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The All Things HORROR thread~!

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Finally got around to watching "It Follows."  I liked it a lot, though the ending was a bit vague.  So "It" had an aversion to water, I get that since there were definitely little hints throughout.  But did they beat it in the end?

 

10 minutes in, I thought that Hugh should have just gone to a prostitute to buy some time (that would have put at least two people between him and It) and then left for Belize.

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Finally got around to watching "It Follows."  I liked it a lot, though the ending was a bit vague.  So "It" had an aversion to water, I get that since there were definitely little hints throughout.  But did they beat it in the end?

 

Deliberately ambiguous.  I don't think the characters even know if they beat it or not.

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I interrupt this thread to point out that 70-85 years later, the first three Universal Frankenstein movies are still fucking great.

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I interrupt this thread to point out that 70-85 years later, the first three Universal Frankenstein movies are still fucking great.

Son of Frankenstein is awesome. Karloff, Lugosi, and Basil Fucking Rathbone together! It's crazy that shared universe franchises are so hot now but were really started 80 years ago with the Universal monsters.

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It's too bad Rathbone had to go get all successful with Holmes after. Ghost would have been a hell of a lot better with Wolf coming back instead of "no no no, the other son of Frankenstein."

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http://www.rue-morgue.com/#!You-asked-for-it-HAMMER-HORROR-CLASSICS-Bluray-Box-Set-announced/cjds/557f27cf0cf2205db3aa1a62

 

They're gonna be random as the Paul Naschy DVD sets but what the hell, this is gonna be great for anyone with Blu Ray!

 

Great news.  Not sure I'll buy it, as I have the Region 2 Hammer 21-Disc Collection that I've barely cracked open.  But it's always good to see classic films make it to Blu Ray.

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Awesome in theory, but other than The Mummy, that's not exactly the A-list films from the A-list series.

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I'd much rather it have something like Curse of Frankenstein, Revenge of Frankenstein, (Horror of) Dracula, and The Mummy.

Or flop revenge for Bride of Dracula.

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So, they made a movie about the Charlie Charlie Challenge.

 

 

Found footage genre in horror refuses to die.  Comes out on July 10th but advance reviews are mixed.  Gonna wait until some people I trust watch this and then ask their opinions about whether this is worth watching.

 

The one good sign is that Blumhouse Productions is behind this and they seem to be the only production company today that is still interested in giving new horror IPs a chance instead of recycling the old stuff or stealing from another genre like J-Horror.. 

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Found footage genre in horror refuses to die.

Ain't that the fuckin' truth. As long as a few sad people can be duped into buying tickets for this garbage, studios will keep releasing them. It's so cheap to make these movies (their very nature means you shouldn't be using recognizable stars or big production values) that they'll almost inevitably turn a profit. Even a total piece of worthless shit like The Devil Inside raked in a hundred million bucks in sales, and that's not even beginning to include home video and TV and other ancillary markets. It might have been a universally-panned critical bomb which featured an ending SO bad that audiences screamed in outraged disbelief; but to the money-marks who run this circus, it was a winner.

Heck, even those who should know better have been forced to play ball. Adam Green's latest movie, Digging Up the Marrow, was found-footage. Green himself was well aware that his hardcore-horror fanbase would turn their noses up at this sort of thing, so he desperately tried to pretend it wasn't found footage, basically saying it was a genre hybrid that defied labels. It has the same sort of "same shit, new name" stink to it as all those movies which claim "it's not a remake, it's a re-imagining!". And it wasn't even a terrible movie, basically a found-footage version of Nightbreed from the humans' point of view; and a stellar performance from Ray Wise (oddly playing a fictional character in a movie where everyone else is playing themselves; but oh well, it's still Ray by-gawd Wise and he's as awesome as ever) and some neat monster designs certainly helped out a whole lot. But it's still found-fucking-footage and us longtime genre fans are mostly beyond sick and tired of this penny-pinching bullshit.

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The absolute nadir of found footage for me was the last Hellraiser movie. Dimension realized they were about to lose the rights to the property, so they made one for a couple hundred grand in three weeks. That's three weeks from preproduction to post. I know a lot of the sequels were pretty bad, but it deserved better than that.

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11535732_10204030033903399_7687501769182

Hell yes.

Also, hilariously, it comes with two copies of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, and three copies each of House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Even better, I already owned e Frankenstein Complete Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man Legacy Collection, so I now have four copies each of House of Frankenstein, House Of Dracula, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and an absurd five copies of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

Hell, disc four of Frankenstein, disc three of Dracula, and disc three of Wolf Man are literally the exact same disc.

Lazy packaging ftw.

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Bela Lugosi is such a strange actor. He had basically no real talent as an actor, but his charisma and screen presence were off the charts. That ability to stand there glowering and just look so menacing overrode the fact that he was, at best, a below average screen actor.

His Dracula is amazing, his Ygor is fun, and his turn as the Monster was a disaster. But God damn those first few moments in Dracula...

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Awesome in theory, but other than The Mummy, that's not exactly the A-list films from the A-list series.

 

Hey now! Freddie Francis killed it on Risen... and Taste is awesome. I remember being bored by that Frankenstein as a kid though...

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"Taste the Blood of Dracula" is my guilty pleasure Hammer film. Probably one of my favorite horror films ever.

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Well, at least it's not A.D. 1972 and Satanic Rites.

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A.D. is at least so-bad-it's-good. They should Rifftrax it sometime. 

 

Nobody better talk shit about Scars of Dracula BTW! That one is sick; probably the bloodiest and most sadistic Hammer Dracula (the heaving bosoms help too). 

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I just saw the Hammer version of The Mummy for the first time, and wasn't terribly impressed. Yeah, Christopher Lee's portrayal of the monster was fun; but like practically every other Hammer flick, it felt like they go out of their way to keep him offscreen as much as humanly possible. It felt like he maybe got three or four minutes of screentime, tops. Also had to LOL at some really lazy writing: the mummy is repeatedly proven to be bulletproof. So in order to prepare for the big final showdown, Peter Cushing... reloads the exact same shotgun that had just then proven worthless at stopping the monster, and brought jack-shit else for weapons or ideas on how to fight it. And really, the idea of a big dumb zombie stomping around the moors of England is less interesting to me than the more standard idea of a resurrected, intelligent ex-mummy who spins his nefarious schemes in his homeland of Egypt.

As for Lugosi: I think he's often underrated as an actor. He knew he had that charisma and presence, and leaned on it whenever possible. In the very few times he's ever given something different to do (like in the 1934 version of The Black Cat) he can actually bring some really interesting stuff to the table. But sadly, Lugosi suffered worse than just about anyone when it came to narrow-minded Hollywood typecasting. The studios just weren't willing to let him play anything but mad scientists or scowling gangsters. Boris Karloff's take on him was that Bela never tried hard enough to improve his English, which hampered him more than anything. (I think his drug habits and domineering, paranoid personality might've had something to do with it too; but old Boris was far too polite a fellow to mention those sorts of things in public.)

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"Taste the Blood of Dracula" is my guilty pleasure Hammer film. Probably one of my favorite horror films ever.

 

I have two: Vampire Circus and The Vampire Lovers.  Vampires and those 70's boobs.  How can you go wrong with Hammer vampire films blatantly trying to compete with giallo?

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Hammer's entire history is basically one example after another of them copying other work. Their early Lee/Cushing efforts were bald-faced thievery of the 1930s Universal monster flicks, just done in color and with (slightly) more violence. And the studio's history is much longer than most people think; their first film was produced back in the 30s (and the title was The Public Life of Henry the Ninth, already starting off the studio's grand tradition of ripping off everything they could get their hands on) and they kept making films all the way til the late 70s... and almost inevitably, their last film was a remake (The Lady Vanishes).

Anyone else notice how the studio is actually back now? It's really Hammer-in-name-only since it's run by an entirely new set of people. But it's still nice to see some things never change: its first released film was, naturally, a vampire flick (premiered on Myspace, believe it or not... in 2008, because of course Hammer is always a step behind the cutting edge). And following soon after was, perhaps inevitably, a thriller with a cameo by Christopher Lee. They've even distributed a couple of flicks you've actually heard of, Let Me In and The Woman in Black. Weird times, huh? The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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 Let Me In and The Woman in Black

 

A remake and another remake hahaha

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Gonna make a bold statement: other than Lugosi vs. Lee being either a wash or maybe a narrow win for Bela, Hammer's (Horror of) Dracula smokes Universal's Dracula.

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Lee's Dracula suffered from a lack of screentime and dialogue. He was the snarling red-eyed monster, briefly glimpsed and rarely spoken. Hell, I think one of the movies has him with ZERO lines; which is an incredibly stupid way to misuse Christopher Lee, whose voice is his very best quality. In comparison, Lugosi's version gave him plenty of time to chew on all those famous lines from the novel (and some from the Deane/Balderston play).

Of course, Tod Browning was an infamously alcohol-soaked zombie in the director's chair during the production of the 1931 Dracula, to the point where cinematographer Karl Freund was allegedly directing much of the movie. (Which must have been interesting, since the German expatriate Freund supposedly didn't speak much English.) The staging of the England scenes are stilted and talky, with most of the supporting cast giving REALLY dull performances. Edward Van Sloan is the only guy who looks like he really knows what he's doing, although Dwight Frye sure is swinging for the fences with his batshit-insane screaming portrayal of Renfield. Add on some studio interference and censorship, and thus you've got the rather airless, disjointed Dracula '31 that we're all familiar with. Lugosi's mesmerizing star turn is really the only reason the movie is still so well remembered, because otherwise it kinda sucks.

The secret weapon of the Hammer Draculas is really Peter Cushing. Way too many horror movies suffer from having lousy protagonists; think of all those soggy milksops who played Jonathan Harker over the years. Having a solid rock like Cushing to provide consistent credibility to the proceedings is something they desperately needed, considering how much time they spent on babyface talking scenes. EDIT: it also helped that they were shooting these things in England, where you can hardly go out for a picnic without tripping over an old castle; it's a lot harder to fake up some great Gothic sets on a Hollywood backstage than it is to just take a day trip out to shoot the real thing.

...now, if we're gonna debate FRANKENSTEIN movies, Universal knocks Hammer's dick into the dirt.

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