Monday 6 October 2008

Basking In The Cesspool Of Filth #2 - The Return

Before getting to the most recent batch of gloriously hideous video atrocities I've viewed, I wanted to mention something I forgot to include in my recent post about the Spanish horror film [rec]. Before the movie started, the good folks at The Bloor Cinema treated us all to a few vintage trailers. The first two became instant adds to my must-see queue:



OK, so "Nightbreed" looks kinda bad actually, but in a cheesy fun kinda way.

But the best trailer, the one that had the crowd laughing out loud was for:

Billy Jack

This wasn't the same exact trailer we saw - ours was cut in a much more humourous way with a way-too-serious voice-over - but it still does the job...These were the perfect way to get the audience engaged and in the mood for the film they were about to be shown. So much better than the same old, same old trailers we get 80% of the time these days in the multiplex.

Now, on with the atrocities:

The Brood (1979 - David Cronenberg) - The first 70 minutes of this early Cronenberg film are surprisingly slow and not anywhere near as gross or blood-drenched as I had anticipated. It still has a few good jumps and some tense moments though, but what we've seen of the brood at this point is only slightly creepy and a bit goofy. However, you know it's going somewhere and it ends up being very effective once we see the entire brood and feel the suspense of a rescue attempt. Not to mention the "I sure wasn't prepared for that" moment of the reveal from the chracter of Nola. Like I said, I knew something was coming, but you just can't really prep yourself for this kind of thing...

Blood And Black Lace (1964 - Mario Bava) - Huge disappointment. I thought I had read that this was one of Bava's better and more intense Giallos, but apart from the great colour lighting and some terrific looking scenes, the story and suspense were actually quite lame. It's pretty pointless to complain about the after-the-fact dubbing and lousy acting in these films, but geez...It was particularly lousy here. And the worst attempt to portray an epileptic fit on film ever.

From Beyond The Grave (1973 - Kevin Connor) - Yet another Amicus compilation film and yet another winner. This time Peter Cushing plays an antiques shopkeeper whose merchandise may bring along with it a little something extra. Each of the stories is really good, but the third was probably the most entertaining since it was quite funny and still ended with some solid creepiness. And as always there's plenty to look at and watch for in the background - the shop in particular has lots of spiffy items at which to marvel.

Yokai Monsters: Along With Ghosts (1969 - Yoshiyuki Kuroda, Kumiyoshi Yasuda) - Some time ago while reading up a bit on Takashi Miike's 2005 film "The Great Yokai War", I had come across mentions of a set of late 60s Japanese films from a series called "Yokai Monsters". But I had completely forgotten them until Kimberly at Cinebeats made mention of them quite recently. It just so happens that all three were just released in a bargain priced set, so amazon was quite kind to deposit them at my door just the other day. The Yokai are spirits/monsters that are part animal/human and are found in Japanese folk tales - usually having some kind of supernatural power. This first film in the set (though apparently the third one released) focuses on the story of little 7 year-old Miyo who is in search of her father and running away from a gang who believe she has an incriminating document. Of course, the gang members don't heed the warnings to avoid violence and weapons while in certain parts of the woods (seriously, if an old white haired man pleads with you not to do something - DON'T DO IT!) and so they encounter an interesting variety of Yokai. Not as many as I had hoped, but enough to satisfy and make me eager to check out the other two films (both of which apparently have plenty more of the beasts). The special effects range from effectively cheap (meaning that sometimes a simple papier-mache mask and costume can do wonders) to slightly cheesy.


Anonymous said...

Wow! So much movie goodness in one post!!

I have a huge soft spot for Nightbreed. Most people think I'm crazy but I love that movie. Cronenberg's cameo is tops. On the other hand, I REALLY hated Shocker. I'm curious to see what you think.

I haven't seen Billy Jack since I was about 16 so my memory is totally fuzzy but I can remember being entertained by it. It's really a product of its time.

The Brood is one of my favorite Cronenberg movies. Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar totally go for broke in it.

Blood and Black Lace is the first giallo and a lot of people find it too old-fashioned and filled with Bava's gothic sensibilities. I'm surprised you disliked it so much though. I personally love the movie (just look at those fabulous stills you posted!) but you might like Bava's Five Dolls for an August Moon more.

Last but not least, yay for Amicus anthologies and Yokai monsters! I hope you enjoy the other Yokai movies when you get the chance to see them.

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks for the long comment Kimberly!

"Shocker" is on its way from and hopefully "Nightbreed" will also be at some point this month. I couldn't really tell the tone of Shocker from its trailer - I was hoping for fun with interesting and weird death scenes, but I'm wondering now if it perhaps has a bit more of a nasty streak to it...I'll see.

Reed and Eggar definitely put it all out there, don't they. Eggar was kinda creeping me out even in the early stages, so it set up that last scene with her really well. Man, there's a couple of images that are going to stay with me for sure...

And though Blood And Black Lace did have some great looking scenes, I just didn't feel much creepiness or tension during the "kills". Well, except for maybe the one where the green light is flashing and has the suit of armor. That was kinda cool...And, well, the woman's face under water was a bit unsettling...But it just didn't add up to much for me. I'm sure I'll come back to it one day though.

Amicus rocks!

Anonymous said...

I feel mixed about Blood and Black Lace as well. For use of color, you might find Whip and the Body of interest. I also like Bava's The Girl who Knew too Much.

And yes, you have seen a film that I haven't yet - (Rec).

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Those trailers from [REC] were so much fun, I'm glad you posted them here even if the Billy Jack one is different - that movie looks hilarious! I don't think it would make my 'to see' list but I got a kick outta the trailer.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PIPER said...

No one accuses Wes Craven for stealing from himself enough. So allow me to do that here.


Okay, now that I've done that, I feel better.

And like Kimberly, I'm a fan of Nightbreed. It's terrible but it's my kind of terrible.

Brood isn't your typical horror movie which is why I like it.

It creeps on you as most Cronenberg films do, but this one especially. No other film except maybe The Dead Zone captures the Canadian cold and quiet like this movie does.

Bob Turnbull said...

Yipes, way late on responding to some comments...

Peter, I have actually seen "The Whip And The Body" and you're right - the colours are amazing in that film. I look forward to "The Girl Who Knew Too Much". As far as seeing [rec] before you - that's one! B-)

Shannon, if you ever come across that "Billy Jack" trailer we saw, forward it to me with all due speed!

As for "Shocker", I think I made my feelings clearon that in the subsequent post.

E.C., good point about Cronenberg capturing those winter scenes. If I remember correctly, he totally gets that squeeky snow sound in "Dead Zone".