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Halloween Havoc : Season of the Witch

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“Hello, Kanta. They're saying interesting things about you on the news," she said. "I wondered if you'd survived."
"He didn't," I said. "I killed him."
Silence.
"I killed Mkhai, too," I said. "Tens of thousands of years, gone in the blink of an eye."
"Why are you telling me this?" asked the voice.
"Because you're next," I said. "I'm the demon slayer. Come and get me.” 
― Dan Wells, Mr. Monster.

 
“Demons? No problem. Just find your local stalker psycho and ask the whistling dear head hanging above his fireplace how many licks on a toostie pop does it take to make a demon go away.” 
― Mav Skye, Behind the Black Door. 

 

Film: Demons

Chosen by: Curt McGirt

          Okay, this is a bit of a tomato can this year but I wanted something I could find on Youtube and was a bit of a classic; give a chance to revisit if the viewer in question hasn't seen it in awhile or a solid check off the list if they haven't. And go figure, I go on  Youtube and there's Demons, only a click away (well, it had an 18-and-over password block but that wasn't a big hoop to jump through). There are a million awesome, iconographic things in this movie: incredible gore, a tricked out movie-within-a-movie  plot, coke-snorting punks, a badass pimp, a mysterious stalker, a thumping '80s rock/metal soundtrack (including the immortal "Fast As A Shark" by Accept), you name it. Demons is a blast and a must-watch film for this time of year. Enjoy the violence!
 
        Reviewed by: Marty Sugar.
 

DEMONS (1985)

WATCHED: October 4
GRADE: C+
 
Within about 10 seconds, this movie is the most 1980s thing ever: the music, the clothes, the hair. It's amazing. I had no clue what to expect going in, and suddenly I'm watching a movie of people watching a movie? Should I be filming myself and making a movie of me watching a movie of people watching a movie? And then you can film yourself reading my review of my filming myself watching a movie about people watching a movie...
 
My head hurts.
 
Regardless, the soundtrack for this movie is amazing and I'm reliving my pre-teen years. I think I have most of the soundtrack saved as favorites on Slacker. I also enjoyed how many of the first scenes of shit going down in the theatre, seamlessly coincided with the shit going down in the film everyone is watching. Lots of cool transitions back and forth.
 
The special effects run the gamut of cheesy to gory, but most are surprisingly good for being over 30 years old. I also got a kick out of how some classic horror scenes were turned on their head: like when the survivors are trying to break OUT of the building, instead of monsters breaking in. There's also multiple scenes in this movie that future movies have blatantly stolen, so that's cool to see.
 
This film has so much weird stuff going on at once: the mish-mash of 80s stereotypes being friends for no reason, a gang snorting coke out of an actual Coke can, a blind man oblivious that his daughter is getting it on in the seat BESIDE HIM at the movie theatre...and how come nearly every no-name actor in this movie vaguely looks like someone legit famous? Is this how the Mandela Effect works?
 
The final third of the movie breaks down into a standard Zombie Flick (not that I'm complaining), but does rely far too much on people slowly attempting to crawl away from danger. These actors would be great in any Ladder Match!
 
As to be expected, the final battle scene is as hokey and ham-fisted as possible...but what would you expect when the weapons at your disposal are a dirtbike, a samurai sword AND AN EFFEN HELICOPTER?!?!
 
 
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I don't know if it is a record, but Marty submitted his review a mere 12 hours and 54 minutes after I sent him the pick.

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Were we supposed to write an intro for our pick? I dont think I did that. 

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Have you not done this before? Been like that every year. Plus...

On 9/29/2018 at 7:15 AM, Execproducer said:

PM me your film pick with a brief explanation of why it is your choice.

But I guess "It's available on Amazon Prime" counts. ;)

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It isn't too late to send me one, but that's up to you. You won't be the only one that didn't.

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2 hours ago, Execproducer said:

I don't know if it is a record, but Marty submitted his review a mere 12 hours and 54 minutes after I sent him the pick.

Marty works fast.  He shames me.

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43 minutes ago, Execproducer said:

Have you not done this before? Been like that every year. Plus...

I think Fowler wrote most of my intros.

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I don't see why one wouldn't want to have a say about their pick; I'm the person that would write an intro even if it wasn't necessary though.

Glad you dug it Marty. This movie also features a man scraping coke off a woman's breast with a razor blade, BTW. Yeah, it's that crazy.

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I actually reviewed Demons way back in the first Havoc. Good shit

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7 hours ago, J.T. said:

I think Fowler wrote most of my intros.

"(J.T. never sent an explanation)"

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I figured most of the big Italian splatter had been done already.

Demons is still a favorite, though.

The soundtrack is one of the strongest of 80s horror.

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Yeah, that was nearly a decade ago* on a version of the board that was erased.

*Next year will be the tenth annual, we should do something special.

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8 hours ago, Execproducer said:

It isn't too late to send me one, but that's up to you. You won't be the only one that didn't.

Will try to send something later tonight 

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It had been a bad trip ... fast and wild in some moments, slow and dirty in others, but on balance it looked like a bummer. On my way back to San Francisco, I tried to compose a fitting epitaph.

I wanted something original, but there was no escaping the echo of Mistah Kurtz' final words from the heart of darkness: "The horror! The horror! ... Exterminate all the brutes!”

― Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga.   

“What one thinks finds expression in words, and what one says, happens.”
Algernon Blackwood, The Willows
 
“Well, yeah, you listen to a talking snake and there's gonna be trouble.”
Mike Mignola, Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea 
 
It's Double Feature Night here at the Havoc Horror Institute!!!
 
Film: Red Eye
 
Chosen by: twiztor
 

My pick for this year is "Red Eye" (2005). It was directed by Wes Craven.

Sitting in the theater to see something (i wanna say the Friday the 13th remake but who knows) and every trailer was a horror movie. Then this teaser trailer played.

Spoiler

 

 

i was immediately confused on why they chose a romantic movie trailer to play. as the trailer went on, i realized my mistake. I was duped in the best possible way and knew that i HAD to see this movie.  It is directed by Wes Craven and stars Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy.  Enjoy!

it is available on Netflix (DVD only), Amazon streaming, or YouTube in one of those chopped-to-pieces multiple video deals.

 

Reviewed by: driver

 

Red Eye(2005)
Directed by Wes Craven
Starring Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy.

The Movie begins and people are hurrying to catch their planes. Flights are delayed. Our stars have a meet cute and another meet cute and a third. A few too many of those. Cillian Murphy is all "Smiley McSmiles" but I bet he's hiding something. Rachel McAdams is smiling all naturally and seems all happy and stuff. They both seem pretty chipper for being on a red eye flight. Even though the two leads are smiling their asses off everybody else seems either bored or wishing they were somewhere else.
Funny how when "music signifying tension" plays that what is supposed to be a tense scene is nothing of the sort. For being a Wes Craven movie there isn't a whole lot of anything going on, it's just like it is barely existing. 
When you find out the reasoning behind Murphy's targeting of McAdams, all you can do is roll your eyes.

On a scale of 1-10, this one gets a 4. For a thriller it's not very thrilling, it's just "meh".

2005 Brian Cox looks like a slimmed down 2018 Steven Seagal.

That being said, there is one outstanding part of this movie and that is Jayma Mays' eyes and the way they bug out of her head. If I was judging this movie on her eyes alone it would score a 10, but even when the eyes have it the rest of the movie doesn't.

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“Every time he studied this instrument, with its slender, gleaming steel rod that tapered down to such needle-like sharpness, he wondered why it was necessary to have things like this in the world. If it were truly only for chopping ice, you'd think a completely different design might do. The people who produce and sell things like this don't understand, he thought. They don't realize that some of us break out in a cold sweat at just a glimpse of that shiny, pointed tip.” 
― Ryū Murakami, Piercing

  “Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structure.” 

― Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla.

 
Film: Alice, Sweet Alice.
 
Chosen by: The Master of the Havoc.
 
"One of three films that I chose for this (hopefully I won't end up reviewing the third). Travis wanted to participate but didn't feel like he would have time to make a pick, so, by my ultimate authority as Havoc Master,  I sent him this Brooke Shields classic!"
 
Reviewed by: Travis Sheldon.

Young Karen Spages is preparing for her first communion. Catherine, Karen's mother, takes Karen and her older sister, Alice, to see Catherine's boyfriend, Father Tom. Father Tom gives Alice his mother's crucifix as a communion gift. Alice is jealous of all the attention that Karen is receiving which causes her to torment Alice by taking her doll and locking her in a room in an abandoned building.At the communion Karen is strangled by someone wearing the same school raincoat and mask that Alice wore when tormenting Karen in the old building. Karen's body is placed in a chest and set on fire. Chaos ensues as people are running around screaming.Catherine's sister, Annie runs out and proclaims that Karen is dead. 

Karen's father, Dom, arrives after her funeral he decides to stick around until Karen's killer is found.Back at the Spages' apartment, Alice and her cousins are told to take some food to Mr Alphonso, Catherine's landlord. Alphonso is the epitome of an eccentric. His apartment is a mess and he has quite a few kittens crawling around.Annie decides to stay with Catherine until she feels she no longer needs help. Annie is convinced that Alice is behind Karen's death. Dom visits the police who infer that they, too, believe Alice is the culprit. They have her school records which indicate that the principal has recommended Alice see a psychiatrist.After Annie and Alice have a fight, Alice takes the rent check downstairs to Alponso. Alphonso tells Alice that he knows she killed Karen, he then proceeds to make a move on her. Alice flings one of his cats to make him get off of her. She runs off leaving him yelling.

Alice goes to the basement where she has a little "shrine" set up that includes the doll she took from Karen, a bottle of cockroaches, and a photograph of her father(?).The figure in the raincoat and mask are next seen in the stairwell. Annie leaves the apartment and as she gets to the landing of the stairwell she is attacked and stabbed in the leg and feet numerous times. Alphonso runs out yelling and the figure takes off running.Annie crawls out to the sidewalk when Father Tom and Dom pull up in Father Tom's car. They load Annie in the car and Dom stays to look for Alice. He finds her in the basement hiding with Karen's doll. Alice says that she has seen Karen. 

At the hospital, Catherine tries to to talk Annie out of implicating Alice in her attack, but she is not dissuaded. The police take Alice in for a lie detector test. During the test Alice tells them that Karen stabbed her aunt. They put her in a psychiatric hospital thinking that the case is solved.Father Tom gives Dom a list of everyone that purchased a school raincoat. I guess he thinks he will track down all the suspect raincoat wearers. Dom is convinced Alice's cousin, Angela, is the main suspect. While Dom and Catherine are talking the phone rings and someone sobbing is on the line. Catherine thinks it is Annie. When the phone rings again, Dom answers and the caller  hangs up.

When Dom leaves Catherine he receives a call from someone claiming to be Angela. The caller says they ran away. Dom says he will meet "Angela" in a certain builiding. When he arrives he spots someone in the raincoat and mask of the killer. He runs after them thinking they're Angela.The figure ducks into a run down building. As he's climbing the stairs the figure leaps out and stabs him. He knocks the knife out of their hand and continues to follow the figure up another floor. When he finally confronts them they bludgen him with a rock.The killer ties Dom's hands behind his back and begins rolling him toward an open bay looking out over the litter filled alley.  The killer removes their mask and it is Mrs Tredoni, the caretaker of the rectory, ranting about whores, sins, and the devil. Dom bites off her crucifix and she starts beating him in the face to get it back. Eventually she pushes him to his death and he lands on some bottles in the alley.

Tredoni flees to the church, but is interrupted by Father Tom giving confession to some children. She hides in the confessional and gives Father Tom her confession which seems to relieve her.
Catherine goes to the rectory to find Father Tom, but Tredoni is the only one there. Tredoni tells Catherine that she had a daughter that died on her first communion. Father Tom comes home before Tredoni can use a chef's knife on Catherine, he then tells Catherine that Dom is dead.

The police are shown at the morgue examining Dom's body. The coroner finds the crucifix in Dom's mouth. Father Tom and Catherine go to take Alice home. 

Alice, wearing the raincoat and mask, decides to get back at Alphonso by placing the jar of roaches on his belly while he sleeps. Alice and Catherine leave for mass. Tredoni goes to their apartment and beats on the door, she is planning on killing Catherine. Alphonso is woken by the roaches and freaks out, he runs out into the stairwell and runs into Tredoni. Thinking she is Alice he grabs her. Tredoni promptly stabs him while the police detective break down the door and sees Tredoni leaving the scene of the crime.

The police plan to pick up Tredoni at mass, but Father Tom convinces them to wait until after communion to arrest her because she was too close to Catherine and Alice. They agree to wait. Tredoni cuts in line and gets next to Catherine and Alice. Father Tom refuses to give Tredoni communion and she stabs him in the neck. In the chaos Alice starts walking out of the church with the knife in a paper bag.

I first saw Alice, Sweet Alice in the 80s via a washed out VHS cassette. The film never clicked with me, but with this viewing I have to say that I appreciate it much more.During most of the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the film the audience is led to believe that Alice is the killer.Alice attempts to push peoples button, particularly her aunt and Alphonso, which causes them to react adversely to her. Tredoni is shown numerous times being obtuse, but once she is revealed as the killer it all fits together.

If you're feeling in the mood for a American giallo set in early 60s New Jersey with a strong Catholic bent, then Alice, Sweet Alice might be worth your time.

 

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You might want to put the Red Eye teaser in spoiler tags. For some reason, it's stretching the screen on my phone and making it unreadable.

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32 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

You might want to put the Red Eye teaser in spoiler tags. For some reason, it's stretching the screen on my phone and making it unreadable.

It wasn't the trailer that was the issue. I was preparing the post in my e-mail and somehow I copied over the subject line and it somehow stretched out the post. I'm just glad I didn't break the Board! I'm too nice to get Cashed!!

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Alice, Sweet Alice is a fucking awesome classic.  I'm glad Execproducer had the wisdom not to give it to me, since he correctly assumed that I'd probably seen it a dozen times.

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For all the times I've seen the damn video box of that movie I've never seen it once. And probably because of the title (a woman's name) I'm remembering not having seen Ruby either, which also had a box cover that freaked me out as a kid.

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7 hours ago, Execproducer said:

“Every time he studied this instrument, with its slender, gleaming steel rod that tapered down to such needle-like sharpness, he wondered why it was necessary to have things like this in the world. If it were truly only for chopping ice, you'd think a completely different design might do. The people who produce and sell things like this don't understand, he thought. They don't realize that some of us break out in a cold sweat at just a glimpse of that shiny, pointed tip.” 
― Ryū Murakami, Piercing

The movie version of this has been on my "to see" list for quite a while!

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23 minutes ago, S.K.o.S. said:

The movie version of this has been on my "to see" list for quite a while!

For some reason I am rebelling against it since I honestly believe that only Takashi Miike should be allowed to turn Murakami's darker novels into movie scripts like he did with Audition.

I'd love to see what Miike could do with Coin Locker Babies or In The Miso Soup.  

There is a Korean film called Coin Locker Girl that is based on Coin Locker Babies and is very close in tone, but is more of a crime film and doesn't have those black humor and horror elements that the novel does.

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On 10/24/2018 at 3:23 AM, Execproducer said:

Red Eye (2005)

Reviewed by: driver

oh man, as i explained in the intro, i was so totally sold on this movie before i ever watched it.

unfortunately, i later watched it (not in theaters tho). while not outright BAD, it certainly isn't GOOD. maybe i just built it up so much in my head, but man, this movie was a hell of a let down.

 

i have never seen Demons. i will be watching that immediately.

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Sulphurous wind gusted in his wake; the dust of the street swirled and the folds of his black coat flapped against his thin body.”
A.F. Stewart, Killers and Demons.
 
Unfathomable to mere mortals is the lore of fiends.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown.
 

 

Film: Warlock

Chosen by: nate

"This is one of a handful of "guilty pleasure" horror films that I dig out from time to time to chill out to.  Tons of neat set pieces here, maybe I'm just a sucker for films with antagonists around which a folklore can be developed or expanded.  Like the driving of nails into the footprints of the warlock.  Or the (actually pretty chilling) interaction between a young child and the warlock, after we're informed that the warlock needs the fat of an unbaptised child to achieve flight.

Favorite scene is the one where the warlock visits a fake medium to draw forth a demon for an update on his mission progress.

Hope you like it, random DVDVR member."

 

Reviewed by: Curt McGirt

Warlock (1989)

It's funny that I ended up getting this one after we already had a conversation on here about my never having seen it but loving the sequel (still haven't seen the third one). It used to be on TV all the time but I've only seen the part on the plane. Anyway, this is completely different than the sequel. It starts back in the 1600s with Julian Sands being bound up with thumb and toe screws (!), accused of being a witch and destined to be hung then burned over a basket of live cats (!!!). Richard E. Grant of Withnail and I fame is his accuser. Unfortunately for him Sands casts a spell that flies him via mini tornado into the future and takes him with. They both land in California of all places, in 1989, Sands flying through the window of the house of a dude and his live-in friend who's a vapid waitress at a local diner. He kills the guy and escapes, but not before casting an old-age spell on the gal who is forced by that to help Grant catch the warlock so she can regain her youth. Because Lori Singer was apparently a pain in the ass to work with, the old age makeup is pretty poor, and due to budgetary limitations the visual effects are as well. They come off as rather charming in this age of digital nonsense though. The old timey dialogue and "fish out of water" comedy aren't too cloying though the film isn't as funny as it thinks it is. A lot of the magic mumbo-jumbo is pretty absurd but I guess it has its basis in history. I really was expecting a bloodier film after the gorefest of Warlock: The Armageddon, but that ain't this. The ending is pretty fun with the pair having to fly to Boston to retrieve the last pages of a Grand Grimoire that the warlock wants to use to end the world, so completing the Terminator similarities plotwise. The final meltdown of the warlock is nice and gross and a hint at what would come with Anthony Wilcox's sequel. Now THAT one is a killer, with tons of bloody murders and sweet visual FX (the scene where Sands walks from the top of a building to the ground on thin air as if he were descending a flight of stairs is super cool). It's nice to have seen this one just as a mark off the list, so to speak, even if it isn't any great shakes.

 

 

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