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Halloween Horror Countdown 2009 Day 11 October 18, 2009

Posted by vorpalkeith in Film Thing.
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I Sell the Dead
2009
Directed by Chris McQuaid

One of my rules in film is that if it has Ron Perlman in it, I will watch it. It rarely lets me down. It certainly didn’t this time.

This is a delightfully fun little film that deals with two grave robbers (sort of comedy versions of Burke and Hare – see my Flesh and the Fiends review) who get in over their heads when they rob the grave of a vampire. They soon find that they’ve become experts trading in a very specialized commodity, the undead.

There are a lot of fun little twists and turns that I don’t want to spoil about this given that its such a new movie, but it’s really a lot of fun. Also, I simply love the way this film was shot. The cinematography, and composition and layering of multiple shots, mixed with art as though from out of an old EC Horror comic just works magically.

Five out of five spooky pumpkins.

The Wicker Man
1973
Directed by Robin Hardy

Christopher Lee!!!!

There, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system . . .

There’s really no point of me going into a lengthy description of the story of this, seeing as everyone kind of already knows it, so I’m just going to dive right in and comment on a few things.

The visual aestetic of this movie is nutso. With its small-town setting, wild characters, and random song it’s almost like a lost episode of The Prisoner that no one ever dared watch.

The ending of this movie, the thing it is most famous for, and one of the more famous endings in horror history, could very well be one of the worst ways to die that I can think of.

I give it four spooky pumpkins out of five.

Phantasm
1979
Directed by Don Coscarelli

“Are you sure it wasn’t just that retarted kid Timmy from up the street?”

No, actor I don’t recognize, it wasn’t Timmy. It was the Tall Man and his host of midget thralls, preparing to silver sphere your brain to death!

This is kind of one of those classic horror films that was missing from my repertoire. No longer!

I don’t know if I want to call this thing overhyped or not, because it has an interesting concept behind it . . . but man, was this schlocky. Maybe that’s part of the appeal, I dunno. But when the sphere drills into the guy’s head and produces a fount of blood far exceeding the volume a human body could ever hold, you kind of have to stop and say “now just wait a minute.”

Also, the film is guilty of something I hate in horror. The double-twist-gotcha-ending where we are left to believe it never happened, but oh no at the last minute it actually did. You know what I’m talking about.

There are a few glaring continuity errors as well as these nagging questions:

1) How did one simple human move all those heavy boulders by hand?
2) Why did they, when being chased, at no point think to call the cops?
3) When the lead character was in the back of the Tall Man’s hurse shooting out the back window, why didn’t he turn and just cap the yellow-blooded bastard in the back of the head?

“It’s probably just a gopher in heat.”

Still, I’ll give it three spooky pumpkins out of five, schlock and all. Or maybe because of the schlock.

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