joliet on their path of destruction towards Chicago. Instead of building fake-looking mechanical locusts, special effects “wizard” Gordon used unsatisfactory mattes of real insects. They're made to attack Chicago skyscrapers by having them walk on glossy photos of buildings! Believe it or not, Irwin Allen appropriated Gordon’s climax for THE SWARM two decades later. Music by Albert Glasser.
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William S. Wilson
Mobian Idol
Joined: 17 Oct 2004, 20:18

12 Mar 2006, 19:20 #20

INFERNO (1980) - The recent talk of the new "Three Mothers" film made me revisit this one over the weekend. I really do love the dreamlike quality of this film. Argento perfectly captures the involuntary sensations that come with dreams with the key/water sequence being a personal highlight (I've dreamt stuff very similar). The library sequence is still supremely creepy. Unfortunately, lead Leigh McCloskey is still as terrible as ever. I always hope that I would watch the film again one day and he would magically be okay but that isn't the case. Dang he is awful.
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