Monday, October 31, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Shorts

Film: The House of the Devil (1896) (The Haunted Castle, Le Manoir du Diable); The Tell-Tale Heart (1953); Kitchen Sink
Format: Internet video on laptop.

I’ve been avoiding shorts on the horror movies list for no real reason other than aesthetic ones. Getting rid of shorts from the list makes it feel a little like cheating; wanting to watch 400 movies per year is a lot easier to accomplish when one of the movies is three minutes long. But it’s time to get through a few of them, and I started with the oldest film on the list, arguably the first-ever horror movie, Georges Melies’s The House of the Devil (otherwise called The Haunted Castle and Le Manoir du Diable).

With a running time of three minutes, we’re not going to get a great deal of plot in this one. That said, this was a long film for the time—this running time was considerable for what people were used to before the turn of the century. Most of the film is Melies learning what he is capable of doing with film. He’s experimenting with making things appear and disappear, something that would be used to astound and amaze people at the time and would be eventually used for both horror effects and comic effects by other directors. In that respect, this is sort of a one-trick pony. We’re going to get a lot of things popping in and out of existence or moving around from spot to spot on screen.

Ten Days of Terror!: Cry of the Banshee

Film: Cry of the Banshee
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

There’s a weird point in horror movie history where suddenly nudity became a part of the picture. There’s an even weirder point in the history of horror movies where nudity crept into classier side of the horror movie industry. I expect nudity when it comes to the seamier side of horror, but it’s for some reason always a little surprising to me when it shows up in something that stars Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. Enter Cry of the Banshee, a Vincent Price vehicle that takes place in Elizabethan England and confronts us with multiple instances of rape and forced nudity.

We’re going to start with magistrate Lord Edward Whitman (Price). We see him preside over a witch trial and condemn the girl to being stripped and whipped through the streets. Later, at a dinner, he brings in a girl and her brother, accuses them of witchcraft, and ends up killing them both. This brings out the ire of his second wife Patricia (Essy Persson), who leaves the party. Because we’re going to want to amp up the sleaze right away, Whitman’s son Sean (Stephan Chase) follows her and forces himself on her, his step-mother. And, because of when this was made, we’re going to see her not merely succumb to this, but accept it, because of course that’s going to happen.

Ten Days of Terror!: I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Film: I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Format: Internet video on Fire!

The phrase “I was a teenage ________” has a long and storied history as the punchline of plenty of jokes. It started with I Was a Teenage Werewolf and its companion film I Was a Teenage Frankenstein in 1957. Werewolf was also the movie that launched the career of Michael Landon just before he hit it really big with “Bonanza.” It’s also a movie that was clearly watched over and over by Paddy Chayefsky before he wrote “Altered States.”

There’s not a lot of mystery about what is going to happen here, right? We’re going to have a teenager named Tony Rivers (Landon) who is going to turn into a werewolf. There are going to be a lot of connections to other films (there’s a lot of Rebel Without a Cause in this, for starters) and there’s a lot of werewolf lore that it stays true to the legends and especially to The Wolf Man.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Final Girls

Film: The Final Girls
Format: DVD from Marengo-Union Library through interlibrary loan on The New Portable.

One thing that has become exceedingly popular in the horror genre is to present the audience with a meta-look at slashers or other subgenres. Scream wasn’t the first self-aware slasher, although it’s still absolutely one of the best, but there have been other horror films that attack not just the characters but the genre. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Shaun of the Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods all look at aspects of the genre and, while presenting an actual horror movie, also play with many of the tropes of the genre. The Final Girls was probably inevitable.

We’re initially introduced to Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her mom Amanda (Malin Ackerman) as Amanda auditions for an acting job. We learn that Amanda feels typecast since she appeared as a victim in a classic slasher called Camp Bloodbath, which is clearly an in-film version of Friday the 13th (at least for the uninitiated. It’s actually a lot closer in ways to The Burning). Shortly after this introduction, Max and Amanda are in a serious car accident and Amanda is killed.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Pulse

Film: Pulse (2006)
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

How many times has the U.S. remake of a good (or great) Japanese horror movie been worth watching? I would suggest that both The Ring and The Grudge probably count. The Ring is a very solid remake that was smart enough to keep things very similar, as well as trying to match the tone and intent of Ringu. The Grudge was smart enough to set things in Japan, just with American characters, so much of what worked in Ju-On still did. Sadly, this is not the case with Pulse, the 2006 remake of Kairo, one of the best Japanese horror films of the current century. (And before anyone says it, yes Let Me In was good enough, but it was a remake of a Swedish movie, not a Japanese one.)

To discuss exactly what is wrong with Pulse, I need to talk about what is right with Kairo. In the original version of this story, people around Tokyo are starting to shut down mentally, emotionally, and physically. There is a rash of suicides and disappearances, and many of them seem to be connected in some ways to electronic devices—phones, PDAs, computers, etc. At times, people who have disappeared or died have sent messages to the living asking for help. As the movie goes on, it becomes clear that there is something infecting the electronic devices and sucking the will from people to live, and the danger and disappearances are spreading. It’s also soon evident that many of the disappearances are not people going into hiding but people who are essentially turning into ash.

Ten Days of Terror!: Bird Box

Film: Bird Box
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on Fire!

Every now and then, a movie or television show becomes incredibly meme-able. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has shown up multiple times, as has Thor: Ragnarok. At the end of 2018, that movie was Bird Box. Sandra Bullock wearing a blindfold was a common sight, as was Tom Hollander holding open Jacki Weaver’s eyes. It seems like just about everyone watched Bird Box at the end of 2018 or the start of 2019 except for me. It just wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a couple years behind on a few things.

While I will go through elements of the narrative here, as I tend to, there is a really easy way to sum up the way Bird Box works. There is a great deal here that plays a lot like A Quiet Place, which came out much earlier in 2018. Honestly, that’s a pretty favorable comparison for Bird Box. A much less favorable one is that there’s also a lot here that plays like The Happening.

Ten Days of Terror!: Diary of a Madman

Film: Diary of a Madman
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

I genuinely enjoy just how dedicated horror movie producers were to sticking with the Gothic through the 1960s. Sure, there are some exceptions and Gothic films continued to be made and are still being made today, but the heyday was the 1960s when horror movies meant castles and Victorian garb and a hell of a lot of Vincent Price. Diary of a Madman is very much in line with that. Taking its inspiration from a Guy de Maupassant story, Diary of a Madman is told in flashback about one man’s interaction with a terrible creature that has the ability to control his mind and commit terrible crimes.

As just mentioned, this takes place in flashback. All we know at this point is that magistrate Simon Cordier (Price) is dead, and that he demanded that a box he entrusted to others be opened upon his death. Since that box is being opened, we can assume he is dead. What we find inside is a diary (no shock; it’s in the title), and the diary tells a dark and twisted tale.

Ten Days of Terror!: A Field in England

Film: A Field in England
Format: Streaming video from Hulu Plus on Fire!

There is a trend in modern horror films, or at least a branch of modern horror films, where the horror specifically comes from not knowing what is going on. The horror isn’t about physical danger (although that is often a part of it), or some terrible creature from beyond space and time, but about a disconnection from reality and a possible descent into insanity. I’m not sure when this started—movies that have played with bending reality have been around for a long time. But they feel a lot more common right now, and they seem very specifically to crop up over and over in the horror realm. There were some before the success of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), but they seem to be everywhere now. One of those early pre-Oscar-win adopters is Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England.

The story takes place during the English Civil War. A man named Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) has been charged by his master, an alchemist, to track down a man who stole materials from him. During a battle, Whitehead is rescued by a man named Cutler (Ryan Pope). The two then encounter two deserters, the rough and brutal Jacob (Peter Ferdinando) and the simple and open Friend (Richard Glover). Cutler claims there is an alehouse in the vicinity, and the four go off to find it.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: The Ghoul

Film: The Ghoul
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

Okay, with The Ghoul, I’m not sure where to start. This is a classic horror movie in the sense that it was released in 1933, but it’s not really connected to any sort of classic monster or well-known story. It’s also a film that has a story that seems like a huge missed opportunity. There’s a lot here that doesn’t make sense, and even though there’s a lot that could be done here. I followed this movie from start to finish, but I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to get from it aside from the fact that ancient religious are apparently bad but still have incredible power and that we should cheer the idea of cousins having sex.

Well, I’ll do my best here. Famous Egyptologist Professor Henry Morlant (Boris Karloff) is dying and will be dead soon. He has something in his corner, though—an ancient jewel called the “Eternal Light” that he believes will bring him back to life, thanks to the power of Anubis. There are certain requirements to make this work, though—primarily being entombed with the gem. His servant (Ernest Thesiger) has other plans, though. He steals the gem despite the warning that Morlant will come back and seek revenge on any guilty when the light of the full moon strikes his tomb.

Ten Days of Terror!: Mother of Tears

Film: Mother of Tears (La Terze Madre)
Format: DVD from Harvard Diggins Library through interlibrary loan on basement television.

It’s probably not a popular thing to say on a blog that spends a lot of time talking about horror movies, but I’m not a huge fan of the style of Italian horror movies. That seems strange to say, because it often feels like style is all that Italian horror movies have. It often seems to me a number of Italian horror movies don’t start with the story or with the plot, but instead with the idea of a couple of scenes that the director wants to get to. Once those scenes are envisioned, the rest of the movie is essentially built around those scenes as best possible to make a semblance of story. This is not always done successfully. And that leads us to Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears (or La Terze Madre, if you prefer).

The sell on Mother of Tears is that it finally finishes Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy, following Suspiria and Inferno. It’s been quite the wait. Suspiria came out in 1977 and Inferno in 1980, with Mother of Tears released in 2007. A three-year gap followed by a 27-year gap suggests that if a fourth film is to be made, it will see the light of day in 21,690 (after all, the second gap is the cube of the first gap, so the next gap should be a cube of the second). Waiting just north of 19,500 years for a fourth installment might just be long enough.

Ten Days of Terror!: Stigmata

Film: Stigmata
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on rockin’ flatscreen.

Stigmata is one of those weird movies I’d seen before but had no real memory of. I frequently got it mixed up in my head with End of Days because both are pretty generic and deal with religious themes. As might expect based on the name, this is a film about someone who manifests the stigmata of the Christ. And in keeping with the way movies tend to do things, it manages to use the less popular version of the stigmata. If you think that’s a metaphor for the movie, congratulations—you’ve been to this website before.

Before we dive into the movie, I do want to go over that particular aspect of it. Traditionally, the five wounds of Christ are the two in the hands (or wrists, honestly), two in the feet, and one in the side. The movie has decided that the stigmata are the hands/wrists (counting as one), the feet (also counting as one), the side, plus the whips to the back and the crown of thorns.

Ten Days of Terror!: Cigarette Burns

Film: Cigarette Burns (Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns)
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

Sometimes, someone combines a couple of basic story ideas and what results is a fascinating combination. Get Out, for instance, was a little bit Body Snatchers, some Being John Malkovich, and a serving of The Stepford Wives combined into a whole that ended up being as good or better than all of those influences. That’s very much the case with Cigarette Burns (also known as John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns). A part of the “Masters of Horror” television series, this was the eighth episode of the first season, and it’s one that seems to have stood out as the biggest achievement.

So what are we combining? There’s a good deal of Ringu in this, because we’re dealing with a film within the film, and this one is particularly cursed. Everyone who has seen the movie in question is dead or has gone mad, also true of the people who worked on it. There’s also a great deal of The Ninth Gate here since the movie within the film needs to be tracked down as it is presumed lost forever. That is the basics of the film: a man with particular expertise in finding rare films is hired to find a legendary film that is presumed lost. For added fun, the man doing the searching has his own demons and his own reasons to want to find the film in question.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Intruder

Film: Intruder
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

I like horror movies, but in general, slashers are the barrel scrapings of the horror genre. There are clearly some great slashers (Halloween, Scream), but the bulk of the genre is just an excuse to try to gross out the audience. Slashers don’t generally have a lot to say about anything; they’re the bread and circuses of horror films. And that brings us to Intruder, a film from 1989 that has as its unique selling point the fact that it takes place inside a grocery store.

No, that’s really it. We’re going to immediately be handed our final girl, Jennifer (Elizabeth Cox), who is a cashier at the grocery store in question. Jennifer is being stalked by Craig (David Byrnes—the “s” on the end of his name distinguishes him from the guy from Talking Heads), her ex who did time for involuntary manslaughter. After Craig comes in and causes a fight, the store closes and the crew is told they need to restock the shelves. They are also told by the co-owners Bill (Dan Hicks) and Danny (Eugene Robert Glazer) that the store is being sold and everything is being marked down. Everyone is going to be out of a job soon because of that.

Ten Days of Terror!: Scream (2022)

Film: Scream (2022) (Scream 5)
Format: DVD from Sycamore Public Library on rockin’ flatscreen.

I have to say that I was skeptical going into the 2022 Scream. I was annoyed that they decided to call it Scream as if it were a reboot of the series rather than what it essentially is: Scream 5. But, that’s part of the genius of the series. Scream et al. has always been about the meta commentary and about its own self-awareness. The films have, in turn, commented on the nature of the slasher, sequels, trilogies, remakes, and now in the fifth installment, reboots.

I was also concerned that it would suffer from no longer having Wes Craven at the helm. Craven is my favorite pure horror director, hands-down (Guillermo del Toro if we’re talking all movies from someone horror-aligned, but…). But he lost control of some of his series and he made some bombs. Most horror franchises go off the rails at some point—there are some deep, deep lows in the franchises of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and other franchises considered classics (consider just how bad The Exorcist II: The Heretic really is, especially compared with the first film). But Scream, under the care of Craven, never went off the rails. Series low point, Scream 3 is better than a lot of mid-points of other storied franchises. But how would it be without him at the helm?

Ten Days of Terror!: Blue Sunshine

Film: Blue Sunshine
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

In the early ‘90s, when everyone was getting cable and channels like HBO and CineMax ruled the television world, there was a show called “Red Shoe Diaries,” which was essentially an attempt at classy softcore porn. It was produced by a guy named Zalman King, memorable for the odd first name. I never realized that Zalman King was also an actor in the years prior to his forays into soft focus boobs. That includes his starring role in Blue Sunshine, one of three movies I know of where a bald woman is a focus of the advertising (the others being The Naked Kiss and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Feel free to add others in the comments).

Blue Sunshine feels like a mash-up between Reefer Madness and God Told Me To. It’s also one of those films that wants to work up the audience by claiming that they story they are about to hear is based in fact. In that respect, it’s done well. The plot of the movie centers around a batch of bad LSD known as Blue Sunshine that was used around Stanford in the late 1960s. What we discover as the movie goes on is that people who used Blue Sunshine are having very delayed and serious fallout from their former drug use. Ten years after they used it, they start suffering whanging headaches. They also lose all of their hair, and eventually have a complete psychotic break and start murdering everyone around them indiscriminately. We get a little of that in the film’s opening.

Ten Days of Terror!: Stage Fright

Film: Stage Fright
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

For the life of me, I don’t understand Italian horror movies. I know that films like Stage Fright (Deliria if you prefer) have a following, and from a purely visual standpoint, there’s a lot here to like. I’m not going to deny that having a killer running around in a giant owl mask isn’t a visual feast. But the plot of this movie borders not on incoherent but on nonsensical. Everybody acts like an idiot to make the plot work, and the world this film exists in is so divergent from the real world that I don’t know where to begin.

I mean that this movie nonsensical in the most immediate and complete way. For this plot to work, everyone involved in the story needs to be an idiot, the healthcare system of wherever this is needs to be run by 8-year-olds, and the police department is unable to count to 10 even with the full use of their fingers, including the thumbs. It is another film that seems to demonstrate the idea that Italian horror directors identify specific scenes they what to film first, and then cobble together other scenes to link them. Assume that the rest of this review is under a spoiler tag because we’ve got to go all the way to the end to really explore the stupid.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: The Cars that Ate Paris

Film: The Cars that Ate Paris
Format: Internet video on various players.

There are times when you can tell where a movie is going to hit based on the title. The Cars that Ate Paris is not one of those movies. Based on that title, it’s going to look like something a lot more lurid than it turned out to be. Based on the title, this clearly looks like it’s going to be a spoof along the lines of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It might just as easily have been a film along the lines of The Car or an early prototype of Maximum Overdrive. None of these are correct. This is actually closer to a movie like Peyton Place, albeit with a hell of a lot more violence.

What I mean by that is that The Cars that Ate Paris is a film that concerns a small town with a secret. In this case, the town is Paris, located in the Australian outback. The secret, which doesn’t take us that long to figure out, is that the townspeople regularly cause drivers going through the area to drive off the road and wreck. The townspeople then ransack the wreckage, taking anything of value from the drivers. Those who survive are quickly lobotomized by the local doctor and used for medical experiments. Honestly, that last part doesn’t play into the film that much, and it honestly feels like a lost opportunity.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Film: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

I’m not sure how to address The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. There are a few things here that feel unique or close to unique in this film. This is also a story that touches on some really upsetting topics, topics that we don’t typically talk about in polite company. What do I mean by this? I mean specifically that this is a movie in which ephebophilia plays a big role. As it happens, it’s the second movie I know of from 1976 that features a story based at least in part on this topic and starring Jodie Foster.

The story here is a simple one on the surface. Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) is a 13-year-old girl living in a huge house in a small Maine seaside town. She seems very precocious, and at the start of the film appears to be celebrating her 13th birthday by herself. She is visited by a local named Frank Hallet (Martin Sheen), who tells her that she should be prepared for visitors as it is Halloween. Frank is also overly familiar with young Rynn in a way that is genuinely unpleasant.

Ten Days of Terror!: And Soon the Darkness

Film: And Soon the Darkness
Format: Streaming video from Amazon/Freevee on Fire!

The name And Soon the Darkness is an objectively cool name for a horror movie. Based on that name, it’s clear that we’re going somewhere dark, but where we’re going is not clear. Are there going to be demons in this? Witches? Something supernatural? A deadly cult? There are a lot of possibilities with that title. Sadly, it’s the best part of the film. It’s possible that in 1970 And Soon the Darkness was a lot more inventive than it appears now, but this film is easy to predict. It aims for a twist ending, and even that isn’t much of a shock, and it has to cheat to get there.

It's something I’ve talked about on this blog before, but And Soon the Darkness is a prime example of a significant problem in plotting. What is that problem? It’s having characters act in particular ways because the plot requires it rather than taking the time to give us character reasons to get to the desired end. If your characters are forced to act in stupid, unnatural ways or in ways that don’t fit with them, the movie doesn’t work. If getting to the event you want requires a scientist character to (for instance) forget a basic formula or not know something a college freshman would know, your story has a problem. And that’s the issue with And Soon the Darkness. There’s a lot to get into here, so you can expect that everything past this point will be considered under a spoiler tag.

Ten Days of Terror!: Don't Torture a Duckling

Film: Don’t Torture a Duckling
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

I don’t love Italian horror films that much. I always get the feeling, as I have said before, that many Italian horror directors get an idea for a scene or two and then create the entire movie around those scenes. It’s why so many Italian horror movies feel disjointed and like their plots don’t really hold together. That’s actually not the case with Don’t Torture a Duckling (or Non si Sivizia un Paperino if you prefer the Italian). There is an actual plot that kind of makes sense here. It’s just not very good.

We start with a trio of boys around 12 or so teasing the equivalent of the village idiot, who was trying to catch a peek of a couple of men getting it on with a pair of prostitutes. Later, on of the boys at home is told to carry up a drink to the woman staying in their home. This woman is Patrizia (Barbara Bouchet), returned to this small town because she was involved in a drug scandal. She also evidently likes to lay around nude. In what’s going to be one of several disturbing scenes, she more or less asks the boy (remember, he’s about 12) to have sex with her.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Isolation

Film: Isolation
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on rockin’ flatscreen.

Go digging in the horror movie genre, and you’re going to find a creature feature that covers just about anything you can think of. There are horror movies about giant frogs (Frogs) killer worms (Squirm), and enormous rabbits (Night of the Lepus). Even barnyard animals aren’t spared, with Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Blood Freak, (about a mutant killer turkey), and Black Sheep. Well, now you can add cows to the mix with Isolation, a film where once again science runs amok and dabbles in things it should not.

That sounds ridiculous, of course, but Isolation is actually a much smarter movie than just “killer cow.” Were it a horror comedy, it could probably pull that off, but this movie is played completely straight, which means we’re going to have to find a way to make this a serious thing. It doesn’t hurt that one of the featured players in this is Ruth Negga, who’s pretty great just as a general rule.

Ten Days of Terror!: Alien Raiders

Film: Alien Raiders
Format: Internet video on Fire!

When you don’t have much of a budget, you end up trying to be as creative as you can with the money you do have. Alien Raiders is a case in point for this. This is clearly a low budget movie that put what money it had into the few special effects it needed. One of the ways to cut down on costs is to have a film shoot in one location. Alien Raiders takes place in a supermarket and in the parking lot of the same supermarket. To the movie’s credit, this isn’t really that noticeable in the moment.

The film starts with a team of armed people—terrorists? Insurgents? Something else?—entering a supermarket just as it is closing. A couple of gunshots and a couple of deaths later, and our crew of gunmen are rounding up all of the workers and customers. As far as those victims go, there are a few we’re going to worry about. These are cart boy Benny (Jeffrey Licon); co-worker Whitney (Samantha Streets), who is clearly the object of Benny’s affections; and the manager Tarkey (Joel McCrary), who we learn is skimming out of the till.

Ten Days of Terror!: Species

Film: Species
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

There are a number of drums that I will regularly beat as a part of this website. One of them is the fact that so many science fiction and horror movies make science the bad guy. Scientists, people who are routinely ultra-cautious and rarely even make pronouncements of truth are regularly portrayed in sci-fi films (and by that I’m referring to the lower end of the kiddie pool) as reckless and willing to put the fate of the world at risk for a little bit of knowledge. Experiments are routinely conducted in unsafe places, with incomplete or lax protocols and no oversight. Of course, without that, there wouldn’t be a movie—we have to have someone be the bad guy, and if you want giant mutated alien critters running amok, science is pretty convenient. Enter Species, the nudity-filled template for movies like Splice.

We begin with what looks to be a young girl (Michelle Williams!) being exterminated in a state-of-the-art (circa 1995) lab. Ah, but the girl escapes, and the poison that was used in an attempt to kill her instead kills everyone around her but somehow not her. Off she goes, and she soon adapts as well as she can to life outside of her lab facility. She also is growing very fast—soon enough on an Amtrak train, she cocoons, eats a conductor (whose clothes magically fit the new Natasha Henstridge) version of the creature, and away she goes. It’s soon obvious that whatever this creature is, she’s horny and looking to procreate.

Ten Days of Terror!: I Married a Monster from Outer Space

Film: I Married a Monster from Outer Space
Format: Internet video on Fire!

One of the great science fiction movies of all time is the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. When a simple little B-movie like that generates some talk, there are bound to be copycats and wannabees. That’s exactly the case with a movie like I Married a Monster from Outers Space. It was as if a group of executives sat around a table and asked, “What if we did Body Snatchers, but with sex?”

Oh, not sex for real. Not in Eisenhower’s America, anyway. Even the married couple implied in the title have separate beds. But calling it “Invasion of the Body Snatchers with sex” isn’t that far off. It’s clearly influenced by the previous film and to some extent by Jack Finney’s original novel. But this has some Mars Needs Women in it to make it different from its obvious inspiration. Oh, there’s going to be a form of body snatching here, but it’s all with the intent to make little alien babies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Planet of the Vampires

Film: Planet of the Vampires (Terrore nello Spazio)
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

I’ve never been quiet about my issues with Italian horror movies. They tend to be visually interesting but have serious issues when it comes to the plot. This is true of almost every Italian horror movie I can name, even classics like Suspiria. With Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires, the biggest problem is the English title of the movie. The original Italian title, Terrore nello Spazio, or “Terror in Space” is much closer to something that makes sense. What’s the problem? There isn’t a single vampire in this movie.

There are some very strange connections here, though. There is a feeling in some ways of Planet of the Vampires following a film like Forbidden Planet in a lot of ways. While the plots are very different, a lot of the shots feel like they belong in the same movie. It’s also a movie that oddly presages Alien in a lot of respects. The movie follows the very basic outer space horror movie plot—ship intercepts distress beacon—but we also get a crashed alien ship with giant corpses and a lifeform on the planet that feeds on invaders in a unique way.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Vampire Lovers

Film: The Vampire Lovers
Format: DVD from LaSalle Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

Sometimes, when you request a movie from the library, you actually get two. That was the case when I ordered Countess Dracula through interlibrary loan; what I got was a two-fer that included The Vampire Lovers. This is a much more traditional horror movie in the sense that the title is going to lead us to think that there are vampires involved and, well, there are actual vampires involved. Even better, this is a straight-up lesbian vampire movie. I mean, I expect this from a film when it’s called Vampyros Lesbos. It’s more of a surprise when they’re just The Vampire Lovers.

Our film takes place in the middle of the 18th century in roughly southern Austria. We’re going to get a little opening sequence where a man named Baron Hartog (Douglas Wilmer) confronts a vampire who killed his sister. While he is almost killed, he manages to kill the vampire by decapitating her.

Ten Days of Terror!: Countess Dracula

Film: Countess Dracula
Format: DVD from LaSalle Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

I knew almost from the opening moments that Countess Dracula was going to be a riff on the Countess Erzsebet Bathory story. If you’re not familiar with that story, Bathory is the woman who was alleged to have tried to preserve her youth by bathing in the blood of virgin girls. That’s what we’re going to get, with the horror movie caveat that the “blood sacrifices” actually work to restore the Countess’s youth. It’s worth noting, incidentally, that there is pretty good evidence that the charges against Countess Erzsebet were created specifically to attack a woman with a great deal of political power, land, and wealth in the 17th Century.

Anyway, this is going to be a fairly straight retelling of the basic story. In 17th Century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth Nadasdy (of the Bathory line, and played by British scream queen legend Ingrid Pitt) makes a startling discover. When the blood of one of her servants comes into contact with her skin. That patch of skin suddenly becomes clear and youthful. This spells death for the girl in question, since she’s going to be the first victim of the Countess’s sudden obsession with virgin blood.

Ten Days of Terror!: Blood for Dracula

Film: Blood for Dracula
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

Blood for Dracula has been on my radar for some time, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on it for a significant reason. I don’t have that great of a track record with anything attached to the name of Andy Warhol. On Letterboxd, I have reserved the ½ star ranking specifically and only for Andy Warhol’s Vinyl, which remains the worst movie I have ever seen. I didn’t hate Flesh for Frankenstein, but still, the burning plastic smell of Vinyl cannot be overcome. Nonetheless, I did finally sit down and watch.

This is going to be a sort of Dracula story, but it’s going to take a great deal of license with the base Dracula story. That’s fine—it’s honestly to be expected, not simply because Warhol was going to put his stamp on everything he touched, but because it’s exactly how the same story gets retold without becoming stale. Our Dracula (Udo Kier) is weak and sickly. His problem is that the people of Romania have learned not to bring their virgin daughters around the Dracula family. Dracula’s faithful servant Anton (Arno J├╝rging) tells the Count they should head off to Italy. Since it’s a Catholic country, he’s more likely to find a virgin to feed on. Dracula leaves, essentially telling his remaining family to hang out in the vault and die while he’s gone.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Scream 4

Film: Scream 4
Format: DVD from Sycamore Public Library on rockin’ flatscreen.

The Scream franchise has always been about breaking down the genre of slasher films as much as it has been about being a slasher film itself. The original was about deconstructing the slasher genre, the second about the rules of sequels, and the third is about the way that sequels work. Scream 4 (or Scre4m, if you prefer) is about the way that remakes of horror movies work. In that respect, Scream 4 is kind of a remake of the original film as much as it is a sequel and the start of something new following the trilogy.

We’re going to have a lot of familiar characters here. Our original final girl, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), has returned to the town of Woodsboro as the final stop on a press tour for her new book. For a wonder, Sidney has attempted to reinvent herself as something other than the surviving victim of three versions of the Ghostface killer. In Woodsboro, we’re going to also reconnect with Dewey Riley (David Arquette), now the sheriff and his wife Gale Weathers-Riley (Courtney Cox). We’re also going to meet some of Sidney’s extended family, her aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell) and her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts).

Ten Days of Terror!: Scream 3

Film: Scream 3
Format: DVD from Kankakee Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

Put a gun to my head and ask me who is the best horror director, and you’re going to get a question back from me. All time? Still living? Of the people currently directing films, Guillermo del Toro would be my favorite, and honestly, he’d probably be my pick of all directors. But if we want to talk about influence, my pick is going to be Wes Craven. He might not be the most common pick (my guess is most people would pick John Carpenter), but Craven is responsible for so many important films and franchises, and he’s almost purely a horror director (Carpenter is responsible for a lot of science fiction and comedy). The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, The Nightmare on Elm Street, The People Under the Stairs, The Serpent and the Rainbow…and, of course, Scream. But, like any franchise, there’s a low point. For the Scream franchise, it’s Scream 3.

This doesn’t mean that Scream 3 is a bad movie by any stretch, but it doesn’t really rise to the level of the other films in the series. I’ve maintained for years that Alien3, for instance, isn’t the terrible movie everyone remembers it to be. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible, but it’s a huge step down from Alien and Aliens, two of the greatest films in their genre. The step down isn’t as big here, but it’s definitely a step down.

Ten Days of Terror!: Halloween (2007)

Film: Halloween (2007)
Format: DVD from Franklin Grove Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

Less than a minute after the production company credits faded away, I knew I didn’t like the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween. I’m always at least a little disappointed in the cinematic work of Rob Zombie. He comes across as such a smart guy in interviews, but his movies—even when they really want to say something—do so at a lowest common denominator level. Zombie wants to talk about abuse and poverty as a reason for what happens to Michael? Well, we’re going to need what is essentially a parody of a terrible childhood to get us there.

It's as if Zombie thinks that we as the audience are unable to fill in any blanks. We have to be led by the nose to every conclusion that we’re going to come to, and that path has to be as simple and as firmly laid out as possible so that anyone watching the movie will have that message hammered into them. This is especially depressing considering the horror movie royalty that Zombie managed to get into this movie—Brad Dourif, William Forsythe, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Richard Lynch, Danny Trejo, Sid Haig, Tom Towles, Bill Mosely, Dee Wallace, and Ken Foree, capped with Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis. This is a massive collection of people with serious horror cred, and they are used in service of something that aspires to a force-feeding its points to the audience.

Ten Days of Terror!: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Film: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Plus on Fire!

When Halloween III: The Season of the Witch tanked, I think we lost something. The idea of that film was to create a year anthology series of stories that weren’t connected to each other, but that were Halloween themed. Sure, looking back at it, it’s a minor classic and a far better film than the disappointed thousands expected to see. But because it tanked critically and underperformed at the box office, the series returned to its slasher roots with the fourth film. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers takes the series back to its roots. As the title tells us, Michael is back with his William Shatner mask and knife, and carnage will ensue.

We’re going to have some problems right away. Halloween II ends with Michael Myers blinded and burned, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) also evidently killed, and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) being taken to a new hospital by ambulance. Well, we can’t have any of that if we’re going to be bringing Michael Myers back, can we? So we’re going to retcon pretty much everything that happened in Halloween II.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde

Film: Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on various players

Sometimes people come up with a really fun and interesting take on a classic story. Take, for example, Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde. It’s clearly a prurient title meant to get people to sit up and pay attention to it. It looks like this is going to be an exploitation movie (and it kind of is), but this is actually a really fun and inventive take on the original Jekyll/Hyde story from Robert Louis Stevenson. In the original story, intelligent and sober Dr. Henry Jekyll invents a serum that releases his more animal nature, turning him into the criminal and vicious Edward Hyde. As the title suggests here, that’s not going to be the case with this film.

The conceit here is that Victorian-Era Dr. Jekyll (Ralph Bates) is initially researching a way to cure diseases. His womanizing friend Robertson (Gerald Sim) tells him that, figuring a couple of years to cure each disease in his sights (diphtheria, typhus, typhoid, and more), he’ll be dead before he manages to cure them all. This is an epiphany for Jekyll, who immediately decides that before he starts tackling diseases, he should first tackle life extension.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Sorcerers

Film: The Sorcerers
Format: Internet video on Fire!

There is something that I very much appreciate about older horror movies. I don’t mind gore when it’s warranted, but the older horror movies, say pre-1972 or so. Because at least the mainstream movies (missing out things like Blood Feast and other Herschel Gordon Lewis films) didn’t use a great deal of gore, they had to be more inventive with what they showed and where the plots went. The Sorcerers, one of the last films of Boris Karloff, is exactly such a film. This is a film that wants to go for real psychological terror rather than splatter, and for the most part, it gets there.

This is a film that should be better known than it is. There are echoes of this film in Strange Days and a whisper of it in Being John Malkovich. It’s going to go to some ridiculous places in terms of the science, but it uses that ridiculous science to give us a story that, in the context of that goofy science, works pretty well.

Ten Days of Terror!: Frankenstein Created Woman

Film: Frankenstein Created Woman
Format: DVD from Reddick Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

Just about everything eventually gets reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes, even a lot of older films. I haven’t ever taken the time to determine if these numbers are based on current reviewers or on reviews posted at the time of the film’s release. Regardless, all seven of the Hammer films in the Frankenstein series are reviewed there. Of these, Frankenstein Created Woman falls in the dead middle both in terms of favorable ratings and in terms of where it falls in the series. Like plenty of Hammer horror films that touch on science, the science here is what my older daughter would call loco-bananas, and that’s a part of the charm.

What we’re not going to get here is a traditional “Victor Frankenstein builds a body through graverobbing and weird science.” There are going to be some connections to that, of course, because this is a Frankenstein movie, but what’s going to happen here is less a connection of body parts into a new whole, but a connection of one dead person’s soul into a different body. Like I said, the science is loco-bananas.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Lawnmower Man

Film: The Lawnmower Man
Format: DVD from Sycamore Public Library on basement television

I’m trying to remember if I saw the entirety of The Lawnmower Man before this recent watch. I distinctly remember parts of it, but there was also at least one game based on the movie released, so my memories may come from there. It’s also a case of one of the most interesting lawsuits ever filed regarding a movie. We’re told that this is Stephen King’s The Lawnmower Man, but King won a multimillion dollar lawsuit to have his name removed from the film since it has virtually nothing to do with the short story he wrote. His story was about a lawncare service run by a satyr who used lawn mowing as a sort of sacrifice to Pan. The movie is a version of “Flowers for Algernon” involving a guy who mows lawns and the emerging technology of virtual reality.

So where do I begin with this ridiculousness? We’re introduced to Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan), who is working in the VR world. Specifically, he is experimenting with psychoactive drugs in chimps, putting them into VR simulations and attempting to enhance their cognitive abilities. Over time, we learn that despite Angelo’s intent to use this technology for things like Alzheimer’s research, the project is actually being run but The Shop, the fictional branch of the government that exists in several Stephen King works (The Dead Zone and Firestarter come to mind). Of course, they have military goals for this, and a new strain of drugs has had adverse reactions on the chimps. Angelo decides on his own to start over and recruits Jobe (Jeff Fahey), the intellectually simple groundskeeper in his area. Angelo and Jobe start to experiment, and Jobe adapts quickly to virtual reality and his cognitive abilities grow.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Alligator

Film: Alligator
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

The release of Jaws changed a lot of things in the movie world. It largely created the summer blockbuster. It simultaneously created a world where a lot of film execs didn’t realize that what made Jaws great wasn’t the shark but the direction of Spielberg and the top-tier cast. Regardless, in the years after Jaws there were a number of man vs. animal movies of varying quality. One that straddles a very interesting line is Alligator. It’s actually a pretty good movie, but it’s a direct rip-off of Spielberg’s killer shark in a lot of clear and obvious ways.

There is a legend of alligators in the New York sewers, and this is a film that is going to use that myth to good effect, although it’s going to relocate the gator in question to the sewer under Chicago. We’re going to start with getting the alligator to the Windy City by introducing us to a young girl who bring home a baby alligator from Florida as a pet. Shortly thereafter, we see her angry father flush the baby gator down the toilet and we get a “12 years later” title card. That dozen years is going to give us a big ol’ gator that is going to cause a lot of mayhem.

Ten Days of Terror!: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

Film: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Format: DVD from Fossil Ridge Public Library through interlibrary loan on rockin’ flatscreen.

The opening credits of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms claims that the film is based on, or suggested by a story by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury happens to be one of my favorite authors, and before the actual name of the story came up, my assumption was that the story in question would be “The Fog Horn,” a story I’ve been familiar with since I was a kid (and which was originally published under the name “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”). I was right, incidentally; that is the story that was used for the film. It’s a lovely, melancholic story about a lighthouse that is visited yearly by a giant sea creature whose call sounds exactly like the lighthouse’s fog horn. On the third year of the creature’s visit, the lighthouse keepers turn off the fog horn and, distraught, the creature attacks and destroys it.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is inspired by this story in the sense that there is a giant, prehistoric creature that attacks and destroys a lighthouse. Maybe 90 seconds of the film come from Bradbury’s story while the rest is pure 1950s B-movie science fiction creature feature. For someone who calls the original author “Saint Ray,” this is quite disappointing.

Ten Days of Terror!: Rogue

Film: Rogue
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

Jaws was a far more seminal movie than anyone thought at the time. There were, of course, immediate rip off films like Grizzly and Orca. But Jaws cast a long shadow and it set the basic pattern for man against nature horror films. Such a film is Rogue, a 2007 Australian outback film that features a tour group locked in battle against a giant crocodile that is hunting them for entering its territory.

At first blush, this sounds terrible, I admit. It’s not even the only Australian crocodile movie released in 2007; it came out just after Black Water. And it is exactly what it sounds like it is—a group of outback tourists including an American travel writer named Peter (Michael Vartan) take a tour led by guide Kate (Radha Mitchell) through an outback swamp. The tour goes along well until they turn back for home. One of the tourists believes that he sees a flare in the distance. The flare is repeated, and Kate makes the decision (essentially with the approval of most of the group) to investigate.

Ten Days of Terror!: Anaconda

Film: Anaconda
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on the internet machine

My mother hates snakes. My wife and I used to have a pet ball python named Howard that my wife bought with birthday money she got from my mother. It was a sort of private joke. This is apropos of nothing, except for the fact that I watched Anaconda, which is about a giant snake and the people who hunt it in the Amazon. It wants to be Jaws. It’s not even Lake Placid or Deep Blue Sea.

We’re going to start by seeing a poacher (Danny Trejo!) on the Amazon. He’s attacked by something unseen, but based on the name of the movie, we know what it is. Cornered, he shoots himself in the head rather than let it kill or eat him. We’re then immediately introduced to our main cast. What we have is a film crew planning on making a documentary about a hidden Amazonian tribe. The crew consists of boat captain Mateo (Vincent Castellanos), director Terri (Jennifer Lopez), her cameraman Danny (Ice Cube), anthropologist and love interest Steven (Eric Stoltz), production manager Denise (Kari Wuhrer), her boyfriend and sound guy Gary (Owen Wilson), and pompous British narrator Warren (Jonathan Hyde). They soon encounter a disabled boat and a desperate man named Paul Serone (Jon Voight), so naturally they rescue him.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Ten Days of Terror!: Before We Begin

I haven’t been as focused putting up reviews lately, something that regular visitors here will have certainly noticed. That said, I do have a tradition of putting up 40 reviews across the last 10 days of October, something I’m going to continue this year. In fact, I have saved up 40 reviews over the last 12 months to publish through Halloween.

Like last year, I’ve themed the days (at least I’ve themed nine of the ten), and this year, it happens I’ve done that a little better than I did last year. This is purely by chance—I didn’t really plan what I watched, but I still managed to have nine cohesive groups of four movies. Here’s what I’ll be posting:

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Kabul-ing a Life

Film: Flee (Flugt)
Format: Streaming video from Hulu+ on various players.

Oscar has a real problem with animated films. Every now and then, a film like Flee (or Flugt in the original Danish) is nominated for Best Animated Feature. This is not a movie for children, and it’s clearly been nominated because it deserves to be, but it didn’t have a chance in a million of actually winning. The same was true of Anomolisa and Persepolis. Remember that the Academy is an organization that thought Waltz with Bashir was one of the best non-English features of its year but that it wasn’t worth nominating as an animated feature over a mid-range forgettable clunker like Bolt.

Flee is a documentary about Amin Nawabi, an Aghan refugee now living in Denmark. Nawabi fled Afghanistan with most of his family, but for political, financial, and other reasons, has been separated from them. This is a true story with names changed specifically to protect people who need to be protected. It is a story of terror, fear, violation, and ultimately triumph. Seriously, this is a little bit of a spoiler, but if any documentary story deserves its happy ending, it’s this one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Deep Cuts

Film: Crimes of the Future
Format: DVD from DeKalb Public Library on rockin’ flatscreen.

David Cronenberg is long thought of as the king of body horror for good reason. He’s been off that trend for some time, doing much more mainstream films like Eastern Promises and A History of Violence that have some horror elements but aren’t really horror films. He’s also not done much for the last decade, so Crimes of the Future was kind of a surprise. It’s a pleasant surprise in a lot of respects. First, I’m always happy to see Cronenberg behind the camera, even when the results are less than great. Second—and importantly—this is a return to what Cronenberg is known for, and that’s exciting.

Crimes of the Future feels like the culmination of a lot of Cronenberg’s work from his body horror days. Certainly, the idea of things going on inside the body is a theme that runs through his work up to the point of eXistenZ. There is a lot here in terms of bizarre organic machinery, much like eXistenZ, Naked Lunch, Videodrome, and Dead Ringers. There’s a lot of connection between sex and pain/death, like Shivers and especially Crash. This might be the most Cronenberg film ever made. It hits all of his tropes.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Here, Kitty Kitty

Film: Cat’s Eye
Format: Streaming video from Tubi TV on Fire!

Ah, the horror anthology, my old nemesis. Horror lends itself naturally to the anthology format specifically because horror specifically allows the writer to go right for the jugular and bring the scares. While it certainly helps to have characters who we care about when it comes to horror stories, often all we really need to have is someone we can relate to in any way put in danger. So, the idea of the anthology is to put folks into those situations and rush to the good parts. Ct’s Eye follows this format in a way, but does a few things differently. For starters, the screenplay was written by Stephen King, with the first two stories adapted from two of his short stories.

There are a few things that Cat’s Eye does really well. The first is that, while there is a connecting story that runs through the entire film, not a great deal of time is spent on it. All of these bits involve a cat (who also appears in the first two stories and is feature in the third) being urged on by Drew Barrymore to seek her out and save her. Second, there are only three stories here, and with a 90+ minute run time, we get a good amount of time with each one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Our Mother of Perpetual Sorrow

Film: The Lost Daughter
Format: Streaming video from NetFlix on Fire!

I haven’t been putting up a lot of reviews lately, and I always have intention to change that. Life, work, all the rest get in the way. Here it is October and I still have nearly half a dozen Oscar films to finish up, which means getting through at least one more this month if I want to get done by the end of the year. So I picked The Lost Daughter for no reason other than it was one of the longer movies I had left, and I knew I was going to watch it eventually anyway. I went into this cold, knowing only that it earned Olivia Colman another Oscar nom. I like Colman, but it’s hard not to see her right now as one of the Oscar flavors-of-the-month.

The Lost Daughter is a slow movie, one that is contemplative, but not in a direction that is comfortable or easy. Leda Caruso (Colman) is on vacation in Greece. She is a noted translator and successful university professor. She has a run-in with a vacationing family, but then ends up redeeming herself when their young daughter goes missing at the beach. Leda finds the girl, but also steals the girl’s beloved doll for reasons that are initially unknown.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Lament-able

Film: Hellraiser (2022)
Format: Streaming video from Hulu+ on Fire!

I’m always a little leery of remakes. Oh, sure, there are some really good ones, but you probably already know the obvious examples that I would cite here. It always feels like there are too many remakes, though, as if studios are much more comfortable going with a story they already know (or a property they already know) rather than doing something really new. So it is that we come to the 2022 Hellraiser, which is honestly less of a remake and more of a completely new story with the same name attached to it. I think the idea here might be to take a step away from the original series, since the original Hellraiser franchise went hard off the rails in the third movie.

It's honestly hard to say if this is the start of a new franchise or the continuation of the old one. We have a new Pinhead, though, so it does feel like a fresh start and a reimagining. The concept of the Lament Configuration and the presence of the Cenobites (all but two of which are completely new) is really the only carryover from the original film, though, so this probably should be considered a new adaptation completely separate from the originals.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Meta-Analysis

Film: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Format: DVD from Sycamore Public Library on basement television.

Movies that have meta moments have existed for a long time. The script is mentioned in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and literally appears in Robin Hood: Men in Tights and (I think) one of the Austin Powers movies. The screenplay also appears in a much darker way in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. But then there are movies that are meta in other ways. Scream has a lot of meta in it, and Being John Malkovich eats its own tail ouroboros-like. But I don’t know that I’ve seen anything go as meta as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

In this film, Nic Cage plays Nick Cage, who is essentially an alternate universe version of himself in most relevant ways. That means he’s had essentially the same career and has performed in the same movies, but nothing else is really the same. His personal life is completely different. In the film, Nick has an estranged teenaged daughter (Lily Mo Sheen) and an ex-wife (Sharon Horgan) who is constantly frustrated with him, mainly because he is so inept at personal relationships. His daughter is frustrated with him as well because everything is about him—what he thinks is introducing her to what he likes she sees as him forcing his opinions on her.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

What I've Caught Up With, September 2022

Despite the small number of posts in September, I got through a lot of movies from this list. On the television front, I also got through Loki, Ash vs. Evil Dead (which I did not like as much as I wanted), and Justified, which has a Games of Thrones-ian body count. I was also out for some time visiting family in North Carolina, and managed to get out just before the hurricane hit. Be safe out there, folks--the weather is nasty and getting nastier.