Archive for Horror movies

From Hell

Posted in Entertainment, Movies, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2016 by urbannight

from-hell-horror-movies-77473_1024_768I came across the film From Hell in a 3.75$ bin and decided to pick it up.  I picked it up over Sleepy Hollow, which I’ve seen several times and like.  I knew I had watched From Hell but wasn’t sure why I had never seen it again.

Now I remember why.  I want injustice to be resolved.  And this film contains a travesty of justice that is never punished because it came down from the crown itself.  In order to hide an unsuitable marriage in the royal family, a female monarch approves a plan that sees the unsuitable bride kidnapped and put into an asylum with a forced lobotomy and just left there.  A scene shows her in a cell by herself, but that isn’t the most accurate.  Women like her would be guaranteed to be raped by staff and non-violent ‘patients’ would often be in general population and would often get raped by other patients as well.

This fact completely ruins the movie for me.  The fact that Jack the Ripper turns out to be the one who is killing off all the women who actually knew about this marriage creates an interesting nuance to the story.  And then to help cover up his part in it, he is lobotomized so he can’t give away the fact that the crown is behind it all.  It isn’t enough for me.

The fact that nothing is ever done to help this woman who didn’t know that her wealthy protector who married her in secret was part of the royal family and she is left with a horrible brain injury in a place that just hides things for wealthy families and is mostly likely to end up living a life of violence and repeated rape is all it takes to make the movie horrible and intolerable to me.

The names in the cast are not enough to over come that fact.  The quality of acting isn’t enough.  I do not recommend this movie ever.

 

Frozen in Fear, 2001, Meh

Posted in Movies, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2016 by urbannight

Another horror film I watched was this little horror film.  Turns out it was also made for t.v.  This surprises me because of the scene with nudity.  Showtime, yes, but I wouldn’t expect it on Lifetime.  Maybe because I don’t like Lifetime.  Television for women, my ass.  As a woman, I think the programs on that station are terrible.  It would seem to indication that the people who control the programing for the station think that all women want to see are horrible, depressing shows where bad things happen and there are no good resolutions or happy endings to anything.

This film is pretty typical.  Nothing new and exciting about the plot.  Mom is an artist.  Encourages ice sculpture. Young boy walks in on his mother with another man.  He runs out as Dad is coming in from fishing.  Next thing you see, Dad kills Mom.  Boy ends up being raised with his cousin, by his uncle. Boy ends up being an artist, a painter.

For the most part, the performances were sub-par.  The supporting actress, whose name I am trying to find as IMDB only list three of the cast members, gave a better performance than the lead actress, Catherine Oxenberg.  The supporting actress as Ellina McCormick.  Apparently, this movie was also called The Flying Dutchman.  That is a very strange title since there is nothing mentioned in the film about The Flying Dutchman at all.

Catherine Oxenberg’s part as the lead character came across as blah.  She phoned it in, as they say.  Ellina McCormick, who plays her best friend and business partner has far less screen time and yet manages a better performance.  The person who really shines in this, and makes it worth watching, is Eric Roberts.  He doesn’t speak for most of the film, not until the end.  So he had to deliver his dialogue through body language and expressions.  And despite the fact that he is obviously the villain, he is dang good-looking and oddly sexy with all his not talking going on.  That isn’t rally a spoiler since it is terribly obvious he is the villain and the attempts to make it look like either his cousin or uncle come off so heavy-handed as to be unbelievable.

The movie is predictable but the pacing is good and Eric’s performance is well done and that is about all that keeps you sitting through the film.  I gave it a 1.5 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3 on IMDB.  If it weren’t for Eric Roberts, I would have given it a 1 and a 2 on each of those sites.  While typical and uninspired, the story was not a bad story, it is the acting and the direction that make this film a bad film.  Good acting and good directing could have elevated a fairly ordinary script.  The up-side is that I did watch through to the end.  It wasn’t so bad that I had to turn it off.  It is watchable and for that reason alone I can recommend it for a b-horror movie night.

The Month for Horror Movies

Posted in Movies, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by urbannight
give-me-what-i-want

Storm of the Century

It is that time of year again.  I love Halloween.  I also like horror movies and I am strangely picky in some ways while being relaxed in other areas.  I read some movie blogs and sometimes post my own movie reviews and mine are not as pretty as others nor do I have a systematic format that I use.  Maybe I should think about that some day.  Not today.

The first movie I watched this October was Steven King’s Storm of the Century.  I bought it from one of those cheap movie bins for 3.75$.  It was a great find for 3.75$.  It was quite good.  I kept asking myself how I managed to miss this in 1999 and how come I never saw it since.

Tim Daly did a great job as a constable of a tiny town.  The town being so small that the town manager and equivalent of sheriff/chief of police actually don’t have enough official work to pay them full time that they have to have full time day jobs as well is kind of amusing.  Since the constable also owns the grocery, it is mighty handy that the ‘jail’ is in back of it with a joining door.  What would happen if the constable wasn’t the owner of the store as well?  Or am I the only one who thinks of these things?  And maybe I missed it but the constable was really handy with the Bible quotes and I never figured out why.

Colm Feore was really creepy as the villain.  They managed to do a great deal with minimal makeup.  Occasionally his eyes went solid black.  The animal-like teeth are particularily effective.  It wasn’t the normal vampire type monster teeth. It is what a human mouth might look like if dog teeth were set in a human jaw.  The weird steel-like coloring made it more disturbing.  The make-up to make him look ancient was pretty good.  But he was more scary with his normal looks since he had such a smooth face and even complexion.  The only thing that was odd was that it is suggested that he was ‘Legion’ from the Bible but Legion was a whole collection of demons as the man who was possessed was possessed by more than one.  Yet Feore’s character seemed to be one being that was once human and that he was a representation of something that was passed down from one person to another since the earliest times of mankind.  But he is never clearly explained.  The ‘Legion’ explanation was weak in my opinion.

The town manager really annoys me the most.  He acts like he owns the town rather than being an elected official.  He acts like he owns the town and that his word is law and that he owns the people in charge of the actual law.  The pissed me off and I thought he was the least believable character in the entire film.

The rest of the story is good, although character development is weak.  I understand that by taking so long to finally tell the people what he wants all the while scaring people by telling their secrets and controlling people to cause them to kill themselves or others helps whip the town into a fearful frenzy, I found it still unbelievable that they would agree so easily to just hand over a child.  This was the least believable part of the film.  But the aftermath voice over that tells what happens in the years after is what really makes this film.  After spending three nights with these characters and having the time between episodes to think about things, that follow up at the end of the film is perhaps the most important part.  We see some of the real fallout of the towns actions.  And I did watch it in three spaced out sessions rather than in one sitting.  More by accident that a deliberate plan.

I will watch this again.  It was good and enjoyable.  Very few horror films enter the realm of ‘great’.  So I never expect that level out of any horror movie.

 

 

 

Altar, the ending, warning, there are spoilers.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2015 by urbannight

Altar is a Gothic haunted house movie.  It borrows heavily from other movies and is predictable.  The ending is a bit odd but I think it makes sense.

Once upon a time, a man who practiced alchemy was very much in love with his wife and while performing a Rosicrucian ritual, he kills her.  Many years later, they both haunt the house.  Although it was quiet when it was a B&B.

A family moves in to restore the place.  and once the sealed off rooms are opened the haunting start.  The ghost of Radcliffe indicates the death of his wife was an accident.  But he seems to be attempting to possess the husband and recreate the murder using the wife.

I think perhaps Mrs. Radcliffe’s death really was an accident.  As the crucial hour comes near, he is waiting and the wife is out cold and in place and the altar stone hanging above her starts slipping from the ceiling.  I think it had come loose in its sockets and slipped out and he Radcliffe never meant to murder his wife.

The children race in and save the day, pulling mom from the mural on the floor.  Mom and daughter try to get to the fire escape on the roof while the son has dropped some balls for Dad to stubble on.  The trap doesn’t work, Mom is on the roof.  Dad is looking down at the fountain in the yard.  The fountain where Radcliffe died after slipping from the roof.

Mom slams the window on Dad causing Dad to fall back just when the altar stone crashes into the floor.  Daughter tosses holy water in his face.  Mom is saved, Dad is back to normal.  No one died.  Everyone things everything is over.  They call a cab and are driving from the house.

Mom is in the back seat with the kids, Dad is up front with the driver.  Mom starts cracking her knuckles.  Just like the lady ghost did.  The children look over at her hands and see a huge, old-fashioned wedding ring of amber.  She just looks at them.  Dad looks back and puts his hand over Mom’s hands and says, I love you, Petal.  Radcliffe’s pet name for his wife.  He then just looks at the kids.  The kids look at their parents in horror and the movie ends.

HMMMM.

I think that Radcliffe was never trying to recreate the ‘murder’ of his wife.  I think he was trying to recreate the ritual and finish it without her dying.  So they could be together again.  I think that because they managed to save mom and everyone was there at the right time and no one died, that somehow the ghost succeeded.  And he and his wife would now be able to live on again, together.

Where that leaves the kids and what happens to them is an entirely different story which we will never know, since it was more amusing to end the show with them looking terrified as the taxi heads away from the house and back to London.

The movie was not bad if not brilliant.  The secondary characters were a bit of wasted space.  The contractor that has hardly any screen time before quitting and the ghost whisperer that is hardly there either.  The other secondary characters only had lines on the telephone and no screen time at all.

If you like ghost stories, it was nice to see a Gothic one done for a change.  Worth watching.  If you want more blood and guts in your horror, you probably won’t want to watch this one.

7:00 Movie Hour — The Evil Dead

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2013 by urbannight

Some days I have a 9:00 Raid.  So I have to start a movie by about 7:00 if I’m going to fit one in before the raid, hence the name.  Admittedly, if it isn’t raid night then I may start the movie anytime.

 

I know I saw the Evil Dead way back when.  Not in 1981 when it was released, I was only 11 then, but somewhere between 1987 and 1991 mostly likely. What I really remember is that I was with a friend at someone else’s home.  Someone I didn’t know.  It was someone she knew.  There were too many people in too small a living room and they had Chihuahuas.  I remember being uncomfortable the entire time. 

 

Possessed Linda

Possessed Linda

On the whole, this is a pretty bad film and I don’t see why it is so popular.  The second and third are much better as they bring out comedy elements missing from the first one.   I love The Evil Dead: Army of Darkness.  This one fell flat for me.  Here are a few reasons why.

 

  1. There is a reason the only actor from this movie anyone knows is Bruce Campbell.  He was the only one who could act.  The woman playing his sister, Cheryl, was passable.  Ellen Sandweiss, I guess her name is vaguely familiar.  But if I hadn’t looked her up, I would have said, “yeah, sounds familiar, can’t think of who she is though”.  The woman who played Linda must have been picked because she could giggle maniacally. 
  2. Discontinuity.  There was SO much of it.  Just to name a couple off the top of my head: After attempting to bury a body, Ash gets a geyser of blood sprayed in his face.  Upon getting up from the ground, his face is mostly clean.  Cheryl goes outside to investigate and the key ring, which had been taken inside with them all, is suddenly on the top of the door frame again.  A tree branch breaks a window in the living room that evening, a couple hours from morning, Ash shoots through the window that is suddenly not broken out anymore. 
  3. Storyline got a little jumbled.  Or maybe the scenes were out of order when they assembled them.  But Cheryl gets possessed enough to perform some automatic writing and draws the book before they actually find the book and recordings and play the incantation that wakes up the demons. 
  4. Special Effects.  I’m usually pretty good at watching special effects for the particular time in which a film is made.  The inaccurately spraying blood didn’t bother me.  The strange, semen-like white stuff which followed the blood was strange but I ran with it.  It was the stuff like over-cooked oatmeal that really snapped me out of being able to accept the rest of it.  It is strange to realize it was the number one, splatter film at the time.  The utter lack of realism makes it easy to watch. Too much realism is why I don’t like splatter films in general. 
  5. Some of the injuries were real as Raimi felt actors who were in real pain and suffering would convey horror better.  This seems a cop-out and, to me, would indicate poor acting skills if they need real pain to get the point across.  Oh, wait, I already noted that the most of the actors couldn’t act.  No wonder he tried to torture his cast.

So, now that I covered what didn’t work for me I’ll move on to what I liked.

 

  1. Bruce Campbell. He was pretty to look at.
  2. The over-all story idea.
  3. The nod to archeology.
  4. The knife.
  5. The plant rape scene was probably the best done scene in the film.
  6. The magnifying glass necklace.  A very pretty trinket but a strange pendant to get a girlfriend.
  7. The brief appearance of the chainsaw. 
  8. Bruce Campbell screaming as something rushes towards him. 

 

Yeah, now I need to get my hands on the second film.  I think the scene I was trying to remember must be in part two.  I know it wasn’t in Army of Darkness.

Over the Hills and Through the Woods, To Grandmother’s House I go.

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by urbannight

I’m WAY behind on reading blogs. I’ve dumped a bunch of them into folders to read later. Some are in folders specific to the writer, the rest are in a massive folder called Word Press Saves. Maybe I’ll get caught up before I die.

Hmmmm, probably not. I seem to get behind once a week. So if I’m suddenly replying to things that are rather old, I’ve found some that I got behind on before and to which I have finally gotten.

In the mean time, an unabridged Clive Cussler book is fantastic for long drives. It was about 14 hours long. So it filled my drive each way, 7 hours there and back again. I really enjoyed Lost Empire, despite the huge stretch linking such diverse things that Cussler takes. Or maybe I like him because he is able to do it in a way that creates a roller coaster ride of an adventure store.

It is also why I’m one of the few people who seem to like the movie Sahara, based on his book of the same title. It’s a fun ride despite its flaws. It is a boy’s adventure story all grown up.

The stories sure make the miles fly past when driving. Driving up Iowa and though South Dakota is pretty boring. Rest stops are either too close together or to far apart.

One thing about long drives that really annoys me is when you have signs for gas and you can’t see anyplace from the road. There are some hills along this drive. Some small patches of forested area. But on the whole, not a lot of totally blind areas. Some signs do say the distance to the gas or food from the exit. But I always start to need gas at the towns for which they DON’T provide the distance.

Maybe it is a personal blind spot, but if I pull off the highway for gas, I want to still be in sight of the on and off ramps. I have this fear of getting lost in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe I just watched to many bad horror movies that start where the lone woman, driving across country, pulls into a hole-in-the-wall town for gas and/or food.

Speaking of movies, on the day in-between my two driving days, I watched some movies with grandma. We watched the original, and then the remake, of The Parent Trap. Both have problems but I’ve decided that this is one example where I like the remake better.

In the 1961 remake, I think they cut the girl’s hair short to try to make her look younger. Every time I watch it I can’t stop thinking about how much I hate the haircut. It never fails. It distracts me the entire way through. There is also the fact that the rough and tumble, John Wayne inspired, father (Mitch) is one again going to marry a prissy woman who doesn’t like the outdoors. Which, based on some lines in the movie, seems to be one of the major reason they split up. When the mother (Maggie) punches Mitch in the eye (very badly, no one hits like that) Mitch makes a comment that sounds like Maggie frequently resorted to violence to end arguments with him. The only character that is really amusing is actually the reverend who seems highly amused at the interpersonal relationships and how everything is playing out.

The second movie has a major problem with how strange it seems that a Brit that lives in England would send her daughter to a summer camp in the U.S. Everything else is much more funny. Of course, this was back when Lohan could still take direction and therefore could still act. And she still looked cute as a button. Red hair was so much better on her than that bleached out mess she has now. The ending is also slightly more believable in which the mother backs away and returns to England and this time her ex-husband comes after her, thereby correcting his first mistake of NOT chasing after where when she had hoped she would, years ago.

That is a terrible sentence. But I’m not fixing it. My back hurts too much.

Yep, my back.

Because another thing I learned this weekend was that it is possible to OVER massage a sore muscle. My grandmother has this massaging seat you put over a chair. It does rolling and kneading. It also has heat. You can also isolate it. I was hoping it would loosen up the perpetually sore muscles around my right shoulder blade. I’m not sure how long it lasts before it powers off. I used it through 2.5 power cycles. When I went to bed last night, I lay down and was going to use my percussion massager on the muscles since they were still sore. It hurt like hell. And it still does today.

Before leaving, that Hatfield’s and McCoy’s special came on. I wish I could have stayed to watch it. I got really interested in a matter of minutes. Now I shall have to go find it.