Sunday, 30 November 2008

Basking In The Cesspool Of Filth #8

The Asphyx (1973 - Peter Newbrook) - This Hammer-like film set in the late 1800s has a pretty spiffy idea: just before you die, a spirit called the Asphyx shows up and helps to guide your soul from your body into the netherworld. Sir Hugo discovers the Asphyx after noticing in his research of dying patients that there is always a blotch of some kind on his photos just as the patient dies. While filming a hanging (he invents a motion picture camera), he accidentally discovers how to trap the Asphyx and then becomes obsessed with the idea of being immortal - if your Asphyx can't take away your soul you can't die. Of course, for the Asphyx to show up in order for you to catch it, you have to be at death's door or be in extreme mortal danger. So when Hugo suggests to his family members that he catch their Asphyxes (Asphyxi?), you can understand how it takes a bit of convincing to get them on board with the idea...

It's definitely slow and a bit silly in many spots, but the actual Asphyx itself is kinda creepy and the idea is pretty solid - would you subject yourself to mortal danger if there was the chance of becoming immortal?

The Exorcist III (1990 - William Peter Blatty) - I don't think I had ever even considered watching any of The Exorcist sequels until Halloween of last year when another blog mentioned the third installment and posted this scene from it:

The entirety of the scene is actually longer - the camera sits at the end of the hall for quite some time as the nurse chats with the cops and checks out odd sounds. Though it is broken up by her entry into one of the rooms and a false scare, the length of time it sits at the end of the hallway provides a great build up to that final moment. The majority of the film actually creates some great eerie atmosphere and there is that terrific scene, but two long talky scenes with the possessed crazy guy and a story arc that didn't work overly well for me made it a hit and miss affair.

Them (1954 - Gordon Douglas) - A 3 Wilhelm scream movie! And look how great this initial title screen is:

What is obviously a warning about the (at the time) recent move into the atomic age, the film also works as a good solid big monster movie. The gargantuan ants are pretty effective and there's some nice slow tension built up as the ants are revealed in a few scenes.

And then there's this kid...

She kinda freaked me out, you know?

There's some dated elements to the film of course, in particular this wonderful piece of dialogue from James Arness' character to the female scientist: "It's no place for you or any other woman.". But overall it's a really fun film. There's even a moment of real emotional weight when the police officers find two missing boys and report back to base where their mother is waiting:

Ju-On: The Grudge (2003 - Takashi Shimizu) - I just wanted to reiterate how much I love this film and all its creepy sounds and shadows and black haired ghosts. Can't wait until the third one comes out (also directed by Shimizu), though I'm a bit concerned it may be all back story and explanation since it is apparently the final part.


elgringo said...

The Asphyx sounds rad. I don't know if I could do it myself, putting myself in mortal danger sounds a Besides, being immortal has got to have its downsides.

This might sound terrible, but I hope this gets remade. Sounds like it could use some updating.

Bob Turnbull said...

You know what? A remake would be a great idea - as long as they stick to the gist of the story. And don't overdo the effects...

One character is put in mortal danger by putting them under a guillotine, dropping it and stopping it halfway...Gah!